Technically Transparent Worship: Plan For It (Part 2)

Part 2 of 3 in the series Technically Transparent Worship

Time for part 2 of developing technically transparent worship; PLANNING.

The best results come when the whole team participates in a brainstorming session, with the pastor acting as the moderator.  Using a whiteboard, for recording ideas, is helpful. There are no wrong ideas at this point. The whole object is just to get things down in writing.

Brainstorming sessions generate seeds

I’ve been in so many brainstorming sessions where this happens.  We’re all tossing ideas around and then, out of the mess, comes an idea unrelated to any other ideas but ends up being the right one. All because a person said something generating the seed of the final idea. …keep reading »

Production Planning – Is There Room for God?

garage sign

No.  That’s the answer one can assume when looking at the extensive planning that goes into proper technical church production.  Even audio production planning seems to leave little room for God.  Or, so one might think.  Brian Gowing and I have been involved in church audio production for decades and we’ve found one thing to be true of production planning; the more planning, the more room for God.

I’ll start with Brian’s thoughts on this, or better yet, his story.


“Only God can change hearts. But, He expects us to give him our utmost, for His Highest.  This is why proper planning and execution are essential to allowing God to reach out and touch those hearts that, may or may not, be prepared to be touched.Let me give you a very personal experience about this. …keep reading »

Does Your Congregation Experience Technically Transparent Worship? (Part 1)

Part 1 of 3 in the series Technically Transparent Worship

What is technically transparent worship? I’m not the first to use the term. I’ve been thinking about this lately, having visited a number of churches and observing how they handle a service.

Technically transparent worship means someone coming into your church for either the first or the 1,000th time will not encounter technical or artistic issues that interfere with providing them a total, enveloping, immersive worship experience that prepares their mind and soul to be impacted by God. This is an ideal or a mission statement, if you will.

Too many times, I see churches say they want to do this but don’t want to go through the planning pains necessary to achieve this goal. …keep reading »

Top Audio Production Highlights From 2013

Will you make 2014 better than 2013?

Was 2013 your year for upgrading to a digital mixer?  Or, was it a year of struggling with old equipment?  Looking back on 2013, I’ve had a lot of great times and a few I’d rather forget.  In the spirit of reflection, here is a list of audio production “tops” from 2013.

My Favorite Quote:

  • Wes Wakefield on mixing; “Fundamental mixing techniques win every time.”

My Favorite Live Audio Post

The Top Two Articles You Should Have Read But Probably Didn’t

The Top Ten Most Popular Articles, here at BTM, Written in 2013

How to Show Teen Volunteers the Importance of Tech Production

How to Show Teen Volunteers the Importance of Tech Production

“How do I make teens understand the importance of what we do?”  I read this question some months ago and it stayed with me.  Recruiting new tech volunteers usually requires looking to those in high school and maybe even middle school.  But the problem is they *can* be the first to flake out, drop out, and, in short, view tech production with less respect than it deserves.  And it wasn’t until a few days ago when I felt I finally had a good answer to this question.

Starting a Youth Service

My daughter, Maria, is involved with a local church youth group and this group usually meets on Sunday evenings.  Just a short time ago, the students decided they wanted their own worship service on Sunday mornings.  They have a youth venue with the equipment but…see where this is going…a few kids want training in the audio equipment. …keep reading »

The Purpose of Church Tech Production | Why We Work in the Shadows

Lincoln Brewster had just finished his talk at the 2013 Gurus of Tech conference and Todd Elliot took the stage.  Todd briefly talked about working in the tech ministry and then said, “[My] family needs a vision of what I do in tech ministry.”  At that moment, I realized my own family didn’t fully grasp why I worked in tech ministry.  And that’s when I realized I’ve never explained it.  Until now, I’m not sure if I ever had the words to do so.

As you consider your purpose in tech production, consider your pictured fellow brothers and sisters who share your passion. …keep reading »

A Shepherd, a Flock of Sheep, and a Homemade Lighting Board | Ministry Essentials

shepherd flock sheep

[Gurus 2013 in Review: Alberty Reyes and Curtis Templeton]

Continuing this week’s series on the Gurus of Tech review, I bring you the insight of Alberty Reyes and Curtis Templeton.  Alberty and Curtis are two people working in God’s kingdom, doing transforming work, doing it in completely different ways, and each embodies the essence of ministering to others.

Alberty Reyes

Did you build your first lighting board from plywood and a couple of dimmers?  Are you ministering to churches in the Dominican Republic so they have trained technical volunteers and make the right equipment purchases?  Meet Alberty Reyes.

Alberty was interviewed for a short period during the Gurus of Tech conference.  And in those few minutes, it was clear that Alberty had a vision and a passion for helping churches in the Dominican Republic (DR).  He also had a great view on technical equipment and how it could bless churches. …keep reading »

The Ultimate Team-Building Experience

The Ultimate Team-Building Experience

[Gurus 2013 in Review: Steve Carter]

Welcome to day 3 of the review.  The conference had a ton of breakout sessions which covered audio, video, lighting, and leadership topics.  The main sessions were focused on heart issues.  You work from your head but you live through your heart, so let’s stick with your heart for a few more days.

Steve Carter, director of evangelism and a teaching pastor for Willow Creek Community Church, blessed all of us with his talk.  And then he gave us an opportunity to do something we don’t often get to do…and it’s something I’ll cover near the end of this post. …keep reading »

Are You Ready for a Thriving (Production) Ministry Life?

[Gurus 2013 in Review: Lincoln Brewster]

I’ll admit I had mixed feelings when Lincoln Brewster took to the stage.  If mass media + musicians has taught me anything, it’s that I’d rather hear them sing than air their opinions.  Lincoln is definitely an exception.  It might be that he’s wiser than most musicians or that his Christianity is so front-and-center in his life that truth flows so easily from him.  All I can say is I wasn’t prepared for his great insights on “a thriving ministry life.”

But He’s Lincoln Brewster

His topic for the Gurus of Technology session was “how to have a thriving ministry life.”  Right…you sell albums, you go on tour, you play music for a living, and Lee Fields mixes FOH for you…your ministry life doesn’t get any better.  And how will any of that relate to us techies? …keep reading »

Stop Playing Those Video Clips | Video Copyright Myths and Licensing

Before you play that video, make sure you have the rights to do so.  Photo provided by Sarej

[Guest post from Aaron West] “I paid for the movie, so I can show it whenever and wherever I want.”  If only video licensing was that easy!  A few days ago, music and copyright infringement was covered in detail.  As mentioned, this has been something that’s been going on for years and unfortunately the copyright laws continue to modify as new technologies come out.  More recently, public playing of videos has emerged with the help of the internet and digital devices.  It’s no longer limited to theaters and movie rental stores (does anybody remember those days of renting a VHS tape and the VHS PLAYER too???).  So, what are the rules for videos, especially in the church?  Well, like before, let’s look at a couple of myths first. …keep reading »