Church Tech: The Top 1%
In Colossians 3, Paul urges believers to put to death their old self and put on the new. To those who labor, he exhorts: “Work heartily, as for the Lord and not
for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24). It’s an overused cliche to say that church tech is a thankless job because we know that is. At least it is if the thanks are expected on this side of eternity. Yet, occasionally, fruits of the labor do present themselves in ways that are completely unexpected and praiseworthy.
Last week, I received an email stating that I am now in the Top 1% of researchers on Academia.edu, the top online resource for current scholarly research.My first instinct obviously was, “wow, cool!” My next thought, however, complete humility and awe. I am humbled because I know that my completed works are not for my own honor or pleasure but in order to build up the church and those tech artists responsible for managing our worship services. I pray daily that with each word I write and book/journal I study that God would offer some nugget of his truth that could be used to lift up the body of Christ, and technical leaders specifically.
The reason for my awe was because of the research material that shot my ranking up. The study of church production was a discipline that I was once told by a pastor would never be needed, and I should drop out of school. I was told to give it up, but my heart knew otherwise. To truly understand the significance of the researcher ranking, it must be known that it came essentially from only 4 papers posted, all of which are based on the theological implications of church technical arts. In a very short time, they have been bookmarked, cited, and referenced by a wide range of esteemed biblical scholars and researchers. Therefore, this is about technical arts finally getting the scholarly interest and respect that is so often overlooked by church leadership. It demonstrates there is a real concern by biblical scholars to understand how the church ought to use technology in its liturgical practices and what that means theologically. So often, church tech is thrown to the back of the room and ignored until things go wrong, and then blamed when things do. As an essential part of daily church operations, however, it shows that those who truly care about the theological implications for the church see this area of study as an important one, and one that can (and I pray will) bring a better understanding of the technical arts within liturgical practice, in order that others may experience the beauty of God in worship, coming to true repentance and faith.
For the past couple years I held dear to my heart the belief that church tech is an under-served ministry in both organizational and pastoral support. This “Top 1%” ranking proves that it is not I who deserve the recognition, but every church technical artist who serves tirelessly day in and day out, giving sacrificially of themselves in ways that most people would never know. So to all church tech… Thank You, and keep up the good work! Your artistic offering does not go unnoticed and will be eternally rewarded. Your tireless effort is a true example of how God becomes glorified in and through his people.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
If you desire to check out the various research papers, they are available here:
1) Wisdom: Applied Skill that Produces Excellence
2) Tekhne: Mastering Selah, Maskil, and Shiginoth
3) Purified: Spirit-Cleansed Creativity
4) Beauty: The Art of Presenting Christ through Church Technical Arts
PDF downloads are available at my Academia.edu profile: https://bham.academia.edu/JosiahWay