Gift Projection & Sound Technicians

Christopher Rath

2003-06-22

Because sound technicians are present at a variety of meetings, they often encounter "gift projection" and they should be prepared to handle it.  Even worse, sound technicians themselves often engage in gift projection and they should be prepared to deal with themselves.

"Gift projection" is what we colloquially call the action of expecting that a particular gift or calling that we have received will be manifested in everyone else too.  For example, Christians who believe they have received a calling to pray for people to be healed will often project this calling on the rest of the Christian body, and so they expect everyone around them to always be praying for the sick to be healed.

While "gift projection" is not proper behaviour, it isn't sin per se.  So, when we encounter this behaviour we need to understand that its manifestation is a reflection of our fallen human state, and we need to both be understanding of the problem and be quick to search for such behaviour within ourselves.

Sound technicians are often on the giving end of gift projection because like every other necessary function in the body, their skills are needed.  I have spent 15 years trying to teach others in the church how to operate sound systems.  Very few of those I have taught actually remember what I attempted to teach them, and for many years this was a source of frustration for me.  The reality of the situation is that it is not either their unwillingness/inability to learn or my inability to teach that is the reason I have not trained up a host of sound technicians; rather, it was not their calling and they are not gifted in the same areas as me.

Sound technicians are often on the receiving end of gift projection because they set up and run sound systems at a variety of events.  For example, while running the sound system at a small healing seminar, when everyone is called forward to receive prayer that the attendees would receive a gift of healing, many of those going forward will wonder why the sound technician doesn't also go forward.  The reality of these situations is that even if the sound technician was moved by the speaker's teaching and would like to go forward for prayer, their commitment to operate the sound system during the seminar may prevent them from going forward; however, such a situation is a rarity.

A friend of mine, Ray Arsenault, has written, "…failing to recognize the call of others makes us forever pushing in a sense our calling on others.  In Corinthians it says that each manifestation of the Spirit is seen when healing, prophecy, etc. happens.  These are all manifestations of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, if we can expect the Lord to work through all then we can be happy when John is used in his calling, when Gerry knows something that the Spirit says, and we can then collectively have the knowledge of the Lord."  It is vitally important that each member of the body be both allowed to operate in his own calling and free to not operate in the calling of others.  This is how the various members of the body serve one another.

When at an event where others are placing an expectation upon you, the sound technician, to participate in or receive things that are not where you are at, be gracious in your refusal or even simply participate (if that will cause less friction).  The sound technician is in attendance to serve, and sometimes that service will take us outside of our normal operating bounds.  That said, know and respect your own boundaries and don't violate them.

If you regularly do sound for an event where those attending always place an expectation on you to operate outside of your calling or abilities, consider speaking about the situation  with those leading the event.

Regarding a sound technician's own temptation to misplace expectations on others, resist these tendencies by cultivating an attitude and commitment to service. If we are eager and willing to offer our gifts to others though service, there will be less of a necessity for us to train others.


©Copyright 2003, Christopher & Jean Rath
Telephone: 613-824-4584
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2007/02/16 @ 09:52:59 ( )