We’ve all heard that tech people have the reputation of saying, “No!” all the time, right? Well, I think that’s an unfair stereotype.
I think most of the people responsible for technology are the ones who end up saying, “Yes!” more often than not. We say, “yes,” to almost everything we are asked to take care of, tech related or not. Whether it’s because we love to serve, or we’re afraid that people won’t like us if decline to help, saying “yes” is how we get involved in projects that are either not really in our job description or just plain time wasters.
Those of us who believe we have healthy boundaries can still be missing the boat on things that really matter. That’s why choosing the right things to give your “Yes!” to is so important.
Here are ten things that I think we might consider saying, “Yes!” to in order to make our lives and our ministries more meaningful.
- Your Actual Job. First and foremost, you must do what is on your job description. If you don’t have a job description, sit down with your direct report and build one. This will make the day-to-day tasks much clearer for both you and those you serve.
- A Realistic Schedule. When you can, go home on time. At the end of every day ask yourself, “Can what’s in front of me be left for tomorrow?” If so, go home. There will always be more work to do, and if you don’t protect your schedule, you’ll be a slave to the cycle of work. Take your days off. Hold those days sacred by letting your calls go to voice mail. Stick to a schedule that not only helps you get your work done, but keeps you healthy in the long run as well.
- A Good Night’s Sleep. Study after study shows that we need a good solid seven to eight hours of sleep to function at full capacity on a daily basis. If you’re like me, it’s hard to turn your brain off at the end of the day, and not getting enough sleep will only make that worse. There is nothing like a no sleep hangover to keep you from being an “A” player the next day, so do what you can to make sleep a priority.
- Delegation. If you can delegate some responsibilities to your staff or volunteers, do it. You can’t and shouldn’t do everything. You may not be able to take everything on yourself, but you may be able to delegate projects to someone else.
- Organization. I think that everyone assumes all people who work in the tech world are organized, but that is certainly not the case. If you are not organized, your life will generally be harder. So take small steps to make getting and staying organized a priority in your work.
- Your Family. We usually say, “I’m doing this for my family,” or, “I have to put food on the table,” but long after your service to this ministry is gone, your relationship with your family remains. That’s why this relationship needs to be first and foremost, healthy and in tact. God forbid your family would end up resenting Christ or the church because you put it before them.
- The Chain of Command. Take care of your pastor, worship pastor, and other leaders above you. Respect their positions. No matter what you may think of them or their management and decision-making styles, they have been put in authority over you. Remember that they most certainly have to make decisions based on parameters that their authority figures have put on them. You may not know the whole story!
- Your Volunteers. The gear, the schedules, and the hours dialing in that perfect reverb make less long-term impact on your ministry than spending time pouring into, training, or just hanging out with your volunteers. Most of us rely heavily on the people who serve with us. There is no substitute for investing in them while they’re with you.
- Prayer and The Word. It’s no surprise that many church tech people don’t spend much time reading the Bible or praying. I know because I was one of them for so long. And here’s what I learned: God cannot fully bless your ministry if you don’t commit time to Him. Get on a YouVersion reading plan or listen to the Daily Audio Bible. Both are available on your mobile device. Block out time each day to pray. Trust me, It matters. God wants to hear from you.
- A Hobby. You need to be able to turn your brain off from tech and the work of the church. Find a creative (not necessarily tech-related) outlet to expand your mind. Make it a point to do something that’s just plain fun. Whether it be playing an instrument, building model trains, or flying a kite, studies show that this is a mental exercise we all need to function at our best.
There are certainly more that ten, but if we can say, “Yes!” to just some of these things, our lives and our ministries will be richer.