gravity and levity

Not just two words that end in -vity.

The work that we do as technical artists in the local church, tends to fall in the category of intense.

Not only is there a level of intensity around doing live events, but there is something about doing something different every week, that makes a lot of the process more last-minute than any of us would like.  Not surprisingly, this doesn’t make things less intense.  Flying by the seat of your pants is how most of us end up working.

So not only are live events intense, and not only are different live events each week intense but doing them in the church, where it is easy to get wrapped up in eternal issues, is where the gravity comes into play.

When you talk about creating a distraction-free environment, it is because we don’t want anything to get in the way of people hearing the message of Christ.  If someone isn’t able to hear because production is getting in the way, this weighs heavily on the technical artist in the local church.

I take my role very seriously, as we all should.

OK, so we’ve established that being a technical artist in the local church can be intense and be accompanied by loads of gravity.  So if things are going to be intense regardless, I’d like to enjoy the process along the way.  Levity.

I’m not saying that every meeting or each moment in the booth should be about cracking jokes, but I would say that there isn’t any reason to not have fun as we are serving the church together.

(Side note: I’m not talking about having fun at the expense of other people, which can be easy to do in the cynical world of the production booth.)

I have a theory that most people start serving in production because they like production-y things.  They keep serving because they love the people on their team.

Creating levity on your team could look many different ways.  It could be a light atmosphere while serving together.  It could be picnics or field trips outside the normal serving time.

For those of you who know me, you know that I love to laugh.  I like to enjoy myself while working on a big project.  This in no way diminishes my commitment to our team’s missions statement:  “to create life-changing moments through the fusion of the technical and performing arts.”  I am very serious about this lofty idea.

However, it does mean that I want to have fun while working really hard.  The goal isn’t to have fun.  The goal is to accomplish the mission, and having fun along the way is part of the journey.

Deal with the gravity of what we do by introducing levity into how your team functions.  If I don’t enjoy the process, I will eventually be crushed by gravity.

What are some ways that you can stop taking yourself so seriously? 

Where can you introduce levity to your team’s experience? 

How can you balance out the gravity of what you do with the opportunity to enjoy yourself along the way?

  • “I have a theory that most people start serving in production because they like production-y things. They keep serving because they love the people on their team.”

    What a great summary and reminder for me as I develop a team! Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment Micah. Cool production isn’t enough to hold people’s attention. At some point, it loses it’s shine. Relationships and community are the things that have the long term potential to be life changing and are worth the effort.

  • Brent Richardson May 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    why you start, and why you stay… totally, dead on true! And my hat’s off to you, Todd and all of the staff. Everywhere I have served at Willow, the value of gravity and levity really comes through.

    • Thanks Brent. If we are going to work hard, let’s at least have fun while doing it. Life is difficult enough, so why not introduce some levity when possible? It has been great serving with you!

  • Todd, to further develop the sentence I quoted from your article – I think it goes a bit further than your reference. There is a certain group of people in the church that will naturally gravitate towards the tech team because they like tech stuff. These people are looking to join our teams, but there often isn’t enough of them to staff all of our production needs. To expand our teams to that next tier of volunteers, then ones that don’t naturally gravitate towards tech gear, we have to create a place where people love to serve. We have to create a team where people who’s first love isn’t tech gear, but who enjoy the tech ministry, can find community. That’s been my challenge as I look to grow our team.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thanks for subscribing!

Please check your email for confirmation and a link to watch the video.

Watch a top rated talk from our founder, Todd Elliott, titled “You Are An Artist” for free when you subscribe to receive our FILO emails.