Behind The Scenes: Serving On The Production Team
A lot goes on behind the scenes at a typical North Church Service, and unless you have a trained eye for production, you may not notice when things go wrong; when the lights are on the wrong setting, when a transition doesn’t go quite as planned or when something is spelled incorrectly on a slide. Or maybe you do notice, and that’s why heads often turn to look back at the production booth. As one of your Production Managers, I am definitely aware of all of the problems and mishaps that take place during a regular service, and probably see more than you do.
I was trained in production management about four years ago and it is one of the most exciting ways to serve the church that I have ever experienced. I get to help put on a service so that visitors and members alike can, hopefully, have a distraction-free time to hear the Word of God preached and spend their time worshipping the Lord with their families.
While production management is the most fun job that I do at North, it is also the hardest. Sunday services are usually run by seven different people doing different jobs and the Production Manager is the point person for them all. As a manager, we make sure things are set up properly, executed correctly and performed at the right time during the service. The busyness can all become a little chaotic.
Our mistakes and successes have the power to change the atmosphere of the auditorium. It can quickly go from casual, when things go well, to offensive, when we accidentally have the wrong baby picture on a baby dedication slide. From uncomfortable, when a speaker should be on stage but isn't there yet, to funny, when all the lights go off in the room. From painful, when there is microphone feedback or the music is just way too loud, to our most regular occurrence, awkwardness. Awkwardness can happen in a number of ways, but it usually involves us not transitioning out of the Meet & Greet quickly enough. I know you all know what I'm talking about.
As a body, God has gifted different people with different skills to serve the Church and this is tangibly apparent with the production team. Most people off the street do not know how to EQ a signal on a soundboard or compress a guitar tone. Yet, God has gifted us with a team of people who do know, so that we can all stand up and participate in the communal worship of God.
A good day in the production booth might mean that you don’t know we exist. We want service to go so smoothly that one would never guess that there was even an opportunity for human error. It’s the kind of job where you want to be invisible. To some people, that may seem like the type of job that they would not want. I know that, in my sin, I want people to know what I do and how important my job is; I selfishly want fame, and glory for the tasks that I accomplish. However, my role, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, don't really allow for that. My job is to make it so that Jesus can be the spotlight and God can be glorified, learned about and worshipped.
A few years ago, a leader on the production team gathered us together for sync, and he shared some Scripture with us. It was just three verses from a book that only has three chapters, and it says this, “Paul, a servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with the godliness, In the hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior…”
The part our leader highlighted for us was the part about about Paul’s motive for what he did, and that was for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth. That was very impactful for me. Looking at the Christian life, one can see that much of our purpose is to act in a way that is helpful for the Lord’s elect; whether that be in service, mission or the preaching of the Word. Before this time in my life I had probably not even read the book of Titus, let alone dwelt on those few words that Paul added to his greeting. Never before had I considered that one could do any action for the sake of the elect, but now that’s how I like to think of my job, and a lot of my Christian life.
Although God’s kingdom will advance, and does advance in spite of our obedience or actions, He allows us, and desires for us, to participate in what He is doing. By making sure that everyone in the room can sing along to worship, can see the Scripture being read and can clearly hear the sermon, the production team is contributing to the faith and knowledge of the truth of God’s elect. So whether you see us, or don’t, you will see the effects of our actions, and I pray that the Lord would allow for those actions to bear fruit.
If you are gifted in any area of production, please let us know, and we’ll find a place for you on the team. We have a lot of fun, and there are many perks - breakfast and camaraderie are but a couple.