Tel: 905–690–4709 dk@tfwm.com - Darryl Kirkland, Publisher

Interfacing Technology and Worship

As all technicians know, interfacing different entities not of like kind, is never easy. In this age of interfacing everything from computers to cell phones, it is the “in” thing to work toward interfacing, of all things, musicians and technicians. This is a phenomenon that has been under development for years.

Let’s take a look at the beginning of this experiment. Touring musicians with the touring sound companies were some of the first to try to make it happen. Of course even here the alliance was tenuous at best. Paychecks depended on making this work, so in spite of themselves, the musicians kept from physically abusing the sound guy, and the sound guy tried to ignore ignorance. This worked well except where the proximity of the two worlds directly collided, at the stage monitors. Many of my friends have been fired multiple times while hiding at the monitor console.

In the church this wasn’t much of an issue until recently, if we consider the past 20 years. Back then what we did was mostly piano, organ, choir, and special music, either soloists or small ensembles. Sound for church was usually done by one of the ushers. Now our more typical church platform looks like a stage for the touring musician. We have keyboards, guitars, bass guitars, drums, piano, and maybe up to 10 vocalists besides the lead singer commonly known as the Minister of Music, or MOM. We will have as many as 10 or 12 monitor mixes on stage, multiple channels of wireless microphones, and maybe even several in-ear monitor systems. With all of these technical and musical changes, the normal usher can no longer be expected to operate the sound system or lights for that matter. Enter the “technical artists”, a.k.a. ‘the sound and lighting guys’.

The technical artists could have come from almost anywhere within the church or from outside. Here is where we must begin the wonderful, tedious, fulfilling, gut wrenching job, of interfacing.

In a perfect environment, (and we are called to “be perfect”), the MOM and the technical artists work together to minister and prepare worship for the body at large. Time is spent together discussing what the goal for worship is in each service and time for prayer together, is spent. If it is not evident from the beginning that the MOM and the Pastoral staff at large realizes a partnership must exist with the technical artists, this partnership will never be evident throughout the artist team as a whole. The beginnings of true interfacing has to start at the very top of the Pastoral staff. We will address some ideas as to how this can happen in subsequent writings on this subject.

For this article, I will take the time to encourage the technical artists.

If the relationship we have with our Pastors and the MOM is not what we want it to be, why not? Maybe we need to start with our own hearts. Are we doing what we do because we want to honor God with our talents, or because we can, and we can better than someone else? Is it difficult to accept suggestions from others, especially the MOM, about how we do our job? Do we have difficulty participating in worship and hearing the sermon because of the “job”? Is my heart a heart of worship? Who are we trying to please?

So as you ask yourself these questions let me share a prayer with you from a friend of mine, Jim May.

“When the sins that hinder my progress grip me, when I lose contact with the Lord, when I am helpless to control my flesh, David’s prayer in Psa. 51:10-12 accurately reflects my heart.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” I can’t create a pure heart, but He can. This is a good reminder for a man like me who is helpless to change himself. It also focuses on my heart, not others’ sins, so that I don’t get into blaming them for my faults.

“Renew a right spirit within me.” My spirit is so often critical, restless, down, or distracted. I need His spirit of love, peace, and joy. I need to focus on Him.

“Do not banish me from your presence.” I need to be with Him more that anything else in this life. I was created for Him and He alone is sufficient for the one He made. Every person was created to be with Him. There is no satisfying substitute for that personal relationship with Him.

” Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” Please, Lord, don’t leave me to myself. Don’t turn me over to my selfish desires. I am miserable being alone with me. Hell is living with a self who is never satisfied.

“Restore again the joy of your salvation.” I need the joy of His deliverance from sin and self. It feels so good to be set free to come home to Him.

“Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” I need a willing spirit to fight the enemy and the pull of the flesh and the world. Sometimes I just get tired of fighting and want to give up. I need a willing spirit to fight again.”

A prayer like this is a good place to start. We, as technicians, must verify our right standing with our Savior and Lord. Then we can let Him work through us as we minister, not just to those listening in the seats, but also as we minister to the other worship team members by our service to Him. So, we now begin our interfacing correctly, by getting our connection to The Source established. Next, we work on the others we interface with.

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