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by Elise Cooper, Instructional Design Coordinator
In February, GRN Australia hosted some of GRN's most experienced recordists from around the world in order to discuss recordist training. During these meetings I learned three important things.
God calls people from all nations
Five or ten years ago none of us expected to be in Australia discussing Recordist Training. Around the table were living testimonies to God's grace. Jon, the Recordist Training Coordinator is a third generation missionary working in Thailand. Kenny is a UK businessman whom God convicted and called to be a recordist and the Director of GRN UK. Surendra began repairing the playback machines while he was still at school. He became a recordist and is now director of the work in Nepal. James from Kenya is the son of a GRN recordist whom God called to be a recordist too. Then there's me - with some teaching experience - who knows very little about recording. An early ice breaker activity was "Ten things in Common". We actually struggled to find ten things that we shared. Yet, in spite of our diverse backgrounds we came to discuss how to train people to record the story of Jesus. The diversity of our trainers is a small taste of the vision in Revelation: "some from every tribe, nation and language."
Cross-cultural communication is challenging.
Surprisingly, as the coordinator of this little gathering, I experienced the steepest learning curve of all. From those gathered, I had the least cross-cultural experience. Culture filters how we view the world and this is why it is important for recordists to understand culture. Recipients will interpret these recordings from different cultural perspectives to their own. Communicating the story of Jesus in a culturally appropriate manner has the most impact.
There were times during the meetings when I was forced to acknowledge we were not even on the same page. When it came to training, even though we all spoke the same language we had different ideas of what the role of a trainer was and how to achieve training. It was a timely reminder that the language barrier is just one of many obstacles the Gospel must overcome. Our recordings must overcome cultural barriers, to bridge different perceptions and world views. These meetings were a critical opportunity to communicate face-to-face and come to a shared understanding from which to move forward.
Producing high quality audio recordings involves a team.
Several members of the GRN Australia team attended the meetings to train our trainers in various aspects of recording ministry. Noel Bachelor (Studio Coordinator) shared some solutions to common issues. Graham Schabel (Technical Coordinator) taught the trainers to use the new MixPre6 Recorders. In November many of our GRN recordists will be trained on this new device. The trusty recorders that GRN have been using for many years are now obsolete. Graydon Colville (International Director) shared strategies for selecting scripts that meet the needs of the language group. Rob McDonell (Information Systems Coordinator) explained how to use the GRN database to search GRN's script collection.
You may have heard the quote "it takes a whole village to raise a child." I am convinced that it takes a team to train a recordist. While the meetings were held in Australia there are skilled people across the GRN Network of 30+ countries who support our recordists and further GRN's recording ministry in various ways. Part of my role was to break down some of these recording skills into manageable learning chunks. Repeatedly I said, "but that's a highly skilled task." Through these meetings I now better appreciate the task before many of our recordists. I understand why God made us all different parts of the one body because it takes a team to produce quality recordings that share the story of Jesus in every language. From language research to script writing; field coordination to recording and distribution; every member of GRN has an important part to play. But you have the most important task of all.
Please pray with us!