Congratulations to Ben Salzmann, Technical Arts Director at Topeka Bible Church, and the stage design team on making the Church Stage Design Ideas blog site. Click on over to “Dot Panels | Church Stage Design Ideas” to read more about the panels of glowing dots.
Lots of changes are ahead for me and my family. To bring you up to speed, here’s the letter than began circulating September 26, 2013.
In mid-October, my family and I will move to Liberty, MO to serve as the worship pastor at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.
My heart sank as I wrote that first sentence. Trying to reword it to make the pain more bearable. There’s no way around it.
Simply put, God has moved – and we cannot ignore when God works. I can assure you it does not include being encouraged to leave, secret meetings, or anything of the sort. This is God at work. Period.
God’s into seasonal work sometimes. There’s no doubt — God clearly had wired me for this past season at Topeka Bible Church. During that time, we’ve all grown. And now, there’s no doubt God clearly has wired me for what this next season at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church needs. There’s no doubt God will bring exactly what TBC needs for her next season too.
Leaving Topeka Bible Church is not a comfortable choice for us. In fact, we’ve kind of been going kicking and screaming for awhile now. We are still learning what it means to follow God, with real action behind it – even when it requires pain. Following God’s lead when He’s obviously working isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s downright painful. It’s the same painful process my family experienced when we left a church we had served at for 11 years to move to Topeka in 2007. Regardless of the pain, if you follow God’s lead, you simply can’t go wrong. God has a incredible way of turning sorrow and sadness into joy and opportunity.
There are challenges ahead. There always are if you follow God’s whisper. It’s a bit like jumping from an airplane. It’s scary, thrilling, dangerous, and more. But if you have a parachute strapped to your back, you can trust it. Would you pray, specifically, for our kids? Joshua, Kayla, and Tyler will have significant adjustments ahead. You’ve been their world. Pray God uses this transition to shape them to become more like Jesus.
From a very grateful place in our hearts, my wife and I and our kids owe an enormous “thank you” we will never be able to convey. You have been an incredible church family to us. We will miss what’s so eternal about God’s kingdom – the relationships.
All our love,
Bryan and Lisa
Since the letter went out — a lot has happened. And there’s more coming…
- Our home in Topeka sold in 3 hours after the first showing. That surprised us. Not God though.
- We received a verbal acceptance of an offer on a home in Kansas City just this afternoon. That’s comforting.
- Ben Salzmann, Technical Arts Director at Topeka Bible Church, will be at the helm during the gap period. He’ll be great! He’s capable and not much ruffles his feathers.
- The TBC Light Show will take place as the light show leadership team executes it. I’m looking forward to seeing them fly on their own. In the words of a valuable team player from last year, all Bryan did last year was buy us lunch. He’s right.
- Last official day in the office at TBC is October 16th.
- Our Topeka home closes November 1st.
- The Liberty home closes November 11th or a few days earlier.
What on earth are you here for? Seriously. Why did God create you — and why now — and what for? Ben Salzmann, Topeka Bible Church’s Tech Arts Director wrote a blog post about a “greater calling.” Take a minute to read his post Where to begin over at bensalzmann.com. You might ask yourself “what on earth are you here for.” Ben’s blog will answer that for you.
Here’s how his post begins…
In the business of the day to day here, it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. When it seems like theres an endless list of things on your weekly to-do list, you can quickly lose focus and only see all the things you have to do. For me, sure, it may seem easy to think that since I work in a church, I’m just a saint who is always focused on ministry at all times. Well, this may surprise you, but actually just like the rest of the world, I can lose sight of that so easily when things get crazy and I lose my focus. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Surely I’m not employed by Topeka Bible Church for the sole purpose of pushing faders and plugging in microphones. There’s a greater calling.
I went bowling with my family at a family camp last week. But in the bowling alley, someone physically had to set up the pins. That’s old school. In many churches, someone is a pin setter. And others knock the pins down. In the best cases, paid-staff set the pins…while the unpaid-staff (some call them volunteers) knock them down. In the worst cases, paid-staff does both the setting and knocking (no development).
I just experienced how our tech arts team did both. After being empowered, they set up the pins AND knocked them down. When the tech arts team did it — they moved from simply serving as a volunteer into the category of “unpaid-staff” in my book. The end result was featured as “Tangled Boxes” on Church Stage Design Ideas website.
What makes this stage design different is what happened behind the scenes. It was completely driven by a talented team of servant technical artists — after paid leadership gave them the green light. We were without a full-time Technical Arts Director (and part-time tech assistant, mind you) at the time. Even I did not pitch in. They setup the pins. They knocked them down.
Churches would kill to have a team that pulls something like this off – without the help of paid-staff. Hats off to Carrie Davidson, Brian Budden, Michael Allen, Dave Packard, Sam Reid, and many more who pitched in to create the last stage design. It’s a great picture of how teams can be (should be) equipped to execute ministry…instead of paid-staff executing ministry. Paid-staff sets up the pins, the unpaid-staff serve and knock the pins down. In this case, the tech arts team played both roles. They set the pins up AND knocked them down. Frankly, they knocked them out of the park. Way to go!
Side Note: Each stage design points to the creativity God has Himself and has planted in His creation, including you and me. This last one also had me thinking that God is at work in our tangles life — for a common purpose and goal, and it ends up being beautiful. Maybe you drew your own conclusion when you experienced the worship environment with this last design.
Here’s a snippet of the article. Hit up the link to read the whole thing.
This stage design was the first (and only) design completed without the aid of a full-time tech director. As such, they aimed to have a design that could be constructed in pieces, ahead of when the design would have to be placed on the stage.
The box frames were constructed…
Read the entire article via Tangled Boxes | Church Stage Design Ideas.
Are you a pin setter? Do you knock pins down? Do you do both? Why? Who are you training to be a pin setter? Who are you empowering to bowl?