I am currently listening to a recorded book called Neptune’s Inferno, which is about the US Navy’s battle with the Japanese over the island of Guadalcanal. As I have been going through the book, the author, James Hornfischer has done a masterful job of writing the narrative of all the different ships and the people who worked on them.
Part of the story of World War Two in the pacific is about the many technological advances the Navy had put into all their ships and how in many ways, they were on the cutting edge of technology. Sonar and radar just being a couple of examples. But just because they had the latest and greatest in technology, didn’t mean everyone was using it effectively.
Here is one quote from the book that seemed to apply beyond naval warfare, to where most of us live:
“Tools do not make the craftsman.”
In the area of production in the local church, having the most advanced technology isn’t necessarily the answer, especially if you don’t have the people who understand how to use it.
For many of us, making the most out of the tools that are right in front of us is the first step to great production. If you aren’t a “craftsman” when it comes to audio or video or lighting, having the newest LED fixture, or the latest plug-in, or a 4K camera, isn’t going to turn you into a craftsman.
Working diligently to master your craft is going to turn you into a craftsman.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the “10,000-hour rule”, which basically says that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a specific task.
Are you putting in the time to develop your craft? Or are you blaming your lousy tools on why things aren’t better?
From another perspective, are you putting your time in on the wrong craft? Maybe no amount of hours will make you a craftsman at a particular task. I’m sure I could spend 10,000 hours trying to become a competitive short distance runner…and I’m fairly confident that I wouldn’t win any races. Getting the latest plug-in for your console isn’t necessarily going to make you a great audio engineer.
At most of our churches, we don’t have the resources to be on the cutting edge of technology, but when we are entrusted with the church’s funds to purchase the next new thing, are we confident that we have mastered what we already have?