I became the production manager of our Hillsong Australia campuses in October of 2010. This is all fine except for one small detail… I have no knowledge or expertise in the areas of lighting, audio or stage design and no real skill in operating any of the production equipment that we make use of within our church production network.
Why then, did I take on this responsibility with no expertise or training?
I saw a group of committed and invested individuals who loved God and the Church. I also saw a way to encourage and empower them to minister.
I believe that it is not just those who speak or sing on the platform that lead and minister to the Church. God’s word talks about the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12 and that the body is made up of different parts, all having significant roles and parts to play in order for the body to function. If I am leading worship, I am leading worship with an entire creative and technical team leading with me, not just playing instruments, operating consoles or singing in tune, but ministering! Leading and encouraging people to look to Jesus. Any worship leader or preacher in our church relies on the contribution of our entire team to minister to and lead our people. We are all ministers of His Gospel and when people respond to a salvation appeal or are changed and impacted by the spirit of God, I count it such a privilege that we as a team were a part of it.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
A few years ago, Ben, a guy who grew up in our church made some parody style interviews that put a spotlight on the unsung heroes of Hillsong Conference. The one I remember best was the Graphics Operator (screen lyrics person). In this interview Ben played the part of an extremely keen and zealous Graphics Operator with a real revelation of the importance of his role. During the interview he said “I see my job as being more important than that of the worship leader, because if the congregation don’t know the words, they can’t worship!”. Of course this was all in jest and good fun, but looking back on it now, it’s kind of the way I would love the entire team to be thinking as we work together. Seeing the value in our contribution as a part of what God is doing.
Within our team, I place great emphasis obviously on bringing skill and excellence in our service to God in what we are tasked with doing, but I also really want our team to see themselves as ministers before they consider their role technically within the production team. We obviously work within the technical realm and there are objectives and outcomes that need to happen on or before deadlines etc. but I won’t let my team forget that we are all functioning parts of THE Body and when we function together we are far more effective!
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (NIV)
“12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.”
(Hillsong UNITED & Australia Production Manager)