In John 6 we find Jesus with his disciples. This lovely story has been told a thousand times over and I am sure you know it well. Jesus is about to do something quite incredible. He is about to feed five-thousand people….but before we get to that, lets take a look at the really incredible aspect of this story that is consistently overlooked.
Jesus, seeing the crowd, turned to his disciples and asked them a very basic question – “What do you have?” Such an easy question! Now, the great part of all of this is that Jesus already knew the situation they were in. He knew they had no food….except for the young boy with the fish and bread. The disciples returned with the boys food and, well, you know He didn’t steal it from the boy! So he must have asked, “Can I use that?” From there, Jesus would go on to feed over 5000 people….how incredible is that?!
Here’s the overlooked part – Jesus, knowing the situation they were in, asked two questions – “What do you have” and “Can I use that?” You see, the reality is that Jesus asks each and every one of us the same question. He knows what we have (our talents and abilities) but He doesn’t force us to follow Him – He simply states, “Follow me (Can I use that)?” You and I can’t feed 5000 people – but Jesus can.
God wants to use your talents and your abilities…and well, many of the talents and abilities that people have in the church have gone hidden for far too long. And not only have they been hidden, the have been often overlooked!
There are quite a few people who are often overlooked when it comes to praise….especially when it comes to the church. I am grateful for the many who have written about the importance of those who serve “behind the scenes” in the Lords church. The custodians, the office staff, the class volunteers, the greeters, and more – so grateful for these wonderful few!
In this article I’d love to highlight the three positions that are often overlooked in todays churches when it comes to praise and appreciation. In fact, most people don’t even realize these people are even doing anything at all unless something goes wrong. Who are these guys?
- The sound engineer – this unsung hero makes sure that the word of God can be heard each and every week during the worship services. He adjusts mic levels, makes sure there is no feedback, and adjusts on the fly to different voice types and speaker height differences. This may seem unimportant or even minute – but just wait till the one Sunday morning when he doesn’t show up and see what happens!
- The PowerPoint/ProPresenter guy – this guy is the one changing the slides each week when you are using the “paperless hymnal.” Since the transition from songbooks to projectors, this position has become incredibly vital to any given Sunday morning worship. From changing the song slides on cue (and with musical timing!) to helping the preacher out with his sermon transitions, this guy is incredibly important. Again, just wait till he is not longer there and you’ll soon understand his incredible value.
- The Live-Streaming/Video Production guy – Due to the wonders of modern medicine, we now have up to 5 or even 6 generations currently living within our churches – what an awesome problem to have! With this, we have many more shut-ins than the church has ever seen in its history….and now we have a solution that allows them to continue to feel part of the services – live streaming. From the comfort of their homes they can now hear the sermons, enjoy the singing, and watch at their own leisure. But it is not just the shut-ins that are benefitting from this service – more and more people are able to enjoy sermons from preachers all over the world! Preachers in India can learn from master preachers in the states, missionaries can connect and be encouraged by their home congregations, and preaching schools can learn from preaching experts through connecting to a live stream. These guys are changing the world and making Him known in all of it!
So, take a moment this coming Sunday and do something incredibly overdue – thank your sound engineers, powerpoint guys, and your video production guys. Thank them for their work and for their continued support each and every Sunday in the worship services. Thank them for their devotion – many of them have been in that back room for years!
And if you really want to thank them, give them a Sunday off every once in a while. Want to know how? Start by thanking them – people respond well to being appreciated. Second, help them train the next generation of servants. There are many who are just waiting to be asked!
It is time to stop overlooking the invisible ones. They have been in the back room long enough.
From me and my guys, thank you, invisible ones. Thank you for being you and for using your talents to glorify God. Thank you for making the world a better place and for serving. We are made better because of you.
God bless you.