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Author Topic: Filling a void  (Read 15974 times)

Zach Amason

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Filling a void
« on: June 25, 2008, 10:53:28 pm »

So, at my church we are in a somewhat sticky position. We are music minister and media minister-less(so we called him that, he couldn't even keep up with replacing mike batteries.) at this point, and everything is in a temporary mode. I can feel a sense of halfway-ness in lots of things. We have great equipment and resources, but they are sitting in a closet somewhere, left when the last media director resigned. I really feel a need to...well..."take over" in a sense in the media department just to get things back to full operation. But, I am only 16(i've been around mixers since i was eight). I'm somewhat unsure how I could take this position of leadership and gain the respect of everybody else. I might be the youngest, but I'm the only one of us that can go through a service without feedback or missing a cue.
So...down to the meat...how can I bring myself to a place of leadership and get our broken media ministry back together and take advantage of all the expensive equipment that is sitting getting dusty?
Confused
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Those tech people at church who run their mouths the most are usually the ones who get the least done.
I've seen that WAY too many times.

Aaron McQueen

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 09:09:45 am »

Where is the pastor?  You need to talk to him about your calling.
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Zach Amason

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 11:17:19 am »

dur.
im an idiot.
Embarassed  Embarassed  Embarassed
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Those tech people at church who run their mouths the most are usually the ones who get the least done.
I've seen that WAY too many times.

Derrick Bassett

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 02:54:34 pm »

Hey Zack -

Like Aaron said...you probably should talk to your pastor first. Share with him what you've been noticing and how you feel you can help. Hopefully age won't be a huge concern here, but unfortunately it often is. Take lots of time to pray over the situation.

If you come to the place where the pastor has handed you the reins - it is going to be mega important that you build relationships with the other volunteers and work WITH them; not above them. Lead the way by example, offer suggestions, and use lots of encouragement. I'm assuming now that many of the other volunteers are older then yourself. Due to your higher skill level and your younger age - other volunteers may feel uneasy with you in a "position above them".

I grew up in a church where I was the strongest tech on the team; I understood more of the equipment function, my ears were trained from my vocal and instrumental training (also helping me to communicate and understand what musicians need), and I had more free time to meet for sound checks. I was probably the most requested sound tech for sound checks and special events. However - I didn't handle it well. I was condescending to the other techs and would try to solve problems and take control in places I had no right to be in. Obviously - that hurt me and others. It took a long time to build some of those relationships again. After a while of just stepping back and running my weeks with high quality the other guys started to approach me for assistance and suggestions.

Best wishes.

Zach Amason

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2008, 03:57:13 pm »

That sounds an aweful lot like what our situation is. We have 3 people right now that can operate the board. One is me, the other has been overworked over the past year, and the other is a loudmouth idiot who is too busy trying to put on a show for the folks in the balcony than actually do his job(he thinks that since he was a disk jockey in his college days that it qualifies him to be the head honcho of everything electronic). Also, there is one woman that coordinates the people to run sound tech/screens/instrumentalists on her own time that she doesn't have and I would like to help her out as much as I could with scheduling people to work.
After this week (VBS-and I was the only sound tech available), most of the people on staff have realized my skill and it has really helped to build my reputation as a respected A/V technician.
Thanks guys.
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Those tech people at church who run their mouths the most are usually the ones who get the least done.
I've seen that WAY too many times.

ak909

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 09:56:50 pm »

Go for it! I was in your shoes at one time. Still am (18 here).
My best advice is three things.

1. Learn to use what you have to the best of your abilities.
2. Read the books of Timothy and James.

And Finally the most important one of all.

3. Keep your hands, eyes, and opinions to yourself.

I still have trouble with no.3...


Just read my posts...

Anyways.

Go get em!
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2008, 10:06:40 am »

I think most, if not all of us have been in the position Derrick described. I think back to my days as a 20-23-year-old TD (at a mega church???) . What was I thinking? And what were the people who hired me thinking? Smile I had a few good sound-checks, a few great services, and I showed-up with a smile on my face. My first impression got me a job.

The problem was the same for me. I was starry-eyed, pretty-much fresh out of college, and thought that I had the right way of doing everything. Looking back, I was kinda' the same idiot you're talking about, but with actual power behind my position, which made me 30-times more dangerous. Smile

I was in a similar situation to yours, in that most of my volunteers were at least 20 years older than I am... some were friends of my parents, so they'd known me since I was 2, and had seen me as the stupid Jr. HIgher, and I thought they needed to get past that and realize that I knew it all now. Man, God had fun kicking me around for a little while.

I spent some time doing live production based in Chicago and Las Vegas, and doing a ton of church consulting with the same company. If you want to find-out how much you don't know, I highly recommend the route I took. From getting my butt kicked (literally and figuratively) by the pros in Vegas/New York/Chicago/etc, to seeing just about every type of church production one can find in this great country, I got what seemed to be one, gigantic, proverbial kick in the butt from the man upstairs.

Now I'm back at the same mega-church, through some amazing stretch of Human Resources imagination, and handling special projects within my realm of knowledge... which is exponentially greater than when I "knew it all." I still don't know everything, and often have to take a step back, put myself on hold, and figure-out what the deuce is going on before I shoot my mouth off (which is still too big for my own good).

