by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org
A big part of the problem with serving behind the scenes is that you are, by definition, supposed to be pretty much invisible. Most of the time, we technical artists are OK with that. We'd rather not be the ones on stage, talking to the crowd; or even in a big room full of people if we're honest. We like to be in the background, and that's OK. But there's a problem with being invisible.
We tend to feel invisible, too.
I'm sure it's happened to you (and if it hasn't, it will) on a Sunday afternoon that while you're picking up the stage, eager congregants will come up and tell the worship leader, band and pastor what a wonderful job they did. They'll go on and on about how much they love to worship, and how much they got out of the message. This is all good.
But it can sting a little, too.
We know that we helped make the service happen. Shoot, we may have even made the band a sound a lot better than they really are (reverb covers a multitude of sins, and sometimes turning down a guitar is better than turning it up...). We made sure the pastor's slides were made, and displayed at the right time. All the mic's worked exactly the way they were supposed to. The lighting complimented the music, and the service was technically excellent.
And nobody noticed.
Those are the times when we don't enjoy feeling invisible.
It was after one of those weekends that I happened to be reading through a passage in Mark 9. One verse in particular caught my attention and re-framed my perspective (the Bible is cool like that).
"Why, anyone by just giving you a cup of water in my name is on our side. Count on it that God will notice. -Mark 9:41"
I take comfort in the fact that God notices when people give a cup of water to someone in the name of Christ. Surely he notices the hours we put in working on the mix, the lighting, or slides. No doubt he sees and is pleased with what you do each weekend.
Somebody, does indeed notice.
So take courage, my fellow technical artist. Just a few verses later, Jesus reminds us that "Many who are the fist will be last, and the last first." (Mark 10:31). Maybe, just maybe, those who received all the praise in this life will be surprised by the praise those who served in the shadows receive in the next.