When I first started my personal blog, I was obsessed with writing about the latest and greatest stuff on the market. At that point in time, I was only mixing smaller format shows and didn’t have the slightest concept of lighting or video—except that I knew I was interested in it.
Because of my personality, I’m most satisfied when I’m achieving something, doing something I haven’t done before, or being creative. So naturally, I became frustrated with the smaller gigs I was working on and longed for bigger and better things. I read everything I could get my hands on. That sometimes included owner’s manuals for gear I dreamed of working with so that if the day ever came, I’d be ready to make the jump. Ultimately, God opened doors, granted me favor, and I was able to work some with some bigger churches and shows. But for some reason, that twinge to work with bigger and better gear has never gone away.
Call it what you want, but I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling “gear envy” when you go to a show and see super gear compared to what you might currently be working with. I know I certainly did. Sometimes, I even went as far as wondering why God would bless other people and other churches better than the ones that I was involved with. It’s hard to admit, but when you boil down the thoughts, emotions, and the essence of what the implications of these feelings are, it could be considered a form of idolatry.
If you’ve ever studied the history of the Church and the Gospel, it’s apparent that people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and worshipped God without any of the fancy line arrays, intelligent lights, and projectors that we use in church today. Technology is a tool and a medium for communicating the gospel—nothing more. It can be easy to fall into the lie that you can’t worship without it. When we fall into that lie, we brainwash ourselves into thinking that we can approach God and “worship” Him however we feel rather than how He requires. When we do this, we dangerously set ourselves up to worship a god (lower case g) that we’ve created and we miss out on knowing and encountering the fullness of who God really is. How can we keep ourselves from walking down this path and allowing gear or “gear envy” from coming in between our worship and ourselves?
I encourage everyone with this phrase my parents used when I was growing up: “Bloom where you’re planted.” It means do the best you can and all you can where you are right now. Strive for the best you can achieve without being jealous of someone else’s situation or blessing. It’s similar to the parable of the talents in the New Testament, where the three servants received resources to invest while their master was gone. Two of them made wise investments and did all they could with what they were given and doubled their blessing, while one guy dropped the ball. Don’t be the guy who was giving the lesser amount and does nothing but bury it in the ground.
Also, there is a time and season for every purpose if God and His purposes direct our steps. Many times we lack patience. We just want everything now and we miss the lessons to be learned in the present. Checking out “super gear” or learning about bigger and better things isn’t bad. But if the result is that you are dissatisfied with where God has planted you, it’s a problem. However, if you are doing that in preparation or in faith that God has bigger plans for you, that’s faithfulness to the call placed on your life and ministry.
Through patience and perseverance, you’ll find new and better ways to steward what God has given your church. And you can maximize the resources you’ve been given.