Some of the best relationships I have with volunteers are they ones where I have been asked a question, and I've outright said, "I don't know, let me see if I can find you he right answer." Some of the worst relationships I have are the ones where I said, "No, no, no, you're going the wrong direction, do it this way, trust me, you're just an amateur, I get paid to do this." I was the guy who said that and everyone could tell, pretty-much right away, that I was talking out my... you know...

So, as a 16-year-old. Get in there and show them what you can do. Keep working your butt off, and do it with a spirit of humility. Put together great mixes, be the friendly guy behind the faders that the band loves to work with. Be tactful with ushers or congregation members who outright tell you they don't like how it sounds (I still suck at that). There are a ton of guys out there who can put together an excellent mix, and we should all learn from them... however, nobody wants to learn from a jerk, and they are doing a disservice to this "industry" by not being friendly enough to impart their wisdom in a humble, helpful way. If you're doing what you do with the right motives, people will notice, and they will naturally gravitate to asking you questions and getting your advice. If you're a jerk, it won't matter how skilled you are.

In short, don't be "that guy."
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Jeff Ekstrand

Technical Director, North Shore Campus
Willow Creek Community Church
Northfield, IL

Brian Kent Tennyson

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2008, 11:39:39 am »

Jeff Ekstrand wrote on Mon, 30 June 2008 09:06

I think most, if not all of us have been in the position Derrick described. I think back to my days as a 20-23-year-old TD (at a mega church???) . What was I thinking? And what were the people who hired me thinking? Smile I had a few good sound-checks, a few great services, and I showed-up with a smile on my face. My first impression got me a job.

The problem was the same for me. I was starry-eyed, pretty-much fresh out of college, and thought that I had the right way of doing everything. Looking back, I was kinda' the same idiot you're talking about, but with actual power behind my position, which made me 30-times more dangerous. Smile

I was in a similar situation to yours, in that most of my volunteers were at least 20 years older than I am... some were friends of my parents, so they'd known me since I was 2, and had seen me as the stupid Jr. HIgher, and I thought they needed to get past that and realize that I knew it all now. Man, God had fun kicking me around for a little while.

I spent some time doing live production based in Chicago and Las Vegas, and doing a ton of church consulting with the same company. If you want to find-out how much you don't know, I highly recommend the route I took. From getting my butt kicked (literally and figuratively) by the pros in Vegas/New York/Chicago/etc, to seeing just about every type of church production one can find in this great country, I got what seemed to be one, gigantic, proverbial kick in the butt from the man upstairs.

Now I'm back at the same mega-church, through some amazing stretch of Human Resources imagination, and handling special projects within my realm of knowledge... which is exponentially greater than when I "knew it all." I still don't know everything, and often have to take a step back, put myself on hold, and figure-out what the deuce is going on before I shoot my mouth off (which is still too big for my own good).

Some of the best relationships I have with volunteers are they ones where I have been asked a question, and I've outright said, "I don't know, let me see if I can find you he right answer." Some of the worst relationships I have are the ones where I said, "No, no, no, you're going the wrong direction, do it this way, trust me, you're just an amateur, I get paid to do this." I was the guy who said that and everyone could tell, pretty-much right away, that I was talking out my... you know...

So, as a 16-year-old. Get in there and show them what you can do. Keep working your butt off, and do it with a spirit of humility. Put together great mixes, be the friendly guy behind the faders that the band loves to work with. Be tactful with ushers or congregation members who outright tell you they don't like how it sounds (I still suck at that). There are a ton of guys out there who can put together an excellent mix, and we should all learn from them... however, nobody wants to learn from a jerk, and they are doing a disservice to this "industry" by not being friendly enough to impart their wisdom in a humble, helpful way. If you're doing what you do with the right motives, people will notice, and they will naturally gravitate to asking you questions and getting your advice. If you're a jerk, it won't matter how skilled you are.

In short, don't be "that guy."



WOW! Great post. Thank you for typing that so I didn't have to. Sounds like we lived identical lives right up to the point where you went back to your old church. Then you lost me. Smile

I think back to how brash and authoritarian I was in my twenties, bossing 45 year olds around. I would never have that confidence today knowing what I don't know. I will qualify by saying that I was only a little Napoleon on live production days. I made sure my crew knew that they could argue all they wanted with me once tape stopped rolling (and I would listen), but wrong or right, there was no democratic process when we were spooled up.
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Zach Amason

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 11:54:33 pm »

Seems like my dad did teach me well after all...
I'm trying the approach of keeping my mouth shut while our "that guy" acts like a total rectum and learning as much as I can from the occasional visit of the extremely knowledgeable guys in our A/V consulting company.
Thanks for the input you guys!
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Those tech people at church who run their mouths the most are usually the ones who get the least done.
I've seen that WAY too many times.

Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Filling a void
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2008, 06:59:24 pm »

I am with Brian here, what an utterly terrific post. I am halve tempted to say it should be immortalized in a sticky.

Although one does wonder what these amazing stretch of Human Resources imagination might have been Smile.

Karl "I have been that guy too" P
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