Serving at The Church at Brook Hills | www.phillipsanford.com
Serving at

The Church at Brook Hills

as Graphics Operator and Video Director

Searching for a New Church Home

When moving to Birmingham in 2007, I began the search for a solid Christ-centered church. After visiting a few larger, well-known churches in the area, there remained a lack of substance... almost a superficiality, boasting more in numbers than a deep knowledge and thirst for the Bible. I wasn't after religion. I didn't want a Sunday morning country club, or a social rhythm to ease my conscience. I didn't care to hear another southern baptist preacher tell funny stories and share anecdotes to ease the sometimes piercing conviction of Gospel truth. And you can't go far in the South without running into one of those churches... or a check-box "Christian" who goes there. Go to church Sunday, resume life as usual on Monday... all the way through Saturday. Wash, rinse, repeat.

But I wanted to grow. I wanted to be part of a living, breathing, Christ-centered body of believers. I wanted more than a nice brick building which was otherwise dead six days of the week.


Why I First Came to Brook Hills

It didn't take long for me to see the heart of David Platt and the staff and leadership at The Church at Brook Hills. This was a body whose overarching goal was to make disciples and glorify Christ. And it came by deep yearning for a knowledge of the Bible, which is evidence in events like Secret Church, where believers gather on a Friday night for 6 hours to exclusively study the Word.


Directing Video and Graphics at Brook Hills

Video Director at Brook Hills

Fast-forward to the winter of 2009, when there was an announcement for the need for camera operators. Since Brook Hills records and podcasts its sermons, there's a vast amount of volunteers needed to help keep the wheels turning smoothly, and I wanted to be a part of that. It didn't take long before I went from running cameras to a being full-time Graphics Operator, where myself and a Video Director controlled most everything visually that went on during a service. I sat in front of 3 computers - two of which were used simultaneously to advance screens. If needed, I aided the Director in setting up shots, gamma correction, and alternating between live shots, videos, or screen graphics. The gig ran through all 3 services, so I'd typically arrive at 7:30am, leave around 12:45pm, then be back again at 5:15pm and leave for good around 8pm.

Volunteers obviously don't get paid, and sometimes there's a lot required. For my job, giving up almost an entire Sunday was the norm. But I absolutely loved being able to contribute with the communications team and be part of this body in ways other than just tithing. It isn't some altruistic feel-goodism, or some means to offset what I "owe God" for saving my soul (Ephesians 2:8), but a simple response to being a part of the body (Romans 12:4). It's allowed me to learn a lot about how the church functions on a dynamic and technical level, and I've also been able to cultivate some great friendships.


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God - even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved."

— 1 Corinthians 10:31-33