This past weekend, I did something I’ve not done in several years. I took the weekend off and simply went to church with my family. My daughter has been asking if I will ever sit with them in church again, and had just about given up hope. I’ve been afraid to do it, but having successfully pulled it off once, I can tell you it will become a regular occurrence.
Most of the tech guys I know are a lot alike. We’re workaholics (or recovering workaholics), and we feel we need to be there each weekend--even if just for moral support of our team. It's our job, and we just need to do it. The problem is, when we go months, or years without taking a weekend off and just experiencing church with our families and friends, some bad things happen. Here are a few things I observed by taking a simple, single weekend off.
I Experienced Worship the Way the Congregation Does
This is a big issue. Often times, we techies can get so accustomed to life in the tech booth, we forget what it’s like to be in the congregation. For me, I heard things differently, saw things anew and experienced some things I hadn’t before. Being out “in the pews” changed my perspective and re-ordered some of my priorities.
It was also nice to have some time of actual worship without worrying about the sound, lighting and video cues (OK, I confess, I did spend some time mentally critiquing the mix--I still have a ways to go). I was able to experience the results of my team’s hard work and planning first hand. They did a great job and worship was wonderful. It’s good to be reminded of that once in a while.
I Was Reminded I’m Not That Important
This is something else I need to be reminded about. Again, a lot of tech guys I know (myself included) tend to be martyrs. We go way above and beyond because we think we’re the only ones who can keep the train on the rails. Personally I find it refreshing to be reminded that it’s possible that church can go on without me there. And it can even be great. I only received 1 text and 1 call the entire weekend; both issues were minor.
My team is top-notch and can easily handle the weekends without me. Even if yours isn’t (or you don’t feel like they are), give it a shot. They may surprise you.
My Soul Was Restored
This was the biggest surprise. I completely underestimated how absolutely refreshing it was to be off for a weekend. Since my normal weekend is close to 16 hours (almost 2 full workdays), I actually took 2 days off. The fact that it came on the heels of WFX week (which was rather draining to an introvert), was a both a bonus and genius. Just being off on Saturday was restorative. By Sunday, I was feeling great and was more excited about my life, God’s plan and the future of Coast Hills than I have been since my first few weeks here. And I've only been here 3 months. I'm so glad I didn't wait a year or two like I have in the past.
I think there is something that happens in us when we just keep working every weekend. Slowly, our enthusiasm for our jobs, ministry and church is drained from us. We need to take a weekend off here and there to have that restored. Our tanks need to be refilled. I honestly didn’t think it would be this big a deal, but it was.
In light of that, I am going to make this a quarterly event. I will sit down with my boss this week and figure out which weekends I’m going to take off over the next 12 months. I’ll shoot for weekends after busy seasons, but try very hard to keep the intervals around 3 months. My goal is simple: To be as excited about serving the Body at Coast Hills 5 years from now as I was the day I stared. I truly believe the only way that can happen is if I regularly take weekends off.
What about you? What is your weekend off routine?