It seems I’ve been having the same conversation with a variety of TDs lately. It’s generally revolved around the seemingly endless list of projects and tasks that we need to work on, and the pressure we feel (either internal or external) to get them done; preferably right now. I too am one of those TDs. Just over a year ago I walked into a building that needs every single system updated, upgraded or replaced. In every room. It’s a long list. I know many of you are in similar situations. I started thinking that if I worked really hard just for the next few months, I could get it all done. But I’ve come to realize that’s a fallacy. The truth is, the list will never be complete. That realization can either be frustrating or liberating, depending on how you choose to deal with it.
I’m going with liberating. Here’s what I mean. Now that I know the list will never be done, much of the pressure to get it all done right now is removed. I can learn to be content knowing there is a nearly endless list of tasks to accomplish, and getting them done will be a matter of prioritizing and allocating budget. It’s really that simple. When someone tells me something needs to be done, I either respond with, “It’s on the list,” or “I’ll add it to the list.” Depending on who has made the suggestion, it gets put near the top or near the bottom.
I used to feel like I needed to be some kind of super-TD. You know, the guys who have all their systems completely dialed in, nothing on the repair bench, all processed totally worked out and who spend all their time working with volunteers and perfecting their mixes with virtual soundcheck. What I’ve found is that those guys don’t really exist–or at least I’ve never met any. And I know a lot of TDs. I know TDs of big churches who have tech arts staffs bigger than my church staff, and I know TDs of small churches who are also the IT/Communications/Office Manager guy. All face the same issues. When I visit them at their churches, they all say, “Yeah, we’ve got to work on this or that…” I recently spend half a day with a great TD who moved into a brand new building recently. As we walked the facility, I learned his list of things to be done is longer than mine. And that’s in a brand new building! Even there, things didn’t go quite as planned, they ran short of time and had to jury-rig a few things just to get it working for opening weekend. And now they have a list; just like the rest of us.
So if you’ve been feeling inadequate because your to-do list is seemingly endless, relax. You’re part of a large group of us who also have a long list of projects to work on. Chances are, regardless of how hard you work at it, that list will still be there. Do your best, then go home at night knowing you’ve still got something to work on tomorrow. And the next day. Consider it job security.