The story goes that a scientist was tasked to test a frog’s jumping ability. So the man in the white lab coat placed a big, old bullfrog on a lab table, clapped his hands, and with a loud voice shouted, “Jump! Jump!” The frog jumped 6 feet! The scientist duly recorded it in his notebook. He surgically removed the frog’s right front leg and again placed the frog on the table, clapped his hands, and shouted, “Jump! Jump!” The frog jumped only 4 feet. Again he recorded the data. He proceeded to remove a hind leg and repeat the experiment, then the other front leg. Each time the frog was able to jump less than before. Carefully analyzing the data he saw a trend, and finally to cement his place in the scientific world, he removed the frog’s last leg to see if the results would fit into his data model. But this time when he clapped and shouted the frog did not move. He tried again, and sure enough… the poor frog was stationary.
With a cry of discovery the marine anatomist exclaimed to his colleagues, “Frogs with no legs are deaf!!!!”
While we laugh at the scientist’s conclusion, many times we do the same thing in our technical ministries. Do I have your attention now? And no, we’re not talking about how many times you have frogs in your ministry either. If you have a frog infestation problem, please don’t call Ministry Tech, call your local animal control.
So what do I mean? Suppose a person gets up to sing a solo and their mic doesn’t work. Afterward someone comes to you and says, “What’s wrong with the mic?” You reply, “Uh… not sure,” and proceed with whatever you were doing without taking time to determine the source of the problem.
We need to take the time to figure out what went wrong and why. Another example: Someone comes to you and says, “It’s too loud!” You agree, but acting like the “scientist” in the story you grab the master fader and bring it down, although the master fader has been at 0 for weeks without a problem. Instead, you need to figure about why “It’s too loud!” Do you have a technical malfunction? Is your system tuned correctly? Did an amplifier get adjusted?
Yes, many times it’s something stupid, like my favorite—the sleeve of my suit coat getting caught on a fader as I reached for gain knobs on the top of the mixer. But just writing things off as, “Oh well… it’s just something stupid” doesn’t do any good, especially if the problem is recurring.
So let’s make certain that we take the time to figure out just what went wrong and why, and most importantly, how to make what’s wrong right the next time around.