Some of you may recognize the title of this 1969 classic comedy movie. “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” is the story of a group of American travelers racing through 7 countries in 18 days. Some of you may have a few real life experiences a little too close to the storyline to find this movie funny. You have first hand experience of a mad pace of trying to see and do everything replete with intermittent moments of hilarity. It’s a story where the schedule rules all – and the people out for a great time dutifully fall into line at stop after stop.
Sounds like a Christmas production at church to me.
“If It’s Christmas, It Must Be Production Season” would make a great movie title, don’t you think? But, in some cases, it might not be a comedy.
If we are not very careful, we can value preparation and performance over the people we serve. In the name of preparing something impactful, we can have a few weeks rehearsing like crazy and pulling our families apart, taxing our leaders and staff beyond human reason.
Years ago, I felt conviction about this and started saying something over and over to our production team – “The process is just as important as the presentation.” I would go on to elaborate – intentionally so as to remind myself first of all – “If we destroy the families of our ministry while we are rehearsing every night and ratcheting up the pressure and demands on our people with escalating tension, and then ask God to somehow bless it in the end, I think we have missed the point.”
So, I started organizing those big productions a different way – and saw the results get greater and greater as our people could bring more than their old tired body to the presentation. They could bring their whole heart – spiritually and musically prepared for maximum impact.
So, think about it… Does your production process zap the energy of your people? Does it wreck havoc on families – especially yours?
Is there a better way?
Soon, I’ll share “The Secret Sauce of Productions” and hopefully give some ideas to help. If you have an idea, please share, and I’ll put it in the blog!
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.