Three Tenets for Production Survival

Spending the better part of my life serving others through music and show production has given me the opportunity to develop three basic credos I use frequently. It may surprise you that none of these are technical in nature. I’ve always been a firm believer that my brain power is what I need to survive, NOT my technical skill. So let’s go...

I’m the Right Person for the Job

Say it with me. “I’m the right person for the job.”

Say it again now for real—yes, actually speak it out loud.

Did you really do it?

Well at least humor me and mutter it under your breath. Go.

When I get overwhelmed with the enormity of a project or the sheer quantity of tasks on my list I recall this exact statement of simple truth. Once upon a time, somewhere out there, someone utilized their own wisdom and judgement and elected to put their faith in me. They BELIEVED in me. Take a second to ponder exactly how huge this is—epic actually. Epic in that we all get to be included in a creative process, making something out of nothing. Someone is willing to share their personal and sometimes private world with us in the hope that we can help make the result better. That’s one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive.

So when faced with the reality and complexity of what my responsibilities are, I remember simply that TODAY I’m the right person for the job. Someone believed in me enough to hire me, so I need to grab the reins and do this task to the best of my ability. Make it a habit to speak this into your own life—some days you may be the only one who does, but who cares? I’ll speak it out loud as much as I can to remind me that I’m exactly where God wants me, doing exactly what He has set in motion for my life.

Don’t be a Yes Person

As I wander onto this lake of thin ice, I remember that I’m a professional who has nothing but the utmost respect for those I work for. But here’s the deal, there are far too many that blindly say yes to everyone thinking it’s the respectful thing to do. Come on! Really? If that’s what you think, you can stop reading and go find someone to say yes to but for those who think there’s more to the story—read on.

Every one of us have unique situations. Unique equipment, unique staff, unique skill sets. We should be on top of our game enough to know when a request may exceed our capability, and have the guts to say no or offer another suggestion. Use your knowledge and experience to your advantage! Bring that amazing free will to the table and contribute. This is how you can make a difference.

If I had been hired just to be a yes person, they could’ve found someone MUCH easier to deal with than me. Although it’s an enormous responsibility, I have to continually determine when it’s appropriate and respectful to disagree or share a dissenting view. I’ll be the first to say that you have to choose wisely how and when this fits in to your particular dynamic but seriously, did you really believe someone invited you to the table for you to just say yes all the time?

Speak Your Mind

This can be a tough one. Admittedly, this seems to be something that comes hard for most people. It’s SO much simpler to just keep your views to yourself but seriously, make the most productive use of your time and speak up! When it’s time to put something in action, you may actually have to compose a sentence, open your mouth, and utter some words. Be prepared. Be verbal, learn to actually contribute to the collective.

Being one that thrives on having a voice, I greatly appreciate that I’m given the opportunity to speak my mind. Always careful to not squander this opportunity carelessly, I have had to learn the art of how to contribute in a constructive manner. I’ll level with you, the culture in the COTM production and creative circles can be extremely direct. But when it comes to what we’re working on, this brutal honesty has paved the way for some of our best work. Team members having the freedom to speak their minds has made this a truly beneficial forum.

I’ll leave you with this — Remember the encouraging words Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:58, “Dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.”

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Andrew Stone
Production Manager
Andrew Stone is the Production Manager and Audio Director at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. His 27 years of touring experience have brought a unique, and sometimes unorthodox, perspective to his approach towards production in the church. He has been a key part of changing the culture behind COTM's live events and he loves sharing his knowledge with other churches. He's been married for 20 years, rarely wears anything but black, and genuinely loves to rock. You can find him on Twitter (@stone_rocks), Instagram (stone.rocks), and is a blog contributor on Seeds, COTM's free resource site.
@stone_rocks