5 Things I Want My Production Team to Know (A Worship Leader’s Perspective)
1. I Care About You
This should be a given, but unfortunately, in the age of production orders, systems, and deadlines we can all be guilty of trying to get the job done without asking how those that serve along side us are really doing. Making an effort to lean in and listen will often mean the difference between going through the motions in our services and being connected on a life and friend level that brings about a much deeper work than surface accomplishment. One of the practical ways to do this is by connecting together as a team prior to rehearsal or run through. Set aside 10-15 minutes to celebrate and give thanks for each other’s joys and pray for and carry each other’s burdens. Over time, these real relationships will be a well of authenticity to draw from that will add meaning and purpose behind the songs and the journey in which we’re leading others. Our praise can be a celebration of real team stories and our petition can be a response to our real and present needs. The more we care for each other behind the scenes, the better cared-for our attendees we serve will be.
2. You Are Part of the Worship Team
So many resources of time and finances go into preparing for a worship service. Each player and each production team member are really part of the same team, but oftentimes we segment stage platform from front of house platform both in our minds and in the way we work together. I know my friend Jeff at MxU has a heart to help build a bridge between these two worlds, and it’s so needed. As a worship leader who stands onstage I want each tech member to know how much they are a part of the worship experience. When I look back at the sound console or lighting board and know that we are working as a team to lead people in worship, I feel as though we are flanking the enemy and covering all parts of the room. Don’t be afraid to even be a bit expressive or sing along as you serve. You are a key part of helping everyone in the room remember and respond to the glory and grace of God.
3. We Need Your Help
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. When I’m leading onstage, I can feel the sound in the room, but I can only hear roughly what’s going on. I can’t get the perspective that those in front of the PA have. One of the problems many churches deal with in relation to music is helping players understand the frequency spectrum, and how their parts within a song and between each instrument will fit together. As a front of house tech person, you have perspective that I’ll never have from the stage. I need your feedback and input during soundcheck, during rehearsal, after the first service. When we work together as a team…it’s so much better. Make a point to record your rehearsal and possibly listen down together. Over time you’ll discover what works best for your room.
4. We Need You to be Prepared
One of the things we teach in Worship Circle is for worship leaders to be prepared, both spiritually and mechanically. We talk about practice being what you do before you take the stage and play songs down. If everyone rehearses well…people get to tuck their kids in bed at night and spend some time with their spouses or friends before the day ends. If we show up unprepared.. (I know this sounds harsh) it can be a pretty selfish act and cause discord among the team. Preparation is a cultural value that has to be talked about and modeled. If you run sound, lights, or are responsible for leading people by providing lyrics on screen, it is a good practice to be familiar with the songs and flow before rehearsal. This way you can be even more ready to lead people when service time starts.
5 You are Influential
We all are influential. Eyes are on us. Those we co-labor with see what we value and who we value by the way we treat people and the way we execute in our role. The many lives that come in our rooms week after week that represent generations of people will be impacted by our attitude, preparation, intentionality, and execution. God sees you, your other production team members see you, the platform team sees you, and what you choose to bring to the table and how you choose to react will ultimately bring culture to your church. I love what my friend Louie Giglio says. “You are the culture.” The choice to smile or be grim. The choice to encourage or be pessimistic. It all brings culture. It’s hard sometimes to do this, but from time to time ask a trusted friend if you are doing anything detrimental to the culture…if you have any personality patterns that are hard to be around or deal with. A true friend will love us enough to tell us the truth. I know as a singer for many years…I wish I had invited more critique into my singing. It wasn’t until I was 40 years old and years had gone by that I understood that I had the propensity to sing from a place that wasn’t at all what I was trying to execute in my head. Only through honest evaluation was I able to face reality and work on singing from a place that was much more full and powerful. You can bring positive culture and influence so many by choosing daily to rest in the power of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you love and serve those you have been blessed to walk beside.