We’ve all heard that tech people have the reputation of saying no all the time. Personally, I think that is an unfair stereotype. I believe that most tech people say yes to almost everything people ask us to take care of, tech-related or not. Whether it’s because we love to serve or we are afraid that people won’t like us if we say no, we can easily get involved in projects that are either not really in our job description or just plain time wasters. Even if we believe we have healthy boundaries, we can still miss the boat on things that really matter. Here are ten things, in no particular order, to consider saying yes to in order to make our lives and ministries more meaningful:
1. 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 much clearer to both you and those you serve. It will also keep you from getting caught in the “if not you, then who?” scenario—in which it is you who falls down the rabbit hole.
2. A realistic schedule.
When you can, go home on time. At the end of every day, ask yourself, “Can I do this tomorrow?” If so, go home. There will always be more work. Take your days off. Hold those days sacred by letting your calls go to voicemail. I actually have “I do not return calls on Friday” as part of my outgoing message. Try it. It works.
3. A good night’s sleep.
Study after study show that we need a solid six to eight hours of sleep to function at full capacity on a daily basis. If you’re like me, it is hard to turn your brain off at the end of the day. But not getting enough sleep will only make that worse. And there is nothing like a no sleep hangover to keep you from being an “A” player the next day.
If you can delegate responsibilities to your staff or volunteers, do it. You can’t and shouldn’t do everything. You may not be able to say yes personally, but you may be able to delegate that project to someone else.
I think everyone assumes all tech people are organized, but that is certainly not the case. If you are not organized, your life will generally be harder.
6. 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 needs to be first and foremost—healthy and intact. God forbid your family would end up resenting Christ or the Church because you put your church before them.
7. The chain of command.
Take care of your pastor, worship pastor, and other leaders above you. Respect their position. No matter what you may think of them, their management, or their decision-making styles, they have been put in authority over you. Also, realize they have to make decisions based on parameters that their overseers have put on them. You may not know the whole story.
8. 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 them. There is no substitute for investing in them. This must be a priority.
9. Prayer and the Word.
It is no surprise that many church technical people don’t spend much time reading the Bible or praying. I was one of them. God cannot fully bless your ministry if you don’t commit time to both. 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. It matters. God wants to hear from you.
10. 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) outlet to expand your mind and to just plain have fun. Whether it be playing an instrument, building model trains, or flying a kite, studies have shown that hobbies are a mental exercise we all need to function at our best.
Try saying yes to just some of these and watch your life grow richer. Let’s escape that reputation of saying no to everything. But let’s just make sure we’re saying yes to the right things.