When working in church tech ministry, there always seems to be “what next” moments. What’s the latest gear? How do I get things to look and sound better? Many church techs, and for good reasons, are always looking to improve the church experience. At some point, however, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves the question: WHY are we doing this? Is it to make it look good or is it to bring glory to God?
Church technology is in its infancy. Flashing lights and decibel readings over 70 may still make some members of your congregation cringe. Why do we do this if some people don’t even like it? Why do we spend hours and hours every week getting things set up? Is what we are doing bringing glory to the one we’re ultimately trying to point people to? This last question is the only one that needs to be answered. If the answer is no, then we need to take a step back and re-examine our motives.
Part of that stepping back means taking a break. The idea of rest may sound practical but may seem impossible implement.
Here are four steps to take towards bringing rest in your life:
- Spend time in His word.
- Spend time in prayer.
- Take time to worship Him.
- Connect with your team.
You may have noticed that not a single one of these things is actually “resting” the way we usually think of rest. To rest, you must first put yourself in a position where you can have rest.
1) Spend time in His Word.
While every church approaches technology differently, there should be one universal underlying thread: God’s Word. As church techs, putting away technology and opening our Bibles should be a priority on a daily basis. Putting it all away and spending time in prayer should be equally as important. When we disconnect from the Word and grow distant from Him, our ministry will suffer. Maybe not in a week, maybe not in a month, but at some point, a lack of focus on Him will cost you. When we’re connected to Him we grow, and it allows the relationships we have with others to grow, and lastly, it allows us to build our ministry as He guides us.
Sometimes taking a step back and re-evaluating our ministry is the best way to help it grow. Many times we need to take things further and re-evaluate ourselves. If you want to improve your ministry, you need to grow as a leader yourself first.
2) Spend time in prayer.
Prayer shouldn’t be an afterthought in rest, it should be a priority. God wants a relationship with us and that relationship can’t grow if we’re not taking time daily to be with Him. Put away the distractions of life and take the time to talk with God. This continued conversation will help us in the most difficult times and help us lean on our faith. When you have a service that goes completely wrong, it gives us the humility to understand that it is not us that are in control, but Him. It allows us to understand that even though we give the best we can, that He is the one that can and will change hearts and lives regardless of our actions. Continuous time in prayer allows God to work and move in our lives and shift our ministries to where he wants them to go. Without time in prayer, we can make all of the plans we want but if they are not in line with His will we will not be successful.
3) Take time to worship Him.
When was the last time you went to a Sunday morning service and took the time to worship? As church techs, it is so easy to get wrapped up in making the service happen that we miss the service. Even when it isn’t our service to serve, and we’re not “on” it is often hard to focus on worship when we’re thinking about the light that isn’t working, or an IMAG shot that’s out of focus.
We can spend so much time making worship for others a pleasant experience that for ourselves worship can become a burden. We need to remember that worship isn’t for us or about us in the first place. It is about Him. We aren’t gods. We aren’t worthy of being worshipped. God is. He is deserving of our worship even when we don’t feel like it. At regular intervals we need to step back, we need to step away, and we need to focus on who we’re really working for and give praise to Him.
4) Connect with your team.
When we focus on the technical aspect of our positions and leave out the human element, the relationship we have with the members of the team suffer. Do you really know what is going on in the lives of the people you’re working with every Sunday? Do you guide them and help them grow spiritually? Many of us would much rather work out technical issues than deal with people. We need to remember though that church technology is a ministry. If we aren’t ministering to people, we’re failing at a huge part of our job.
On top of the relationships with our team members, we need to make sure we’re fostering the relationship with our families. Different seasons of ministry are busier than others, and time with our families often suffers during the busy seasons. God asks us to put Him first, then our families, then our ministries. Don’t confuse serving in ministry as putting Him first. Will there be times of sacrifice? Yes, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
When to Schedule Time to Rest
So when and how often should you take a day away? If you’ve just gone through a major production such as Easter or Christmas, a time of rest will be needed. That may be a week where your typical responsibilities are entirely handed off to someone else. Just before and about a month after a significant upgrade is also a great time for rest. This will prepare you mentally for the upgrade and ensure things are running smoothly after it as well. The rest of the year I would recommend taking a Sunday off about every eight weeks.
God commands rest. He doesn’t suggest it. He doesn’t say you should rest when you’re already burnt out. He says we need to rest often. Now obviously we can’t take every Sunday off, but we do need to step away from our position from time to time. When we have taken the time to grow ourselves and our ministries we can train up people to run service even when we’re not there.
Take the time to rest, give Him praise, and come back to your ministry renewed and ready to take your ministry to the next level.