Relationships; they are essential to the human condition. To walk through life without building relationships with your fellow man is to miss so much of the work God is doing around you. This year I expected to go to the Worship Facilities Expo, pitch our software to prospective buyers and go home, just like I always do. However, something special happened this year. It was as if the Lord put a special emphasis on our need to have relationships with others.
It all started last year when we went to WFX. We needed an LED wall for the booth, so we reached out to Vanguard LED Displays and quickly formed a relationship. We provided content for their booth and they provided the LED wall for our booth. Fast forward to this year. They weren’t attending WFX this year, but we were. They provided the LED wall for our booth and we made sure we let people know who we got it from. Also, last year we got to know the Magewell US and PTZOptics teams. This allowed us to learn more about the streaming industry while sharing EasyWorship with PTZOptics and Magewell customers. These seem like just business deals, but I like to think of it as the Lord providing for our companies. Had we not built a relationship with Vanguard, getting a nice LED wall would be much more difficult for us and Vanguard wouldn’t have had representation at WFX. Had we not built a relationship with Magewell and PTZOptics, we wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate the capability of our products at WFX this year in adjoining booths. These are examples of serving one another at the business level. However, I was reminded of the personal level as we got a chance to speak to prospective and long-time EasyWorship customers.
Building relationships with customers is vital to survival in any market. If you can build a relationship with your customers, you’ll be more likely to try to provide the product your customer needs, and your customer will be more loyal. This can be easily forgotten when the majority of your time is spent in your office, or cubical without being among those you serve. This is one of the major benefits of attending conferences like WFX. We get to have face to face contact with those who need our product. We get to know their needs and how we can serve the church, making multimedia ministry easier for those leading worship services. So, not only does the customer get a chance to share their needs, but the business gets a better understanding of its customers. When we attend conferences we also get a chance to build relationships with our competitors.
As Fred (support tech), Jerod (Director of Operations) and I stood at our booth, waiting for visitors, we were visited by several of the ProPresenter team members. We enjoyed getting to know one another. We’re just a bunch of nerds that love Jesus and want to help the church. We have a lot in common outside of the frame of our own individual companies. The same goes for our friends at MediaShout. On the last day of the conference, we were able to spend some time with a couple of the guys at MediaShout. Once again we found people that love serving the church, so the gospel can be preached more effectively. I was reminded of the different gifts of the Spirit as we spoke. EasyWorship, ProPresenter, and MediaShout all work to make great software, but we all do what we do in a different way. We all want to see the church flourish and multiply. We all want to see Jesus magnified. We all function in the way God created us to function and we make each other better as we compete. Again, I found that relationships are so important, even between different companies. But what about co-workers?
Thursday evening we were relaxing until it was time to catch our flight back to Oklahoma. We eventually found out that our flights had been canceled and we needed to figure out how we were going to get back home. The support from those in our office back home was phenomenal. Our co-workers were working hard to help us try to find new flights, but there were none to be had. So we had to rent a car and drive 18+ hours back home. When you spend that much time with two other guys in a car, you build relationships. They know that I snore and I know that Jerod has conditioned himself to drive hours on end while Fred knows way more than I do about nuclear power. I for sure couldn’t have made that drive alone. I’m thankful for the relationships I was able to build with co-workers in a difficult situation.
We can find all kinds of excuses to avoid getting to know our fellow man. We can live that way, but what a miserable existence it would be if we didn’t build relationships. God made us to function in relationship with one another. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been in a perfect relationship since before time began. We are made in God’s image. Therefore, we require relationships with one another to be more like God.