Often people say to me, “If I had the same resources you have, I could make my church services awesome and everyone would respect my leadership skills and technical decisions.”
Gateway Church started very small. I’m certain we didn’t have moving lights, cool sound systems and video projection systems at the very beginning. I believe Gateway Church has grown because leadership listens to what I used to call a “gut check”.
What makes a Church Service great is not about how much you have or how technically excellent your services are. I have had the privilege of working with churches that only had a microphone and a broken speaker, all of which was used to announce food lines for the homeless. Churches with far less resources were just as impactful and meaningful as the ones I am apart of now. Why? Gut Check.
What is a “gut check”? Why did these services have the same impact on me as the services I am currently privileged to assist with? Why do I attribute it all to a “gut check”?
To understand the answer, you’d have to understand my thinking as a younger tech leader. Many times I would get checks about a decision that I made or was about to make. At the time, I didn’t understand it, but would make decisions based on them and would flow with them during the service itself. As an Audio Engineer, my timing and volume would be based on these checks. I didn’t know how to define it, but quickly realized these checks were helping me make good decisions. At one point, the team tracked several years of weekend services without missing a mic cue. We would catch last minute changes on the fly. I chalked it up to these checks. I ended up calling it a “gut check” and listened to it as if it was my guiding light.
As I got older and dug into scripture more, I realized what my “gut checks” were and what made an impactful church service. These checks in my spirit had nothing to do with the physical.
When I read John 16:12-13 NKJV “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
I realized that the Holy Spirit lives inside us and guides us. He loves us and gave us the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 NLT …. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. It’s important to know that we have an advocate.
John 14:26 NLT …But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
Good Church Tech Leadership has nothing to do with systems, policies, gear or how we look and sound. It has to do with whether or not we are listening to the Holy Spirit and following His guidance. As I rewound through all the church services I was involved with and which ones worked or didn’t work, I realized that the first benchmark was, were we listening to the Holy Spirit?
Of course I don’t believe this is an excuse to have a free for all in our Church Services. I am not saying we should throw out systems, policies and order inside our services. After all in 1 Corinthians 14:40 NKJV the Bible also says to do all things in decency and in order. The key word in that scripture is “all”. I firmly believe our services should be done in an orderly fashion. But, I also believe we need to leave room for the Holy Spirit to move during our planning, setup and execution of our Church Services. If we don’t leave room for that, our services can easily just become a show.
As leaders, it’s very important that we are asking the question “What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?” If not, no matter what we have been given to work with, we will struggle to facilitate an atmosphere that engages people in God’s presence. After all, like the three servants Jesus spoke about in Matthew 25:14, our Father has entrusted us with resources, some small, some large. No matter the size, He wants us to invest it in His people and listen to the gift He gave us. A God given “gut check” called the Holy Spirit.
Are you listening to your “gut check”?