Sunday, September 5, 2010


I remember going to a church and the keynote speaker of the conference got up in front of the crowd and immediately turned off his lapel microphone and took it off. He smile and said, “I’ve been known to overpower many a microphone. Can everyone here me ok?” I mean, we really had no choice. No one was going to speak up. It was a huge crowd. And you could prolly figure what happened after that.

The next hour he walked around and every time he had his back toward one part of the crowd, that part of the peeps could not hear. It is inevitable that the guy was going to drop in volume, as most speakers do to drive home a very serious and important point. This guy was no exception. The guy was very articulate and clear in his presentation. But the fact was that he needed the mic like anyone else. I don’t know if he had some insecurity within himself, you know, because there is no hiding behind a microphone. Or he actually was pompous enough to think that he voice was the exception. It was not.

This is the same stuff that you hear peeps do at weddings, corporate events and pretty much everywhere. So let me be the voice in the back of your head next time you face this situation – USE THE MICROPHONE. No one can hear you all the time. The first thing that I do when I get to a church or camp or event to speak is find the sound person. I ask that person if I am going to have a mic. When they tell me that I will prolly not need it, I ask for one anyway. It is better to be safe than sorry. If there is someone on the sound board, he or she will be able to control you from the back. If your voice is too loud, then they will turn it down, and visa versa.

Let this be your warning. And better yet, when you are in the crowd next time and someone asks if everyone can hear them… let your voice be heard as the punk heckler in the back with a resounding, “Turn on the mic!” It’s kinda fun.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Small things...

How often do we overlook the little things. When I did my first couple of camps with Cobb iI had the privilege of shadowing him. The camp consisted of about five hundred peeps, students and staff. And Cobb was the one running the whole thing. Even though he had me and the staff running at a pretty high pace doing a million things at once we knew we had to manage. And no matter what I was doing, he would always make sure to pull me from wherever to watch him make the big decisions, you know, concerning program, discipline issues or even finance stuff.

One of the things that he always did was a written critique of every message that was given by the camp speaker. It was awesome. I had seen him do this while I was in his ministry in high school, but now I was on the staff side of it. Over the first coule of years he would ask me for my comments on his critiques before he gave them to the speaker. And then one day he asked me to do the notes on my own. Now, whether he really wanted me to do it or he just didn't have enough time... the point is that he had me do it. It was actually pretty overwhelming. But Kev knew where I was in my ministry and that I could handle it. He trusted me and I did ok the first time. From that point I continued to do it. And I got better with time.

It was something small, but it was significant and meaningful to me, and I knew that Cobb was looking out for me. He never let me get comfortable. It was stuff like that which allowed me to get better at ministry. So I guess my point is for you not to overlook the small stuff. When you are doing ministry and running hard, you will miss stuff. If you do not have someone who is mentoring you to see the stuff that you cannot, I would suggest that you reach out and make it happen. No one is responsible for your growth as a pastor or youth-worker. But if you get a guy like Cobb then you already have the upper hand. Where do you need to improve? The best places are the ones that are pointed out to you cause you don't even know.