Organization and Productivity

David Santistevan joins us this month to discuss organization, productivity, and efficiency as a worship leader. Many musicians have a bad rap for being lazy and disorganized, but this should NOT be the case in the Church! David is the host of the well-known “Beyond Sunday Podcast” (a podcast for worship leaders that you should DEFINITELY be listening to), as well as an author, blogger, worship leader, songwriter, album producer, music instructor and family man! So David clearly knows a lot about time management and productivity!

In this episode we talk about why organization and productivity matter for Worship Leaders, how to set goals, the difference between consumers and creators, fighting distraction and staying focused, tips and tools for being efficient with your tasks and time, keeping people and God first while chasing God-sized dreams, and keeping your motives pure while you seek to do something BIG for the kingdom of God. If you like the episode, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes.

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Worship Keys Lessons
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Helpful Apps: Google Calendar, Evernote, Wunderlist, Planning Center, Momentum, Stay Focused


There is a difference between busyness & productivity. Productivity has VISION attached to it. -Tweet That!

Productive people’s days don’t happen by accident. Everything is planned from start to finish. -Tweet That!

Take the hours you use for “consumption” and begin using them for creation. -Tweet That!

The best way to fight against distractions is to remove them completely. -Tweet That!

Ask this question: does this thing I’m about to do move me toward accomplishing one of my goals? -Tweet That!

Don’t get so productive that you neglect people in the process. -Tweet That!

God is more interested in who you are becoming than what you are doing. -Tweet That!


Alex Enfiedjian 00:11 Hello,

Alex Enfiedjian 00:12 and welcome back to another episode of the worship team podcast. My name is Alex Enfiedjian. And I am your host. Today is Episode 18 of the podcast and I have the great privilege of talking to David Santa Stephen. David is a podcaster of the very well known beyond Sunday podcast. He is a worship pastor, an author, a blogger and album producer, a songwriter, a music instructor, and a family man. So we are here to talk to David about being organized and being efficient with your time and being productive and having goals. And we cover just a whole bunch of great things about being productive, and organized as a worship leader, because I think, unfortunately, worship leaders and musicians in general have this bad rap of being lazy or disorganized, or, you know, loose and artistic and, and not efficient and not productive and not, you know, a well oiled machine, not that any of us ever really reached that status. But we want to strive towards using our time wisely. Because the time that God has given us is a limited resource, we cannot get it back. We can’t buy it back. When our life is done, it’s done. And what we’ve done for Christ will stand for eternity. So we want to be efficient and effective with the time that God has given us. And that’s what we talked about today in the episode. If you are not already subscribing to David’s podcast, you absolutely should. It’s one of the best. It’s called the beyond Sunday podcast. So pause this one, go find it in the iTunes Store and subscribe. Alright, now that you’ve done that, let’s get back to our conversation with David Santa Steven.

Alex Enfiedjian 02:01 Hey, everybody, I’m here with David Santa Steven, if you don’t know, David, you absolutely should. He is the host of the very well known beyond Sunday podcast. And this time, he’s actually on the other side of the mic getting peppered with questions. So David, thanks for being here.

David Santistevan 02:19 Thanks so much, Alex. Man, it’s it’s an honor to be here. Yeah. I rarely find myself on this side of the interview. But I am super excited to be here and love what you’re doing, man.

Alex Enfiedjian 02:28 That’s good. I Well, I love what you’re doing. So it’s equal. Hey, I think our listeners should know who you are and what you do. And listeners if you don’t you have to Google him. His name is a little hard to spell, but I’m sure we’ll spell it a couple times throughout the episode. David, can you give us like a 32nd? intro to who you are and what you do? Sure,

David Santistevan 02:48 yeah. So I guess there’s like a lot of different parts to what I do. But mainly I’m a local church worship leader worship pastor, I lead a church here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Allison Park church. So that’s what I do. And I also have, like you said, a little training resource online. I do weekly blogging, as well as a weekly podcast and my heart with that is just to, to resource local church worship leaders with great teaching and conversations from people all over the world who are doing this thing. And so that’s what I do. I also do some other things. I teach some music lessons on the side, and I have a beautiful wife, two kids. And that about takes up all of my time right there.

Alex Enfiedjian 03:33 That’s right. Yeah. And you hit on some of it. But there’s I think there’s more so your worship pastor or a podcast or an author because you have books, blogger, album, producer, because you guys do live albums at your church, your music instructor, a songwriter, coffee connoisseur and family man like that talk about breaking the stereotype of the lazy musician, right? And and the stereotype of the disorganized worship leader, you, you have really been able to use your time wisely to accomplish some great things for the kingdom of God on a continual basis. And that’s why you’re on the podcast today is to talk to our listeners about organization efficiency, productivity, scheduling, all that kind of like administrative stuff that creatives usually shutter about. So and I always like to start with the why, of why something is important. So can you talk a little bit about why worship leaders should strive strive to be organized, efficient and productive?

