One of the things that I appreciate about this time of year, and things starting to slow down, is to intentionally get into an evaluation mindset. What went well, what didn’t, what areas need intentional focus, along with many other questions. I love the position I am called to, and know that I have lots of improvement to make. Tonight will be my last handbell choir and children’s choir rehearsal and next week will be my last adult choir rehearsal. While I have my own self evaluations and my perspectives on things, getting evaluations and feedback from the groups is essential.
Over the years, I have learned to ask many different questions. Things like, “How can improve as a director”, or “Am I choosing music the group connects with”. More recently, though, the question I keep coming back to, “Is this the best use of my time”. Yes, we’re all given a finite amount of time each week, and the choices we make are important. Each week, I play the organ for worship,play keyboard with our praise band, put together the Pro Presenter presentations for the screens each week, plan for and direct a children’s choir, handbell choir, adult choir and men’s choir. Also, each week, I have a time of music and movement with our preschool kids. I don’t share all of that to brag. In reality, trying to juggle all of that means that something at some point probably is not getting my full attention. So, in evaluating, I have to determine whether I need to find someone else to take on that responsibility, or better manage my time to be more effective, or somewhere in the middle.
I’ve taken this evaluation more to my personal life this year, as well as ministry. As my girls get older, I have to be intentionally making them a priority, along with my wife. If I’m not, then I’m ineffective everywhere else. The question I’ve been finding myself asking is, “Is it worth it?” I had a friend share that he’s excited about buying healthy, pre made meals which cost a lot of money, but he and his wife don’t have to spend time preparing them. That’s great for them. We’re a lot more tight on budget and both my wife and I enjoy cooking and try to involve our girls as well.
Lately, I’ve been asking that question of “Is it worth it?” In regard to a few very important parts of my life. Social media, composing music and this website. What do I mean? Well, I’ve deleted social media from my iPad and phone and am limiting my login time. That has helped. In regard to composing, I’m still trying to figure that out. I enjoy composing and arranging, and initially did it because I needed extra money. I’m a church worker with two daughters! Need I say more? I enjoy composing, but I don’t make it a priority. Initially, Harmanny Music was started as a creative name for my private music lessons and for self publishing digital music to generate income. Guess what? That didn’t work. Shocking!! So I started blogging to share my thoughts of being a church musician, thoughts on music, along with trying to provide insights from my experiences as a church musician and providing a resource for church musicians. It’s been fun. But, while I can write the best blog post known to man, I come back to, “Is it worth it?” I have tried to follow the “experts” ideas on building a following, so on and so forth…..led with mediocre at best results. So, I ask the question “Is it worth it?” And the answer I come back to is…..I don’t know. So, if you think it is, please comment or email me at email@example.com. I don’t know what the long term answer is, but I’m in prayer and contemplation on what the answer is. What the best use of my time is. So, if you feel I should keep working at it, let me know. If you don’t….well, then I guess that’s a pretty solid answer, isn’t it?