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An Inside Look at Vertical Production from an Outsider.

Picture by Bree Harris

Guest post: Robby Gaddy, Vertical Worship Leadership Team, Stage Manager and Guitarist.

Just had to share this post from one of my favorite people. Robby has been such an important part of Vertical Church from the very beginning. Robby’s worship and excellence is such a blessing to me. As you will read, he was so blown away by Vertical Production (Audio, Video and Lighting) that he had to tell the world. Check this out:

Loving Jesus Through Technical Production, Vertical Style
by Robby Gaddy

Last Sunday, Vertical had “Orange” Sunday, when all of our youth and children’s ministries take over the service. It was an excellent set of services that day, giving our congregation a glimpse of what happens with their children when the parents are in the main services. The excellence that Penny and crew serve with is a beautiful sacrifice that touches lives for decades to come, and I was blown away by the whole thing.

Since I wasn’t serving on stage in the worship music, Mitchell Cain spotted a teachable moment and, as any good leader should, used that Sunday to introduce me to our new sound system, which is not any Mickey-Mouse system…we have a completely digital system. Every aspect of this system can be controlled remotely, and from different sources simultaneously, and the controls are all IP linked on a closed VLAN. To sum all that up, it takes a “high-tech redneck” like Mitchell to put It all together, and to rise up future operators. But more on that later.

So, Mitchell sat me down where Don usually resides (Don,the sound man for Vertical Bladen) was deployed up to the stage, since there were so many things different that day), demonstrating to me the laptops that they use. One serves as the sound board, where you set sound levels and all that. That next one to the left was a direct link to internet connection, and then the next one to the left was the laptop used for recording, a separate job and system in itself. Now, at this point, I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed….

Then it started.  Angela (Shaver) started calling out a count-down, both to the folks around her and to someone she was connected by headset to, and it was on! As I sat there, house lights dropped, stage lights went to a dark scene, audio came up, and an intro video started rolling. As the video rolled, Angela was giving directions and time to scene changes at 1minute out, 30 seconds out, until the “3,2,1, change” command came out, at which time, this production machine did exactly what it was supposed to do in perfect unison. That meant lights changing scenes, audio for the specific scene brought up, house lights up or down as required, prompter at stage and words for congregation up as needed. And that led to the next scene change, with instructions, time info, warnings, etc., through each and every scene change during entire event.

Then a little bit of realization began to dawn on me…I have seen and heard this before. Our production team was doing what any live professional production team does on any event…and was doing it with excellence! The professionalism amazed me…for instance, Angela’s directions, stated calmly and with the confidence of a captain who knows that their crew is capable and seasoned, to the quiet, drama-less exchange of information when there was a change in the program. Then there was the way the entire crew attentively stayed totally aware of their environment, so that there were no surprises. Now, please don’t take that last statement lightly, because almost every person back there is a teenager, many under 16. The really cool thing was that age didn’t matter…they were a beautiful example of the Body of Christ in its balanced form, a complete, professional unit, bound together by the Great Commission. They were doing what a multi-million production company does, and doing it because of love.

As for Mitchell and Don, they are the guys that make the band sound good. Sure, the musicians need to know their parts, and be able to worshipfully play their instruments, but what folks don’t see is the skill and musical ear it takes to put every instrument and voice together, in the right amounts, in the right eq’s, in the right sound pressure for the environment.  In their hands, the sound board is a musical instrument in itself, and they, like Angela, are directors in themselves. And by the way, these are the same guys that are editing, mixing, and uploading the podcast while most of us sleep a Sunday afternoon away.

The amount of not only work, but professionalism and skill that goes into a Vertical worship experience is a very humbling thing. When I realized just how much love for Jesus was being demonstrated around me, I teared up for a moment…but just for a moment, because I was running sound (with Mitchell’s guidance) for 2nd service, and Angela was going “3,2,1,and now!”, and Mitchell was going ” crowd mics left and right up, Jon’s guitar on, yellow mic up”, program music middle”…. I’d just have to wait and cry later.

Guys, thanks for what you do, and the way you do it. Your time in research, training, set-up, running, and take-down is a beautiful sacrifice and sermon that sometimes goes unnoticed by your fellow man (when you do it right, nobody notices what you’re doing!), but rest assured,  Your Heavenly Father knows…and I have a new-found respect and admiration for y’all. And Scott Shaver, I don’t believe that anybody but Angela truly knows to what extent you serve, or how deep your knowledge base is, but sir, I salute you.  I am SO GLAD I’m a guitarist…you guys work too hard! God Bless!

Would you be interested in being part of Vertical production? There is no experience necessary, just a willingness to serve. If you are interested in being part contact leader Scott Shaver and say, “how can I be part?!?” This is definitely a step in the right direction!

One Comment on "An Inside Look at Vertical Production from an Outsider."

  1. Thank you so much Robby for your kind words. I concede all glory to God here, He allows me to serve at Vertical through sound, He gave me this ability and to Him I am honored to serve. But thank you for shedding the light my friend.

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