This past weekend I was invited to spend time with a church in Michigan. This church asked me to join their team for the whole weekend for two primary purposes. First, they wanted me to help create visuals and provide direction with their environmental projection and triplewide setup for the big kids ministry event they were doing for Father’s Day. Second, the associate pastor asked if I would spend time with his tech, creative and worship teams, pouring into them my beliefs on the role of visuals in the church with encouragement and inspiration.
We spent hours together preparing for their big kids ministry production and had an opportunity to talk a lot about being visual worship leaders, the importance of space and stillness, the command to follow Christ first, and many other technical “how to’s” that have to deal with the church and visual worship.
After hours of prep work (even well before my arrival) the lighting team entered the first cue into the console right as the doors were being opened to the sanctuary. This was when all the issues began to surface. The lighting fixtures wouldn’t move. Completely unresponsive. For crying out loud, we had just had a flawless rehearsal.
So the technical team and I began to do our best to troubleshoot the issues. We reset the lights, power cycled the board, traced down our DMX paths and removed the optispliter (for those who aren’t lighting people, we tried everything!)
So we went through our first service without any lighting cues and only solid colors that we could use from fixtures that were on a different lightning circuit (or for the tech savvy that are following along, another universe of DMX). The congregation loved it and the kids were phenomenal.
Then it hit me. Of all the teaching I had done that weekend, this was the most crucial lesson we would all learn:
Gods not interested nearly as much in where we end, but rather the journey we take in the process of getting to the end.
I shared with my team this statement and tweeted something very similar. Encouraging them, I said that God has seen all the hard work and countless hours that have been put into place for this special event. He saw the sacrifice you made when you choose to be at the countless rehearsals instead of being with your family or doing something for yourself. He knows your heart and desire to make it look great… But here’s the truth, God doesn’t care about this production. He cares about the process you went through and are going through during this production WITH HIM!
It’s true. Have you ever looked back on a dark season of your life or a time when you felt like God had abandoned all your hard work on a project for nothing? I’m guessing that you realize now that you were on a journey and that journey allowed you to learn something about yourself and about the character of God.
He’s always faithful. He’s always relationally minded. Which means He’s always more focused on the process over the production.