Worship Services and The Flight Recorder: How to improve after things crash

Flr4The flight recorder, or "black box" as it is called on the street, is a good analogy for how to improve worship services–especially the production aspects.  When a plane crashes, the flight recorder logs data and the cockpit chatter to help determine what caused the accident.  Was it mechanical or operator error?  Can this issue be fixed with existing technology or by a new procedure.

Sometimes a worship service crashes either at take off or when you are cruising.  Our version of a flight recorder is a journal we keep at each of our two main A/V booths for our five worship services.  We worship in two locations five times with three styles of worship.  If there is a glitch, frustration, or something distracting in the service the binder is where that is noted.  Anyone on my teams can journal in it, especially those who are in the "producer" role.

So far, we have kept record of a lot of things.  But, our task is not simply engineering or technology it is people-oriented and creative.  So this means that our flight recorder includes face-to-face time to listen to all parties involved.  In these meetings I can get more information and possibly solution as time progresses.

What I have told my worship people today is that they need to own the ministry.  This worship ministry is not mine.  I am the servant who guards the vision, but they are the contributors who help make the vision a reality.  They help shape the vision and I help facilitate the process of empowering them as my staff and volunteers to move us forward.

The old-school leadership model of leader as expert, superior-grand-pubah and person on a pedestal just does not work in creative ministry or any ministry model for that matter.  My role as a leader/visionary is to get out of the way, not create something in my image, appeasing narcissistic goals.  The dream is that as a leader I can learn better how to serve and elevate my team so that our mission is a success.

The flight recorder is a good idea.  It is also something to think about when trying to improve everything from running rehearsals to solving A/V glitches.  It can only work, however, if people on my team feel empowered and own our ministry.

Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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