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Author: Todd Elliott

Give People a Break

As a tech person, I love what technology can do in creating memorable moments for people. When I think about some of the most memorable production moments I’ve experienced over the years, technology has been a driving factor in the effectiveness of the moment. On the flip side of this, far too many times I’ve seen technology distract from a potential moment. A few years ago, I asked someone, “What did you think of our Christmas service?”. When the answer was, “The lighting was amazing,” I realized we missed the mark. What we hope for is that people say...

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3 Things You Can Do to Make Worship Better

For many years, I thought I was just a facilitator of the ministry that was happening from the stage; that my job was simply to help make other people’s ministry happen. In reality, though, the part I play as a technical artist is equally important. Without the team that creates the graphics, mixes audio, or creates set designs, our service wouldn’t happen. We are worship leaders in our own specific way. We are worship leaders in our own specific way. So if I’m a worship leader and not just a button pusher, what can I do to make our...

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3 Ways Pride Will Wreck Your Ministry

There’s a reason that pride is considered one of the 7 deadly sins. When pride is in play, things can get ugly. It doesn’t matter if you are the senior pastor or a small group leader, a technical artist or a band member, pride can destroy whatever good is happening at your church. I think pride is one of those things that can be difficult to see in yourself, but easy to see in others—which is a classic version of he who is without sin, cast the first stone and worry about the log in your own eye, dude. So what do...

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8 Qualities that Make a Great Tech Leader

When I got into production at my local church, it was not for the leadership opportunities available in the technical arts. I loved the gear and the opportunity to help create the music through mixing at front-of-house. It wasn’t until years later that I realized I was leading something—a moment when everyone was looking at me for the answers. I remember thinking, “I don’t know, I just want to pull off something amazing. Why do I have to be the one to decide?” In most of our churches, technology is becoming more and more critical. With the potential to...

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No More Lone Rangers

If your church is anything like mine, there is a lot to get done. The task of pulling off a service every week requires figuring out tons of details. If I were honest, there are many times that I’m so overwhelmed by details that I don’t really care what we are doing or why we are doing it; I just want the information. Then once I have the information, I just want to get it done…and please don’t change anything. I’ve got a lot to do, and I could get it done faster if you would leave me alone...

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Leading Worship from the Booth

When I was a younger version of my tech self, I spent a lot of time serving the needs of those around me. I felt like my role was to facilitate the ministry of other people. And from a production stand point, the majority of my energy was used up trying to get out of the way so that what was happening on the platform would come through without a single distraction from the technology or the technicians. For many of you reading this, this seems right and good. I would tend to agree that the paragraph above is...

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Stretching Yourself as an Artist

I really love live production. Some days I can’t believe I get paid to be a part of creating amazing moments for our congregation through the technical arts. Because I love what I do so much, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. At times I get focused solely on production: new equipment + a better process + executing ideas. Are there possible downsides to doing what I love to do every day? On the surface, no way. Why wouldn’t I want to love going to work each day? So many people I know have to work a job they...

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Creatives and Techs

Overstatement alert: There are two types of tech people: ones that know how the gear works, and those who know how to work the gear. Here’s what I mean. Some tech people are amazing at understanding the inner workings of the equipment that most of our churches are using. Sound boards. Lighting consoles. Video switchers. They can take it apart, fix it, and put it back together. This type of tech person has a very technical understanding of the equipment. The other type of tech person has a basic understanding of how the stuff works, but is more interested in getting work out of the...

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Get Out of the Booth

Aside from the fact that we’re all technical artists for the local church, we all come from very different backgrounds and situations. Although they may have different names: a Sanctuary, a Worship Center, a High School Theater, a Cathedral; the list could go on, but we all practice our art in a space of some kind. Regardless of what you call the main gathering place in your church, there is one constant for all us production folks: The Booth. Now, you might put a different name in front of the word “booth”, like A/V or tech or audio, but “booth”...

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Waking Up to Opportunities

I recently got to spend some quality time with some of my peers. It was a chance to learn from each other, encourage each other, and remind us being a technical director in the local church isn’t just for the insane. As my peers each shared the amazing things happening at their churches, I became jealous of their situations. They seemed to have more technology resources than me. Their leadership supported them better. Production mattered more at their church than mine. I understand that the grass isn’t actually greener, but it still got me wishing my situation were different: “Why...

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A Tech’s Boundaries

It seems like tech workers in the local church talk quite a bit about boundaries. Mostly that someone is always breaking them for you. Unfortunately, many of us are our own worst enemy when it comes to making and breaking boundaries. I had a co-worker who was single. He also worked 80 hours a week – which might have had something to do with his being single. One day I asked him why he worked so many hours, since I knew nobody was asking him to. His answer was interesting to me: “I’m just going to go home and watch TV, so...

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