In Your Hands

This last week, I attended MxU: Chicago, which is an intimate audio training session with some of the best audio techs in the church world. During this one-day event, we heard from skilled professionals talk through their gear, how they sound-check and several other things. But what stuck with me more than anything else was how content they appeared to be to work with what they had.

Now, these techs are definitely in situations where the average church tech might be jealous of the gear they get to play with on a weekly basis, but it was obvious that those on stage are professional enough to be able to work in any type of audio environment. 

The Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ He said, ‘A staff.’
— Exodus 4:2

Exodus 3 and 4 has always been a section of scripture that sticks out to me. Moses is drawn in by the sight of a burning bush, only to find himself in the presence of God. As God reveals his plan to free the people of Israel, Moses finds himself at the center of it. Of course, ever the confident guy, Moses questions his ability to lead God's people.

"Why would they believe me?" Moses questioned.

And God's reply is to ask Moses about the mundane staff in Moses' hand. A staff that is used to protect sheep in a wild desert. A staff that is beaten, scarred and bearing the marks of a peasant in the presence of mighty Pharaoh.  

But God can use a staff.

God will use what's in our hands.

When it comes to working in church production, we can all dream of having better equipment. If only we had this soundboard or that camera. Maybe if we had this lighting, or this many people on staff, we could pull it off.

But sometimes...that's not really what matters.

What matters is that we do our best with what's in our hands. Or maybe it's this way: What matters is that we let God make the best of what is in our hands. 

I learned to mix sound on a beat-up analog board from 1983. I used that board until 2003. 

I learned every inch of that board and maximized it for all it was worth. Would I have loved to have a digital console with all the bells and whistles? Of course...but a digital board would not have helped me learn to mix any faster. I still had to learn. In fact, I might offer that if I had started with a digital board, I probably wouldn't have learned what I know today.

By having the "limitations" given to me, I was forced to learn and manipulate that board for all it was worth. My first video was attaching two VCRs together and recording back and forth. My first light show was flipping wall switches on and off. 

By using what was in my hand, I learned the basics of everything I do today for a living. 

What is in your hand? What can you use today to maximize the story of God? 

As I listened to these professionals at MxU, I could tell they had paid their dues by using what was in their all times. And I try to do the same. If we are willing to use what is in our hands for God, then we will see God use those hands to tell a truly amazing story.