I was having lunch with my friend and mentor Roy the other day. As we enjoyed some really good BBQ beef brisket (all mentoring should take place over BBQ beef brisket), we got to talking about how different most techs are from the “general population.” I’ve been thinking about this for some time, actually. When I took a real Meyers-Briggs evaluation some years ago, I learned that approximately 1% of population has my personality profile (INTP). In fact, NT’s make up a mere 4% of the population. I have a hypothesis that most church techs (and probably most techs) are one of the four variations of an NT. And that makes us pretty unique.
Think about that for a minute; if you are a variation of an NT, that means your personality profile is different from 99% of the population. That has all sorts of interesting implications. For one, we tend to treat people the same way we expect to be treated. Now I’m not talking about being nice or courteous, I mean we interact with others the way we expect people to interact with us. And if we’re different from 99% of the population, consider how that plays out: Let’s say your pastor comes to you on Friday and wants a video for the weekend. He sees no problem with that request, but you might react differently. Or if a musician asks for a little more “me” in the monitor, you might be tempted to explain why he can’t have that instead of simply accommodating the request. I'm sure I don't need to elaborate any more on our differences.
As Roy and I talked about this, I started sharing with him how we as TDs are often in a really difficult spot. Often times, our leaders really don’t know how to lead us because they think we are like them. We tend to be seen as “dream killers” as my friend Van likes to say. We often have no one to talk to when things get tough. For example, if the kids pastor has trouble with a parent, he can talk to the youth pastor about it, and they both get it. Who on your staff can you as a TD go to with a reasonable expectation they have any idea what we’re up against? These factors can conspire to make the TD a pretty lonely job.
But Roy reminded me of something that I had never thought about before. Initially, it struck me funny, but the more we talked about it, the more it makes perfect sense. He said, “Think about it this way, Jesus is the ultimate geek. Just look at creation—the Bible says, ‘Everything was created by him and for him,’ and look at the intricacy of the design. It’s all very geek-like. He's the ultimate geek!” I had honestly never considered it before, but it makes perfect sense. What this means to you and I is that if there is anyone who gets what we do, it’s Jesus. You know how excited you get when you re-wire a rack or build a cool set or come up with a great series graphic. You just want to tell someone. I started imagining Jesus saying to the Father, “Hey check this out! How cool is that!” after creating the Milky Way. [Sidebar: I don’t know exactly how the Trinity works, OK? Just go with me on this...]
You know how it is when we try to share an accomplishment with others. You: “...so what we did was set up a VNC server to the console remote so we can VNC in from the iPad and remotely control the mixer from anywhere. All we had to do was set up a port forward on the router so we can get to it from either network.” Other: (with glazed over eyes), “Uh, cool?” But Jesus actually gets it! He understands the intricacies of what we do! And because He’s God, he also understands the frustrations.
Roy and I talked a lot about prayer that day, too. I’ve found that because my mind races so fast most of the time, sitting down and trying to have a 30 minute “prayer” time doesn’t usually work well. What I’ve found is that my mind wanders through the issues I’m currently facing. I've started to see this time differnently now. Instead of thinking it of my my mind "wandering," I think of it as talking through these issues with Jesus. And it’s amazing how many times I talk through an issue with Jesus and I end up with just the answer or solution I need. More and more I find myself doing just that. See, we often think that we are failing because we can’t sit down and spend 30 minutes in prayer like others can. But Jesus is a geek! He loves to hear about what we’re doing and what kinds of things we’re trying to create. Remember, He’s the creator! He made everything and He did some amazing work. Why would we think He would be uninterested in what we’re doing.
Now, this is not to discount the importance of getting together with other techs who understand you. I’ve written about that many times before and I will continue to encourage you to get to know other TDs in your area and around the country. We need to support each other. But in the past few days since Roy and I have talked, I’ve felt much more energized and encouraged knowing that Jesus created me as a geek, and He gets me. He wants to hear from me and wants to be involved with what He’s called me to do. I write this in the hope that you too will find encouragement in this truth. If you are a geek, know that you are in good company!