Two weeks from today is Christmas Eve. For the average church tech—volunteer or paid—that means a lot of long days ahead. Whether you’re doing a major production or a lot of services, there is no shortage of work to do.
I’ve been doing church Christmas services for nearly 20 years, and to be honest, I feel like I’m just now getting the hang of it.
For most of those years, I worked way too hard and way too long. I didn’t take the time to actually enjoy the season, or spend enough time with my family and friends.
This year (actually, it started last year) I decided I was going to change that. Sure there is still a lot of work to do; but I’m learning that God is far more concerned about the condition of my heart on Christmas Eve than He is about how much I accomplished.
I wrote an email to myself last year after the Christmas season using FutureMe.org. I scheduled it to be delivered the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a good reminder of why I am not going to kill myself this year. Last year, I was exhausted and spent the first four days after Christmas on the couch. I was pretty close to being ready to quit apparently; and I’d rather not repeat that again.
So this year, I started on Christmas production a lot earlier than usual. In fact, I already have my show file done for the audio console. And by the end of this week, I’ll have ProPresenter basically done.
My hope is that by spreading the work out a little more, I’ll be able to work a little less and enjoy the season a little more. My advice to you is to slow down, enjoy the season and let a few things go undone. The reality is that you and I obsess over details that almost no one notices, and leaving them alone won’t impact the service noticeably. If we want to be doing this for the long term, we have to pace ourselves. This is difficult for us hard-working technical types, but we have to try.
Simplify what you can, pre-build as much as possible and maybe even say “No” once or twice. Don’t allow business to obscure the significance of the Son of God coming to earth. Join me in trying to enjoy Christmas this year.