Everyone who has anything to do with church ministry world will say we hold this truth to be self-evident: Sunday is coming. Ok, Saturday for you Adventists out there. Regardless of your actual day of worship, the fact remains that there is an endless list of details, big and small, that needs addressing every week, and no one knows this more than a church tech team. Sunday is coming. Again. Rinse and repeat. There are input lists, patch sheets, sermon notes (and the inevitable last-minute changes to said sermon notes), lighting cues, a new Crowder song with a bouzouki part– something you didn’t even know was an instrument, much less what it sounds like– a video to edit (wait, are we even allowed to use this clip?), and that’s all before we even talk about the double ear infection your daughter brought home from daycare and the two-day trip your wife has to take with her co-worker, and…
As funny as the “headless chicken” picture can be, it doesn’t make a very pretty picture of leadership. Yes, you read that correctly. Leadership. You may be thinking that leadership is for someone else. Leadership is the luxury of churches with a big staff and the budget to match, right? You can’t even recruit a volunteer to help set up a mic for this Tuesday’s hand bell choir alumni luncheon.
“No, I’m not a leader. Not really. Am I?”
You Are a Worship Leader
That may sound strange to a person used to coming in through a door that no one else uses, at a time when no one in their right mind should be up, dressed in all black, trying not to be noticed. In fact you have probably been told something along the lines of, “You’ll know you’re doing a great job when no one notices you.” And sometimes you may have even walked away enjoying the confidence of a job well done while preserving your anonymity. But being invisible does not mean being insignificant. You need to understand that you are a worship leader.
How can you be a worship leader? Isn’t the worship leader the person on stage with the microphone? Yes. And so are you. We all know it doesn’t matter what the person with the mic says or does if it’s not communicated or translated well by the crew pressing the buttons and making the technical decisions.
Our role in tech world is to help prepare and facilitate an environment for the people of God to experience the presence of God through the praises of God. The first facilitators we know about are in the Old Testament. Aaron was the very first high priest called from the tribe of Levi to serve Israel. Exodus 28 goes into great detail on what he is to wear, when he is to wear it, and why. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t say, “Wear all black.”) The high priest’s job was to be God’s instrument to connect to the people. This is such an essential part of worship for the Israelites that even details involving underwear choices are carefully described. (No – we are not going there.)
Before we skip over all the varieties of colored threads that made Aaron a fashion plate, I want you to pay attention to a couple of key verses:
“Carve the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a jewel cutter would carve them. Then put the stones in fancy gold settings. Connect them to the shoulder straps of the linen apron. The stones will stand for the sons of Israel. Aaron must carry the names on his shoulders as a constant reminder while he is serving the Lord.” – Exodus 28:11-12
The high priest carried the weight of the people he served on his shoulders. Literally.
God wanted him to have a constant reminder present on his body. And, if that wasn’t enough, you may have noticed this on his forehead…
“Make a plate out of pure gold. Carve words on it as if it were an official seal. Carve the words set apart for the Lord.” – Exodus 28:36
He was chosen, set apart, and plainly marked for serving God and the people. Of course the High Priest is not an office anyone holds now because Jesus has clearly taken on that role for us. But the example of a priesthood that operates in a way that helps others see God … that is an office held by people of every generation. You hold that office, or you probably wouldn’t be here. Turns out, you’re a lot more than an invisible button-pusher after all!