I met with a couple of technical artists the other day, to talk about their worship space and figure out ways we could make it better. Even though they had a long way to go, they were doing the best they could with what they had. It was excellent.
For the most part, this was a scene I’ve been a part of many times. However, in this particular instance, there was one major difference: their church existed in prison. Angola Federal Penitentiary to be specific. When you layer that into the equation, what they’re doing is amazing! Here were a couple of technical artists, just like me…interested in the best gear for the job, wanting to do excellent work, passionate about the local church. However, the number of obstacles that they have to deal with are far greater than any I can remember coming up against.
This experience helped me realize a couple of things. What we get to do as technical artists in the local church is helping change people’s lives. Whether they are in your church, my church, or one of the 29 churches at Angola, what we do helps to facilitate the preaching of God’s word. We are a part of bringing hope to people. Seeing these men passionate about reaching their fellow inmates, really made me think about how I approach my own role. Am I that passionate? How connected am I to the idea of bringing hope to people through my role as a technical artist?
The other thing I noticed is that the phrase “the local church is the hope of the world” is so true. It isn’t just true in my town, but it is true everywhere. God designed the body of Christ to provide the hope of Christ to this world, and that is nowhere more evident than in the prison camp chapels at Angola Prison. In a place that has the potential to be the most devoid of hope, these men are bringing the hope of Christ to thousands of people in some of the most hopeless situations.
Maybe one more thing…these were some of the most joy-filled tech people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around. They have less gear, fewer resources, more red tape, less hope than I can even fathom and yet they are exhibiting more fruit of the spirit than most tech people I know put together.
Given my circumstances, how much joy am I exuding? You?