Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker
Yoda and Luke Skywalker
Jedi and Padawan
Clearly, the Jedi Order values training the next generation!
I was a Church Tech Padawan
When I was thirteen years old, I was given the job of church sound guy. This was before I had any training or had demonstrated any real aptitude for technology. Fortunately, I was tutored and trained by a veteran church tech. In the end, I served as my church’s sound guy for seven years before moving on to another area of ministry.
It’s now fifteen years later, and I still remember (and use) much of what I was taught. Of course, inputs, outputs, amp, ohms—I don’t get to use all that know-how on a daily basis, but the knack for solving problems and the self-confidence that these skills provide have helped me all throughout my career.
Now, I’m the Jedi
Because I know the value of training padawans in the “force”—or, if you’re feeling King James-y, “passing on the mantel of church tech”—I’m constantly on the lookout for young people whom I can train and mentor. Especially mentor. I have a great father who has taught me a lot about being a man, but a young person can never have too many loving adults speak into his or her life. That veteran church tech who taught me how to be a sound guy? He also modeled a different style of manhood, different from my father’s, that has also helped to shape me as an individual.
That said, I have two young men that I’m working with, though in the earliest stages, as leaders in my youth group. As I work with these guys, I’ll begin by modeling leadership—explaining my actions as I go—and slowly transition them into small, safe positions of leadership. Whether or not they stay with youth ministry or not, the point is that they’re learning how to lead by example, with a servant’s heart. And as far as mentoring goes, I’m not trying to replace or supplement what their own fathers are doing. I’m just trying to be another positive, godly voice speaking into their lives.
Church Tech as a Front for the Force
So, other than a vague Star Wars-based theme and a personal anecdote, what does this have to do with church tech? Fair question. I feel like it’s far easier to speak wisdom into someone’s life while doing something else in the foreground. Church tech work might be one of the greatest options for such an undertaking. There’s usually ton of work to do and only a few volunteers. Finding a young person who’s willing to help and excited to learn about technology isn’t as hard as you might think. So, don’t be afraid to make tech training a front for mentoring. Let them think that they’re just lifting rocks with their mind. In reality, they’re learning how to live life like an adult.
Were you a church tech padawan?
Who is your padawan?