Proverbs 18:6 states, A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.
As part of God’s plan for our lives, the gifting He has entrusted to us opens the door to many an opportunity. For techs, our gifting lies in being able to understand technology and bring it to bear as an effective tool for others to use in ministry. A speaking pastor without access to audio, video and lighting elements is limited in the number and scope of people they can reach. Tech gifting exponentially expands the pastor’s ability to connect with people. While vital, tech harbors the dark obverse of self-importance. As such, it becomes a simple step to move from using our gift to relying on our gift. The result can be a turn inward toward self-reliance, bolstered by pride. Eventually, we can change from a person used by God to a person with god illusions.
To guard our hearts, we must transition from doing to being. Typically, techs are known and rewarded for doing things: fixing computer problems, solving video playback issues and getting an iPhone to behave properly. At a social event, attendees are more likely to interface with us over a technical glitch than over our view on climate change. This perspective of techs as solvers is pervasive inside and outside the church. Despite this line of thinking, we cannot look at ourselves in light of value based on doing; we must embrace our value in light of God’s love for us which is eternal and unmerited. Doing is conditionally centered on success while being is existential; requiring nothing of us to obtain or maintain.
A tech with self-awareness derived from years of fixing things with gum and a paperclip a la MacGyver, is not capable of relinquishing that hard-won identity overnight. Just as it took time to assemble, it will take time to dismantle. However, the effort is worthwhile since most successful techs ascribe to the adage, “you’re only as good as your last show” meaning if you have a bad night, your value meter plummets and can only be restored through a string of well-executed events. The natural ebb and flow that follows creates internal strife as the tech struggles to maintain an external equilibrium required by society (aka Steady Eddie) with no outlet for feelings of inadequacy or failure. After time, many seasoned techs “numb down” in order to push past their inability to resolve these issues.
God has a remedy and it entails immersion in His Word, continual release of any thoughts of self-value and some practical steps to move away from identifying and being identified as the doer of tech. First, stop doing on a constant basis. Needs aren’t seen because they are never allowed to rise to the surface if we as techs always fix them. Second, go away in order to learn the world keeps spinning without us. Third, get a hobby; especially something in contrast with technical pursuits, such as bee keeping or gardening. Fourth, enjoy the moment instead of dreading the day. Stop eating at your desk while soldering XLR connectors as solder fumes ruin the taste of any sandwich and, instead, sit outside listening to the birds and watching clouds move across the sky. If leadership understands the gravity of the tech role, they will encourage such behavior as it practically guarantees long-term employment.
The Psalms were not written while frantically trying to get a mover to respond to DMX or while resetting the router for the third time, but when the writer was still enough to listen to God and contemplate a response and that, my tech friend, is the best doing of all.