If someone asked you why you got into ministry could you answer? I knew from a very young age that my future lay in technology that served the church. I wasn’t sure how that would pan out at the time. I was at a small church, large for the denomination, but small in the terms of today’s MEGA churches. I didn’t know what existed out there for me actually to make a living at it. But working in the church was my astronaut dream.
With anything, interest and desire come and go. As a teenager, I was an avid mountain biker who invested heavily in my equipment and skills. Setting up obstacle courses in the yard to practice bunny hops (using your body to lift the bike up over logs and roots without stopping) and other evasive maneuvers that one might find on the trail. 15 years later, I still have my bike…but I am married, working, and raising kids now. Oh yeah, and now I’m fat, let’s not forget that one. I’m sure I’d love to get back out on the trails, but the desire just isn’t there to make that investment.
While my passion for church production has grown over the years, the longer I am in it, the more rocky moments I see. Places where doubt in my abilities and reasons for sticking with it come to haunt me. I can assume for many of you, your time in the church started as a hobby, and maybe now it’s your full-time job, part-time job or volunteer career. If you were honest with yourself could you answer why you got into the tech ministry at your church in the first place? Did you have a passion for it that couldn’t be quenched or was it a job and you needed a paycheck? Maybe you felt guilted into serving as a volunteer from a pastor’s request? For whatever reason you got into it, you’re there, and that is good.
What I want to caution you against and help rescue you from is this question: Has it become just a job? Have you’ve forgotten those early days where your passion for tech ministry was a furnace?
I know that is true for me. When I was young, I wanted to change the world with my mad audio skills. I wanted to go from church to church helping them improve their sound so more people would hear the Gospel. I have been thinking a lot about this in my life as I try to fight back burning out.
I recently re-read an all too familiar story in the Gospel of Luke (Read the passage here,) where two disciples were walking down a dirt road headed to the town of Emmaus. As they walked, the two were discussing the incredible events of the previous few days, culminating in the crucifixion of Christ. As they talked, another person joined them and asked what they were discussing. Confused as to how anyone could not know of the previous events, they recounted them for this man. This man…was Jesus, and while he walked he kept his identity concealed to them until finally, “their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…” when they encountered the risen Lord.
What spoke to me in this story was what happened next, in verse 32, “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Were not our hearts burning? I think I have felt the opposite of this recently, the all too familiar feeling of settling, of apathy, and laziness. I remember back to those times when my heart burned for Him, for ministry. When conversations were full of life instead of complaint, when no task was too great. I want to get back there.
In verse 33, the story continues that these two, immediately ran back to Jerusalem (roughly 7 miles) to tell the other disciples what they had seen and to proclaim that Christ truly was alive. They ran back because they couldn’t contain themselves. There was no use in sleeping and going in the morning when it was safer to travel because they wouldn’t have been able to sleep. They’re hearts were burning with the truth.
I don’t have all the answers, if I did, I would run for God. I do know that I have to power to overcome these feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. I know that as Christ talked to these two and shared truth from scripture, he can and will do the same for me if I will walk with him. I take refuge in knowing that Christ didn’t give up on these two who thought they were defeated. They had no hope, all they had given up to follow was now laying dead in a cave for all they knew. Christ showed up to them and allowed them to carry the news back to the others. I find great peace in that.
My advice to you, which I am giving myself, is talk to someone, whether it’s me, your pastor, or friend, don’t let these feelings of negativity brew inside you. Take time to read the scriptures and allow the truth of ancient wisdom wash over you in a whole new way. Finally, in verse 36, after the two shared their experience, all the disciples were talking, and Jesus showed up again and said, “Peace be with you.”
Take Peace, Christ has given that to you.