What happens when you sit a drummer across from an audio engineer? When this happened with Chris Tomlin’s crew, a wealth of wisdom poured out from both drummer, Matt Gilder, and FOH engineer, Jeff Sandstrom.
These two tackled a lot of topics during the FILO conference and a big one was STRESS. It turns out that a problem we face in the church venue is that we don’t have the BUS time.
We Need B-us Time
My wife and I need our “us” time, usually spent out on a date. This time enables us to talk about what’s going on in our separate lives. Without it, it’s easy to make a lot of assumptions and get ourselves in trouble.
Matt and Jeff call it their bus time. Traveling on the road, they spend a lot of time on the bus and a benefit is learning what is going on in each other’s life. They learn, they talk, they pray, they…trust each other.
What Usually Happens
You and the band spend zero-to-little time together as friends. Yes, you see each other in the church hallway and say, “hello.” But, that’s it. What remains is a bunch of people who only have a workplace relationship. And did I mention it can be a stressful workplace?
You might be stressed about something in your life, they might be worried about their spouse, or one of you might be struggling with an insecurity when suddenly a comment is said in the wrong way, at the wrong time, or in the wrong spirit. Unless one person is ready to apologize, things only get worse.
What Should Happen
Without the bus time, we are prone to overreact to frustrations and problems and requests. When we know the other person, we know their personality, struggles, and needs. We watch our words.
As Sandstrom, or maybe it was Gilder, said, “Have grace for those on the stage because you don’t know what is going on in their lives.”
I’m not saying you should become best friends with the guitarist and have coffee every week with the drummer but there are a few step you could take:
- Start a worship team bible study of musicians and techs.
- Set a prayer time before the sound check and gather prayer requests from the group.
- Stay out of the sound booth until you need to be there. Spend your extra time asking the musicians how they are doing, how their week was, and asking if they have anything you can pray about. Whenever I’m in early and run into a musician, I try to do this.
When we know each other, we can trust each other and we can speak kindly and in the right way and at the right time. We are ministers, to the congregation and to each other.
The Next Step
Pray for the worship band members BY NAME this week. Pray for their personal lives, pray for their spouses, pray for their kids, and pray for their worship ministry. Let their names be on your heart so when you see them next weekend, you see them as people and not just musicians. Do this and you’ll start extending grace like never before and they will appreciate you for it.