JPro2019 question: Can we get better lighting so we can see the speaker? A spotlight perhaps? (13 likes)

Jubilee Professional 2019 was the largest gathering of people to attend Jubilee Professional and most likely the darkest (lighting wise) to date. While it was not our intention to elicit the response we got from Dave Moore, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Urban Christian School, he did put what could have been a negative aspect of the conference into a new light (literally and figuratively). Read his thoughts on the darkness in the room. Please know, for those who attended Jubilee Professional, we saw your question about the lighting and we addressed it as quickly as possible and to the best of our ability.

 (If having no spotlights on the stage was intentional…) My aversion to Christian conferences, and to the Christian Industrial Complex at large, is mostly because of the way they impact the local pastor’s ability to do his job.  In the Protestant movement, orthodoxy and orthopraxy are defined not by any Pope or College of Cardinals, but by the loudest voices who speak under the brightest lights to the largest audiences.  “My pastor’s a nice enough fella, but (fill in the blank TV preacher) has such a large following, so he must be doing something right.”  I speak from experience – in the minds of many, I should have forsaken seminary and attended the Willow Creek Summit, or read more John Hagee.

So the no-spotlight call was hugely symbolic.  It felt, from the seats, that you were asking us to actually turn our eyes off and listen, which, for me, is when God grabs my mind and takes it in His direction.  It de-emphasizes the speaker while emphasizing what is being said.  Hugely risky, creative call.  I closed my eyes, watched the painter, or stared at the ceiling while I listened.  I heard the words that were spoken and unspoken.  I never would have done that with the spotlights on.

(OR, If having no spotlights on the stage was unintentional…) Man, I’m impressed with y’all just getting up there and going.  1:00pm on. the. dot., Jim strolls up there and just goes.  We’re all waiting for the spotlight.  Is there a short?  A bulb out?  Does the light guy know Jim is talking?  Is he a member of Local Spotlight 302 and on break until 1:15?  Here’s the beautiful thing: no matter what the reason, Jim just keeps going.

Maybe there’s a strict light budget, and they’re not wasting it on the local guy.  Here comes Tom Nelson.  Jim might not have noticed, ’cause he’s used to Pittsburgh being cloudy all the time, but surely this guy, who flew in from a sunnier clime, knows that the spotlight isn’t on.  Surely now… but no!  And he just keeps going.  OK, maybe Dr. Wallace will save this.  Jim and Tom are too nice, but Dr. Wallace seems like the kind of take-charge guy who can speak Truth.  But nothing.  Wow.

So, if this was unintentional, everyone did such a flawless job of rolling with it, that it made sense.  For more thoughts on the impact of this happy accident, see above