Yet another of my dad’s (Peter Hopper) fantastic sayings growing up was about touring in the music industry:

It’s 90% grunge and 10% glory.

And about sound engineers and production staff:

If it all goes wrong, you get all the blame. And if it all goes right, you get none of the glory.

And while some of my favorite jobs in both music and church ministry go largely unnoticed, they remain the most rewarding. There’s simply something extremely gratifying about knowing you had a part to play in making an atmosphere beautiful.

The Christian Musician Summit that Jennifer and I recently attended was a perfect example of this. The main sessions were held in The Chapel’s worship center (aka “sanctuary”). The scene people walked into each morning and evening – with anyone from Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown to David Crowder and Christy Nockles leading worship – was what you see pictured above. Nothing short of spectacular. And seemingly effortless.

But being the associate pastor production junky that I am, I snuck in for all the sound checks and asked to poke around the stage. (Geeks are only happy to oblige other geeks). What I saw were the “guts” of these main session events: 5 audio staff, 3 camera operators, 1 lighting director, and at least 4 people in the video command booth up top. Not to mention that the physical framework for any set looks more like a sound stage for Mad Max Beyond the Thunder Dome than a gorgeous worship setting.

The most beautiful parts of our lives are those that have the most people behind them and, if all the lights are shining on them, are actually the ugliest.

So here’s to all the people – parents, pastors, mentors and friends – that know the most unattractive elements of our lives can be quite beautiful when set in the right context.




Megan J. · 5 May ’12 at 6:08 pm

I love getting to see all the behind the scenes work at our church. From observing the sound booth and all the technicalities of that, to seeing all the computers up in the production booth, to running a camera or lights for a brief moment. I have a much bigger appreciation once I’m able to understand. Especially after getting there at 7AM and seeing a pretty terrible chain of events happen in practice, and then an absolutely stunning worship service 20 minutes later. I try to say thank you to people as much as possible. I love that everyone at our church works so hard to make it perfect! No one really knows any of the problems that go on, and barely do people complain about them. Looks like you had a great weekend!! I would have looked around a bit too. (When I went to BASIC I watched the sound guy run the sound board, which happened to be the same one we have.)

Great post, CH! I definitely agree with the quote too. When things go wrong, you get the blame, but when they don’t, you don’t always get the praise deserved. So, THANK YOU CH, for all your hard work and dedication to New Life, in all areas. πŸ™‚

    Christopher Hopper · 5 May ’12 at 6:16 pm

    This is all the praise I need. Your life is a testimony of the Lord’s goodness and the faithfulness of his people. You are a walking reflection of gratitude girl. Thanks for all YOU do.

Christian Fahey · 5 May ’12 at 9:31 pm

This is edifying, CKH. A helpful reminder on perspective. The unsung heroes mentioned in this fine post are just that–heroes. Thanks for writing.

    Christopher Hopper · 6 May ’12 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you sir. I indeed agree with you, indeed.

Gabe · 6 May ’12 at 10:52 pm

You got to do a show with David Crowder?! Lucky!! πŸ˜€

    Christopher Hopper · 7 May ’12 at 7:05 am

    Just hanging out this time πŸ˜‰

    Gabe · 7 May ’12 at 6:42 pm

    Still… lucky! πŸ˜€

Taisia · 7 May ’12 at 11:07 pm

Your dad has great sayings! πŸ™‚

    Christopher Hopper · 8 May ’12 at 7:14 am

    Tell me about it! They tend to really get stuck in your head too!

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