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Church Sound Files: Learning How To Hand It Off
We should strive to be remembered by the people we've served, and empower our teams to do the job better than we can.
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This article is provided by ChurchTechArts.

The first Wednesday of this month marked the sixth Night of Worship we’ve had at Coast Hills since I started there.

Most importantly, it was the first one that I really didn’t have anything to do. That was kind of a weird feeling, but it was a good one.

Normally, I’ve mixed FOH for those events, but I wanted to give Isaiah a shot. Just as I suspected, he knocked it out of the park.

And while I may have spent a few hours up front helping with the stage set up, and mixing monitors (standing on stage, with my iPad!), after the band got rolling, I actually left the room and didn’t even show up until it was time to start!

If you’ve not been doing this whole TD thing that long, you might think that’s heresy; but I’m here to tell you, the goal should be to hand it off.

Basically, that’s what I did. Isaiah had audio well under control. Daniel, one of my star lighting guys (who’s still in high school) capably handled lighting.

Monica was doing fine with presentation. I didn’t need to be there. Once the event got underway, our other star lighting tech, Thomas, showed up in the booth, just to hang out.

It was pretty cool for me to stand there and watch my team totally rock it, and just enjoy worship!

I’ve said for a long time, one of our goals as TDs should be to work ourselves out of a job.

Not literally of course, but we should be working toward a point where we don’t need to be hands-on for the service to come together. Ideally, we shouldn’t even need to be in the room.

You might be tempted to think that taking such a hands-off approach is the lazy way out; but it’s not.

It’s actually a lot harder than just doing it yourself. I’ve spent the last two years working really hard to develop my people and my systems to a point where they can do it themselves, and do it well.

And sometimes, when problems crop up, it’s a lot easier to to just jump in and fix it rather than let them work through it. I resist jumping in as much as I can because I want my team to grow and learn.

Others may worry about our teams becoming better at the craft than we are, as if they may rise up and steal our jobs one day.

My friend Van and I talk about that a lot and we both agree that we hope our teams get to be better than we are at this whole tech thing. In fact, if at least some of them don’t, we won’t feel like we’ve really done our jobs all that well.

I was reading something some where the other day (I wish I could remember where) that said in essence, we should strive to be remembered not by the things we’ve achieved, the stuff we’ve amassed or the by the success of our career.

Rather, we should strive to be remembered by the people we’ve served. If we empower our teams to do the job better than we can, we have not only served them well, we’ve served the Body well. Hopefully, we will set them on a path to do the same thing.

And that is a legacy worth leaving.

Are you at a point with your team where you can comfortably step aside from time to time? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Mike Sessler is the Technical Director at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, CA. He has been involved in live production for over 20 years and is the author of the blog, Church Tech Arts . He also hosts a weekly podcast called Church Tech Weekly on the TechArtsNetwork.

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