Do the lines get blurred?

A few Sundays ago, I was serving my church — doing what I often do on a Sunday: editing video.

This particular Sunday, there was a church event, so I had my laptop in front of me while precariously balancing a plate of hot dogs (I never did eat them) and a bag of popcorn.

The person across from me asked if I was working.


I’m serving.

There’s a difference.

Do the lines get blurred?

In short — no. But I suppose they could.

To be fair, when I worked at a church, those lines did get blurred. Often and almost always.

But now. I work full time in church media.

I serve in a leadership role in church communications.

Media // Communications

There’s definitely potential for some lines to get blurred.

But they don’t.

Work is Monday-Friday 8am-5pm with a short break for lunch. I have some flexibility since I work from home. But my employer honors my time by paying me a fair living wage and providing benefits, so I will honor my time commitment to them.

It’s called: A JOB.

Serving our church comes before work, after work, and on weekends.

To the outsider it could appear that I’m working all the time.

I am not.

I’m blessed to have a job I truly enjoy, co-workers who are more like friends, and the knowledge that my work is making an impact for Jesus’ Bride — the church.

I’m equally blessed to serve our family church in a role that merges my ability, affinity, and affirmations.

I’m able to separate the two and draw boundaries.

Is it easy? No. But doable.

I’ll dive into how I do this in a later post. But for now – no blurry lines.

God Will Determine Our Steps

One of my favorite verses is this —

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9

Here’s what’s hard about this.

Sometimes those steps aren’t easy. Sometimes God will give you gifts you don’t want to use and call you to ministry you don’t really want to be in.

I’m an introverted people person.

It sounds weird, but I’ll explain.

Way WAY back at the beginning of this Christian journey, I was working for a creative marketing company.

Personal friends invited me to church. I went.

I thought it might be good to get involved so I grabbed a connect card and checked any and all appropriate boxes.

And I never got the call.

Classes, events, and Bible studies happened and I never got invited.

Church became the loneliest place.

As a new Christian, I was digging into the word and studying the Bible.

I did this on my own, but there are lot of good books and resources — and I was still attending church on Sunday morning and hearing sermons.

And I realized that the actions — or inactions of not responding to a connect card – of people weren’t indicative of the character of God.

This is important and I’m glad I learned this lesson early (and hear it often).

God’s character does not change based on our circumstances.

But my desire to make sure no one ever felt lonely in church led to a leadership role in connections, first impressions, and assimilation.

I loved helping our first time guests connect to the right ministry or small group.

I’m mostly introverted, but even introverts need a few close friends, and I loved having this purpose.

Gradually my focused shifted to primarily first impressions, and I remember the exact moment I was called to communications. God had been stirring my heart in communications and when that moment happened, He was unmistakably clear. (I’ll share in another post.)

So my life behind the screen began. As an introvert, this suited me. But as someone who doesn’t like to do life alone, this was hard.

Remember I had a background in creative marketing. I knew my way around graphic design software, databases, and email marketing platforms.

But life behind the screens can get lonely. I’ve heard the same sentiments from people in other ministries. To a musician, life behind the instrument or from the stage, can be lonely. From a photographer, it’s life behind the lens. There are even books about the painful side of leadership.

From website updates, graphic design, to post service video editing, the world of church communications, can be isolating — this is especially true if you’re serving in a small church.

Many things in communications are time sensitive. (The podcast has to drop by a certain time which means audio needs editing, and the audio is generated from the video…) Meeting time sensitive deadlines means not participating in other activities and for people serving smaller churches or on smaller teams, this can be particularly isolating.

But the rewards are great — especially in this digital age (as I write this in April 2023).

Not long ago I shared a short “reel” video on our church social media pages.

According to the metrics, I reached over 300 people not otherwise connected to our church.

I am always in awe of God but I was particularly amazed. There I was – in that particular moment struggling with feelings of loneliness and feeling disconnected — and God used me to help reach more people with a one minute video than most churches reach on a Sunday morning.

I realized in a small way, I am connected to those people and I am helping them connect to a church (albeit a church social media account) and ultimately — I hope and pray — to Him.

And as I read comments and interactions to our social media posts, I realize those posts — and the platforms — are providing a source of connection to some people.

My plan was for people to feel connected.

My plan was for people to know Jesus.

God has determined the steps.

God — who is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

Is it still a struggle? Some days. Not always. Not even usually or mostly, but some. A few.

But God has determined these steps.