David Santistevan 04:30 Yeah, great question. You know, without, without some type of organization and sort of productivity plan. I feel like you just sort of like float through life, aimlessly, you know. And it’s, to me, it’s, it’s all about being a little bit more intentional about your life, doing things on purpose, rather than just waiting. You know, as things happen, you know what I mean? And so I think a lot of us operate on that where we’re just waiting for things to happen to us. For people to contact us or for people to make things happen for us, and what can happen is months and years can go by and we look back on my life, and we’re like, what am I really doing, I’m just kind of going through the motions here. And so the whole idea of productivity just hits on a number of levels, you know, personally, what your your vision and your goals are. But even in our local churches, you know, like, our churches deserve our organization, you know, they deserve our best, our worship teams deserve our best. Like, if we don’t have our stuff together, we can’t really be great leaders, you know, so we need to be a few steps ahead of where we currently are with our teams in order to lead them. So I think it’s just being a good steward. You know, when you talk about being a good steward, a lot of times we talk about finances and money, but really time is that is that most important resource, you know, like you can’t get last time back. And so I think just being really intentional about that will help us to make the most of our time, you know, as the scripture says, to, like, really do the will of God, you know, like, I don’t want to look back on my life and not be proud of what I was able to accomplish for the kingdom of God, you know. And so that’s why not always great at it. But I strive to to be as organized and productive as I can for that for that reason.

Alex Enfiedjian 06:21 Yeah, that’s really interesting, because what you said, David, was that you have to have a vision first, and goals first, and then you can schedule your life to aim towards those goals. And that’s, I think, a huge part of all of this. And then you also mentioned scripture, which I think you hit on Ephesians, 515, and 16, which says, Therefore, be careful how you walk not as unwise men, but as wise making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So yeah, that’s good. That’s a really good reason why. And so now tell us a little bit how because I know, David, that you have goals that you set for each year, I think you even have like a reading plan of books that you plan to plow through in a year. So tell us how you set goals for yourself, how you determine what you feel like God is calling you to focus on in any given season?

David Santistevan 07:13 Yeah, I just want to say this first. I think sometimes whenever you see what somebody has produced, you can think they have like this really great well oiled system of productivity. But some oftentimes, when you look behind the scenes, it’s still somewhat of a messy process. And so I think that’s just important to know, like, if you’re, if you’re sitting there listening to this right now, and you just feel like you don’t have it all together, that’s okay. There’s, there’s most of the time, I don’t either. Most of the time, I don’t stick to one particular process, and I’m constantly tweaking and changing the way that I set goals and accomplish things. So just wanted to throw that out there. But yeah, as far as setting goals, so for me, that’s something that’s happening on a on a semi regular basis, where I’m sitting down, and I’m saying, Okay, what am I really working towards? What do I really want to accomplish? What’s God’s saying? Whether it’s from my church worship team, or kind of some personal goals that I have, you have to step back from the hustle and bustle, right, because you know what that’s like Aleksey, your day gets going. And then you’re just responding to a lot of other people’s requests for your time your email inbox is filling up, there’s just, if you’re not proactive about planning, somebody else is going to plan your day for you. So for me, it’s, you know, I use Evernote a lot for everything, really. And so what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll open up just like an Evernote notes and all determine like, hey, the, these are some big goals that I have, right? Whether they’re kind of personal things, or church things, or whatever it is, and I’ll write those down. And what I found that’s really worked more like well, more recently, is, is not focusing on too many goals. I’ve seen some people who like for every area of their life, they have like a goal where you know, all these different roles in their life, you know, as a husband, as a father, as a business owner, as a worship leader. And I think all those areas are great to have goals. But I’ve been able to see the most progress made when I really try not to focus on too many at once, you know, so whether that’s like one specific goal or two tops, I’m kind of like really focusing in on those at one time, so I’m not too distracted, I think you can get a little bit overwhelmed when you have too many things going at once. And so then you just sort of deep dive into that goal, you break it down into chunks. A big thing for me is just reviewing that every morning. You know, because we all know like, it’s not enough just to have this really great app on your phone with your goals listed out like that’s the easy part. The hard part is when you wake up on Tuesday morning and you don’t feel like doing anything that you you know, you have to push yourself to like step out there. I need to I need to move this ball forward. I need to make this happen. I remember when one of the biggest projects that I’ve done recently was my online course, for keys players called learn worship keys. And that was a big project. You know, there was like a videos that we needed to put together a website that needed to put together and all kinds of like training materials and outlining the site. And I did a lot of that myself. I don’t know if I would do that again in the future. But it was just like, it was a massive project that needed broken down into, like, really small chunks, you know, and so every morning, I would write down, what am I going to accomplish today, for this to move that forward? Right. And so it’s sort of that daily grind, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a myth to think that once you have all the right tools in place, that it’s just going to flow easily now, like, it’s, it’s always going to be the hard work of facing your fears, facing your insecurities, your procrastination, your doubts, and just pushing it out there and going for it little by little, I will say this too. Another big thing is, I can’t remember who I learned this from, but but reviewing, like, knowing what you’re going to do that day before your day starts. Yeah,

