Unleashing Growth Through Pushing Boundaries: Embracing Challenges in Tech Ministry

At first glace of this post tile, the prospect of burnout may come to mind. Not saying no? But, Shaun, didn’t you just say there’s power in saying no? OK, I did. But sometimes there’s merit in saying “yes” … would you believe me if I said you can experience growth through pushing boundaries? Sometimes saying “yes” is what leads to innovation. It’s about being open to pushing boundaries and going beyond our perceived limits. Let’s delve into a story about the importance of embracing opportunities that seem daunting at first glance.


Embracing the Christmas Concert Challenge

A few years back, as our team geared up for the annual Christmas Concert, we sat around a table, planning the grand festivities. With stage layouts, input lists, and the task of coordinating 13 vocalists, the challenges seemed overwhelming. Ideas like snow machines, low-lying fog, and lasers were added to the mix. Despite the magnitude of the task, I never once said, “No, I can’t do that.” (And this is a general idea I’ve embraced since then.)

The main hurdle we faced was having more than 60 inputs but only a 48-input snake. I had to think outside the box and implement additional audio consoles to sub-mix certain instruments and integrate additional wireless systems. I also incorporated software effects processing to enhance the cover songs we planned to perform. Acquiring twenty 50-pound CO2 tanks, four snow machines, and two CO2 foggers was the easier part of the challenge.

As rehearsals began, we encountered a few bumps, particularly with getting everyone’s monitors to sound just right. Our worship leader and creative arts pastor approached me, concerned about these issues and whether we would be ready in time. I assured them that we had a tech rehearsal scheduled before the dress rehearsal to address any glitches. I explained that we were venturing into uncharted territory with our equipment capabilities.

My worship pastor asked, “Why didn’t you tell us during the planning meeting that you couldn’t handle it?” My response was simple: “I’m not paid to say no.” If there’s a possibility of making it happen, I will go above and beyond to achieve it. As long as no one’s safety was at risk, I believed that with time we could overcome the challenges.

I share this story because I believe that as production professionals we sometimes get stuck in our routines and hesitate to push the boundaries of our gear or our knowledge.  However, incredible things can happen when we let ourselves experience growth through pushing boundaries.


The Rewards of Accepting Challenges

In the end, the Christmas season went off without a hitch. The snow machines sprinkled snow during “Silent Night,” the low-lying fog created a mesmerizing atmosphere, and the bands sounded  massive (in a good way). What initially seemed like an overwhelming project turned into a fantastic success. By not immediately jumping to “no” when faced with a project that seemed beyond our capabilities, we discovered creative solutions and reaped the rewards of growth and innovation. Sometimes pushing boundaries in tech is totally worth it.

I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes. 

– Bob Goff

Saying “yes” to challenges that initially appear overwhelming can lead to so much personal and professional growth. My team and I have achieved so much over the years with the attitude that nothing is impossible.  Embracing opportunities to push the boundaries of our skills and equipment opens doors to innovation and rewards that go beyond what we thought possible. As tech professionals, let’s step out of our comfort zones, embrace the unknown, and find creative ways to make things happen. 

What is something you took a risk on that paid off big?

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