We all want to succeed. Charge ahead, break new ground, and take the world of digital ministry by storm. But saying four words more often will help us do that better and faster. They are not rules, but guidelines to approaching work in digital ministry.
This comes from someone who has worked with digital media since 1996. I also worked in an office environment since 1998. During my tenure in the space I made many mistakes. Here is some advice I picked up along the way.
I pray you are able to show success with digital ministries. The problem with success is that you will become everyone’s go-to person. You will hear more and more ideas. The requests for help will increase. But your email inbox will soon become a source of stress. Visits to your desk will often mean extra socializing and new projects. This could become quite problematic. You need time to talk with leadership and rank requests. At some point, you will need to tell people “no”. That is a good thing, because not everything can be a number one priority. Nor are they always the right approach.
My only caution is that this not become your default mode. Many times it is not a “no”, but rather a “not yet”. Take time to consider the problem the person wants to solve. Take some time to research a better approach. Their issue is likely valid, but you are the digital communications expert.
Know your limits and ask for help when you need it. This could be asking for more time, people, or money. Research when necessary. Outsource work to a group of experts. Your leadership should be aware when you are having difficulty. Raising your hand for help shows you know your limitations. Plus it demonstrates your desire to get the job done right.
Please remember that this is not a replacement for humble confidence. Have faith in your abilities. You take classes, attend conferences, listen to podcasts, and/or read blogs (like this one!). Use that knowledge and be cautiously ambitious.
My general rule of thumb is to ask why at least once. It is not a sign of disrespect. I question solutions when I do not understand the problem. Even when you are given a problem, it is wise to ask if it is the right problem to solve. This may give you more research work. But at least you determine if a ministry is getting the best digital solution.
As with my other points, I have a word of caution. Do not be obstinate with leadership. Question why you are doing something, not why you have to. There is a difference. It is not bad to want to understand the journey of a decision. This has the same pitfall as saying “no” all the time. You can appear to have a bad attitude. Speaking of attitudes…
… or any other enthusiastic word. Approach your work and colleagues with a good attitude. Treat every day on the job like the gift that it is. You never know when it will be gone, or when you will need a favor. Take it from someone who has lost their job more than once. Be thankful for the opportunity to work. It is especially true since your job is to further the kingdom of God. Your good attitude is infectious and it will spread throughout your office. This is most important when you have tasks you are not font of. Spreading joy is not just for the digital space. Do it around your office and enjoy the benefits of a happy workplace.
Consider the importance of these four words in your day-to-day activities. For greater impact, make a sign using these four words for your desk. Some of these words have caveats with them. There is a time and place for everything. But keep these in mind. In fact, I invite you to join me in prayer:
Heavenly Father, I ask that you grant me wisdom as I serve the church. Help me take on a workload that keeps me productive, but not overwhelmed. Grant me the courage to ask for help when I need it most. Teach me when I should ask why a task has been laid before me. And keep me in good spirits to lift up those around me. I ask this in your Son’s mighty name. Amen.
Photo courtesy of Thad Zajdowicz