He sits in the back of the worship center, baseball cap backwards, quietly observing.
From the lights to audio to camera angles and more, the details of each worship gathering are filtered through a different lens for Joel Peterson. As Hillside’s tech director, he is constantly examining each experience and looking for new ways to point others to Jesus each weekend.Since joining the staff this past February, Joel has hit the ground running in bringing fresh ideas and new creativity to Hillside’s gatherings. Along with the production team he oversees, his desire is to create a weekend experience that would lead to a deeper connection with God through the production of video, lighting and sound.
Joel’s dream is to continue to enhance and grow Hillside’s expression of worship through technology.
“We are born with an innate desire to create, which is in itself a direct reflection of our Creator, who we are made in the image of,” he says. “I would love to see how that conversation, coupled with technology, can further our connection to worship and ultimately who our Creator is.”Before joining the team here at Hillside, Joel led both the production team and communication/marketing team for Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek, WA. Additionally, for the past year, he was the online campus pastor for a growing online community – something he is dreaming about for Hillside.
“We live in a society of device connectedness, which allows us to be connected with each other, but we’re realizing this is just an illusion and we have more feelings of being alone than ever before,” Joel explains. “Being able to use technology to bridge that gap and bring real authentic community and relationships into an online space would be life-changing for those online and in their communities.”As Joel and his family began to consider a move from Washington to Southern California, he found himself drawn to Hillside in large part because of the community here. From leadership down, he saw a deep desire in people to look outwardly at Jesus, and connect with His story and each other.“Hillside showed to us what caring for one another looks like and how we can play a part in each other’s story,” he says. “There is an intentionality to be in community with each other and an authentic desire to know who you are and who your family is. We felt this was family.”
Joel and his wife of 17 years, Andrea, have two kids, Faith (12) and Jakob (9). In his free time, Joel loves working around the house, golfing, playing baseball with his son, hiking, and, like any good tech director, getting in an occasional video game.As he enters a new season here at Hillside, and seeks out God’s desires for the tech ministry, Joel says he is clinging to Psalm 73:21-26:
“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant — I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”
We are grateful for Joel’s leadership and can’t wait to see what unfolds in our tech ministry!
Join the Tech Team!
If you have a desire to serve in production – either in video, lighting, or sound – and are interested in joining the tech team, then click the button below to sign up.
No experience is necessary - we will train you. Take a step of faith and be a part of something that will point others to Jesus in creative and profound ways!Join The Production Team