Nothing is quite as rewarding as volunteering hours of time, programming lighting cues, dialling in the house mix, sweating over the monitor mixes all to have nobody take notice, let alone offer a simple, “thank you”. Right?!
There’s an old saying in the production world that goes something like this, “You know you’ve done your job well if no one complains.” No news is good news. While I understand the thinking behind this saying, it seems a little demeaning to our craft and service doesn’t it? But it does beg the question, Why do we do what we do?
Finding joy in being part of a team & overcoming the challenges we are presented with is a daily decision. @Cal_Tylr #technotes
Is it for the recognition?
A chance to be in control of something?
Or are we a frustrated musician that sees it as a first step to getting in with the band?
While there may be some truth to these answers, the ultimate reason is to serve. To serve the music, to serve the musicians, to serve the larger mission of your local church and to be part of a team, who despite the perceived level of attention, all play a vital role in the final product.
So what does it mean to serve?
There are quite a few definitions floating around, but Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as; “to be worthy of reliance or trust”. This definition not only puts value on what so many every weekend at their local church, but it also places on us a high importance of maintaining a serving attitude when working behind the scenes.
Local churches rely heavily on quality volunteers, volunteers who are worthy of reliance and trust to complete the specific tasks and assignments that need to get done. As a volunteer, if you find your serving attitude slipping, it’s very important to evaluate why that is. Do you have too much on the go? Do you need help managing your time? Are you looking for recognition in places that you may not find it? As leaders, we need to make sure we don’t burn out our volunteers. We need to remember to let them know when they are doing a great job, and acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices offered.
Three things to remember while serving:
1. You aren’t doing this for the fame and glory. As a tech serving you local church or an event, so find satisfaction of doing the job for the sake of getting the job done well. Getting props from the band or acknowledged by the pastor (while I encourage this from the leadership) is simply a bonus.
2. If you’ve nailed the audio mix, or the lighting is moving with every change of the music, then people willnotice. The somewhat unfortunate reality is that people are often far quicker to criticize, or voice their opinions on what needs to be changed. These moments can be dealt with more easily if we stop and remember that we are there to serve everyone; even those who may not enjoy the mix or style of music chosen and feel like they’ve earned the right to tell you how to mix, despite the severe lack of technical ability (sorry for that rant). And while everyone deserves to be heard, not every opinion needs to be taken. Hearing them out, explaining why goes a long way in winning people over. If nothing else, it will continue to develop your serving attitude.
3. Maintaining a servant attitude in the long hours (and sometimes less than ideal circumstances) is not an easy thing. It does take a conscious effort. And finding joy in being part of a team and overcoming the challenges that are presented is a daily decision. Make sure your heart, words and approach are being found worthy of reliance and trust.
Leaders and musicians, we need to make sure we let the tech portion of our team know that we do appreciate the extra hours they put it in and the tough task they have of turning our parts into the whole, not just letting them know when we need things. The servant attitude should not be taken for granted or abused, it needs to be modelled, respected and appreciated.
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