Sometimes, we learn things the hard way. You did something you’ll never do again because you realized it was a bad decision, like giving a toddler a Sharpy in a room with white walls. Or things turned into a horrific mess, like blowing a “technical” red light. You know what I’m talking about, right?

There are many more than just these, but here are five things you should never do in the tech booth.

1. Don’t talk trash on the Clearcom systems.

Just don’t do it. It always ends badly. I don’t know what those headsets do to our brains when we have them on; but I feel like people talk so much smack when they’re on. First of all, if you’re living and acting in a posture of grace and love, you wouldn’t do that. Second of all, some systems are larger than others, but this could potentially happen on any of them. Wouldn’t you be mortified if your boss or even worse, your mother, just happened to eavesdrop on one of those conversations? I sure hope you have that sinking, guilty feeling in your stomach just thinking about that right now.

2. Don’t stay in the booth the whole time.

Just because it’s your designated area and you protect it like a prized possession and you don’t let people near the console to look at anything as if it’s an Area 51 secret, doesn’t mean you should spend your whole time in the booth. If you’re an audio engineer, walk the room and listen to everything you can. If you’re a lighting director, get an idea of what it looks like on stage or in that far corner. Or projection… Well, you just sit there and click the slides. Just kidding. Talk to the worship leader after they’re done to make sure you know how the arrangements work so you’re spot on or the production director so you’re sure of all your cues. Connect, move, and function as part of the body.[quote]Connect, move, and function as part of the body.[/quote]

3. Don’t put drinks next to the gear.

I know it’s early and you want your coffee. I’ve had incidents before that cost way more than they needed to because of carelessness. It’s a few bucks for mugs with lids, or if there isn’t sensitive gear on the floor of the booth, put it there. If you kick it over, it’s not as big of a deal as if you knocked it over onto that mixing console or computer sitting on the desk. Be a good steward of what God has blessed your church with and be careful with your drinks.

4. Don’t read the input list for the first time on Sunday morning.

Be prepared! Know what you’re mixing, who you’re lighting, or what cues you’re firing before the day of. Sometimes, it can’t be helped. But if you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand, you can be much more helpful and better at what you’re doing.

5. Don’t bury your face in your cell phone.

Be present and pay attention. I can’t begin to tell you how annoyed I get when I see someone playing with their phone or texting when they should be paying attention to the next cue. If the communication isn’t to fix a huge problem or in reference to the show you are running, put your phone away.[quote]Remember you have the huge privilege of helping make it all happen.[/quote]

So what should you do in the tech booth? Enjoy your job. Enjoy the service. Remember you have the huge privilege of helping make it all happen. Don’t take that responsibility lightly or for granted.

But now it’s your turn. What things drive you crazy? What things have you banned from your tech booth? Let the stories begin.

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