- John David Maresco led us in four songs.
- Greg Somerville helped us celebrate communion.
- Joshua Harris announced a few important family items.
- Jon Smith preached on The Priority of Unity from Ephesians 4:1-6.
Before I get into the details of this past service, I want to cover a few items that have been bouncing around in our blog discussions for the last few months.
Checklists | Even though we've been using our checklist system for a while, now, I do still review everyone's checklists each week. I've noticed a general downturn in the completeness of these checklists. As a reminder, the checklists have two purposes: 1) to help you remember the many details for which you are responsible; and 2) to help me identify whether mistakes we make are system problems or execution problems. When you don't complete your checklist, not only do you risk missing a responsibility, you also reduce my ability to see where our systems and plans are weak. With that in mind, please make it a high priority to complete your checklists each weekend.
Sidebar for last weekend: For various reasons, I didn't have checklists printed out for the lighting and sound crew on Saturday. I apologize for that. Just know that my comment above is not directed toward those Saturday checklist items that didn't get marked off.
Sharp Focus Award | We don't have a winner for the sharp focus award, yet, but everyone does seem to be getting better. I noticed only a few out-of-focus shots this time. Remember, I'm taking the first crew to hit perfect focus every time out to lunch after their next serving slot. Week 4 IMAG team, you have the chance to take the prize this coming weekend!
Drums in the PA | I had the pleasure of mixing again this weekend. I enjoyed the unusual band and arrangements. I tried to pay close attention to the level of the drums in the PA. Jesse was playing hard this weekend, but I tried to set the drums in the mix based on the more subjective intensity the provided as opposed to the more objective volume. I think the drums were definitely present in the PA throughout, but the overall level only broke 95dB once. What did you think of the mix overall, and the drums in the mix in particular? Remember, I need you to be especially critical of my mixes, so that I can grow and then help our mixing team grow.
Sound and Staging
Saturday evening was very productive given that the band was not as experienced with getting soundcheck done quickly and the overall time was shortened due to Jenn and Ricky's wedding.
I was mostly happy with the mix. I got one comment that the acoustic cello (yes, there was an electric one, too) sounded more like a violin than a cello during the first song. I definitely agree with that assessment. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on how I can get a really warm, full sound on an acoustic cello even when the musician is playing in the higher octaves of the instrument?
We had a ton of stage changes this weekend, and quick ones at that. I want to thank Nate and his team for being on top of it all, especially for getting up there quickly during the closing prayer to get all the band equipment back in place.
One note to all audio producers: let's keep the pulpit (or pulpits) down on the floor by the stage left confidence monitor, rather than over by the monitor board. When we are not going to use a particular pulpit any more, we can move it back to the monitor board area to declutter the front of the stage. But it definitely makes the transition smoother for the pulpits to come up and go down the front steps than across the stage.
Lighting was great again this weekend. Craig took the time to refocus every light he used, and that really does make all the difference. He used fewer fixtures, only had them at 80%, and he still had a very bright and even stage.
Craig's attention to detail this Sunday also revealed a somewhat mysterious dimmer issue with some house lights in the left gym. Who wants a problem to solve this week?
The video team had a hard job. Jon is a walker. I'd seen him preach before, but I hadn't noticed that he was such a mover. Camera 1 had it hardest, for sure, but all the camera ops were working. Thanks for trying so hard to keep up with him. In cases like this where we have a new - and quick - pastor, I will allow you to zoom out a smidge (just a smidge) in order to make following little easier. It's going to be tough no matter what, though.
As a warning, Jerry Bridges is preaching next Sunday, and he hardly moves at all. That can be hard, too. Camera ops, make sure to drink your coffee before coming in this Sunday.
We had a few slide and graphics transition issues this weekend. Because I wasn't on headset, I'm not sure I'm clear on what happened. I do know the team doesn't yet have a playback operator (any takers?). Does anyone on the video team have an idea of what happened? I want to make sure we are setting you up for success as much as we possibly can.
If you read this far, I want you to know how grateful I am that you take serving Jesus with excellence seriously enough to spend ten minutes each week learning how to improve. If you've read this far, would you please leave a comment, even if it is just a note that you read the post. I'm curious to know how many of you make it through my ramblings.
Better yet, join the conversation, and leave a comment with one thing you think we could do better next week.