As we continue to develop technology and media in ministry we need some philosophical guard rails to help us be successful in our endeavors, as well as keep us sane. These 5 one liners to live by in church tech help me stay consistent and valuable to what God is doing on this earth.
1) Under Promise – Over Deliver
In general, when I like a project, an idea, or even a particular individual, I have a natural tendency to want to give everything and a bag of chips to it even when it may not be feasible. So in general, whenever I have the responsibility of setting expectations, I always push towards under promising and over delivering. My hope is always that whatever I do, it would surpass their expectations. Many times people are responsible for their own stress and friction on a project because they leave no room for the unexpected. Set expectations in a way that gives you breathing room, so that when the unexpected arises, you’re covered, and if you get through a project without any snafus, kudos for finishing early.
2) So It Goes
When I was younger I read a pretty amazing book called Slaughterhouse 5 written by Kurt Vonnegut. Despite any uneasiness the book may evoke in you, it was instrumental in my development. The writer builds this understanding of the futility of men trying to control the world around them through this simple phrase “so it goes”. When things happen that I don’t understand or setbacks that seem unsurmountable, I find my place In those three little words. Let go of the illusion that you’re in control. When you realize you are here to be obedient and, that regardless of your situation, your obedience is what glorifies God, not your result. You’ll find a smile creep up in adversity when you think: “So it goes.”
3) Money Is a Tool – Like a Hammer Not a Belt
Money, especially in a first world context, has such a power to fool us into a false sense of security. Security is an illusion, when you hold on to your money and use it like a belt to hold up your proverbial pants, you are wasting the tool God has given you. Use it like a hammer. Build things. Create things. Love God and Love people with the tool. When you use it as a safety net, don’t be surprised when you stop having as much of it as you used to. God doesn’t want his talents buried.
4) Beauty Does Not Surpass Logic
In our culture we have become lemmings for everything new and shiny. I am all about new technology, but when beauty surpasses logic, you start down a path of unsustainable change. Whenever you start talking about new projects, make sure the logic is paramount. Useful things can become prettier much easier than pretty things can become useful.
5) Availability is the Cornerstone of Service
The church has spent 2,000 years teaching Jesus’ call to be a servant. To be a servant is to serve and for myself personally I have the hardest time accomplishing this when I forget that my time is not my own. It usually manifests itself in a statement like “Oh man I’d love to help but I’ve got (insert “more important” thing here)” What I found is that Jesus always had immediate time for anyone who asked. So I had to learn that a true servant lifestyle starts when my availability is “always.” Regardless of the circumstance when someone needs your time you send a very definitive message when you never re-prioritize. You’ll always have something to do in our world so you have to learn to fight and make availability the cornerstone of service in your life. Start meeting people’s needs when they ask.
When I keep these five things at my forefront, it feels as though I make much wiser decisions.