David Santistevan 11:06 I think a lot of creatives and worship leaders, sort of just kind of flow with it or go with it. And like I said before, then you’re just going to be responding to everybody else’s demands on your time. But if you can determine like, okay, here’s the plan for my day, here’s what I need to accomplish this day, before that day begins, or, you know, early in the morning, sometimes I’ll even do the day before we’re all set. Okay, this is what I’m gonna accomplish tomorrow, then you wake up, and it’s like, you take the guesswork out of the process, you take decision making out of the process, because you’ve already done that, if you’re going to rely on your decision making willpower in the moment to get stuff done, it’s not going to happen, because there’s always going to be busy things right. Like you’re, you’re a busy guy, you know, you got a family and a job, all this stuff. And many of our listeners here, you may not be full time worship leaders, you might be part time or, you know, volunteer, whatever it is, we all are juggling a lot of things. And so if you have a specific goal, you got to write it down, and then break it down, make sure you have a plan going into your day, okay, I’ll shut up after this. A lot of what I’ve been able to do to hasn’t been so the myth is man, you must have a lot of time to work on this stuff. Now I got a job that I got stuff that I do during the day. So a lot of the hustle of what I’ve done has been super early mornings, you know, getting up, you know, five o’clock, six o’clock in the morning, and just getting stuff out there. You know, writing blog posts, I remember when I first started blogging, I would blog every day, I’ve kind of scaled that back, because I don’t feel as effective right now that have something every single day. But for a couple years, I was posting something every day. And so I’d wake up that day. And I was like, I don’t even know if this is going to really be good. But I’ve made a commitment to do this, you know. And so when you have a passion for something, a vision for something, you’ll find the time to make it happen. You know, we we see people all the time, you know who they get into these, like, you know, Netflix, no movie series ever. My wife and I just watched Making a Murderer on Netflix, you know, and it’s like, you get sucked into it. Right? You like have to finish it, you make time for it, you stay up late to see the whole thing, right. And I think more of us need to get more passionate about what God’s asking us to do some big goals that could really push things forward, like we do with a Netflix show, you know, like really moving it forward. So yeah,

Alex Enfiedjian 13:23 dude, that’s like genius. I mean, there’s so much in there that we could break down, I want to talk a little bit about the, you did talk about breaking bigger goals into smaller chunks and scheduling it, calendaring it. And I’m kind of jumping ahead in our questions here. But I want to talk about that a little bit. Because we’ll talk right now in this section about the tools that people can use, whether they’re digital tools like Google Calendar, or Wunderlist, or Evernote, or whatever, talk about those. But But let’s talk a little bit about breaking your day down to make sure that you have time for everything because it sounds like you already. You’ve talked about that, right? You wake up at five, you’re doing this blog, you’re probably spending time with God, maybe making time to exercise all of these goals that we have have to be broken down into chunks. And then calendered. And I found that like my favorite tool is Google Calendar. I love Google Calendar. I don’t know do you use a calendar tool?

David Santistevan 14:21 Yeah, I use Google Calendar. Yep. Yeah, that’s like super important. Yeah, to get to get things on the calendar, even just kind of making a list of things you want to do isn’t as effective as saying like today at 9am I’m going to do this. You set an appointment with yourself, you know, if you if you had an appointment on your calendar to meet with the President of the United States, you know, like you wouldn’t nonchalantly approach that you would be like, oh man, I’m gonna be like, an hour early to this thing. You know, like, I’m gonna be at my best, you know, and I think that’s how we need to treat our goals. You know, you set an appointment with yourself and you you stick to it. You know, you show up.

Alex Enfiedjian 14:59 Yeah, Craig Michelle says to schedule your values. And so I would say that once worship leaders have a vision for what they want their life to be, they should schedule, the things that they value those things that those visions on their calendar like, broken down into, I’m going to song write every day at this time where I’m going to blog every day at this time. And so the way that I use Google Calendar, I have a little system that might be helpful to our listeners that I kind of fell into, because I was kind of like the person you were describing, where each day I had this task list, but I didn’t really have a plan for my day, which tasks what I tackle, blah, blah, blah. So what I ended up doing was I would schedule, all of my reoccurring tasks, and reoccurring appointments or meetings on my Google Calendar. And then I would use wonder list, which is an a task application to capture all the different tasks in all the different spheres of my life that needed to get done. And I put due dates on them. And then every night before I went to bed, I would look at my calendar, and I would look at my wonder list on the things that were due the next day. And I would put them on one list and I use the reminders list on my iPhone, I would consolidate them into a list in order of you know what needed to get done the next day. And I would figure like this one will take 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes an hour. And I would just schedule them in order of priority or just have like the flow of the day, you know what needed to get done first. And then I have a great plan for my day, I’d wake up and I start checking things off the list. And it felt great, but it was pre planned the day before, like you said, you know what you’re doing? And that really helps instead of like sitting down in your office going, huh? What should I work on today? That’s, that’s the inefficiency right there. So

David Santistevan 16:42 yeah, people need to you need to, like think about your work before you do your work. You know, like, almost you’re like being like, you’re the architect of your life in a sense, like you want to put that plan together. Think about it, look at your different roles, what’s the priority? You know, even getting some feedback, you know, from your spouse, or your your leader, your pastor, whatever it is, and then, you know, having that plan, and then you go to work on that plan. You know, in your law, like you said, You’re a lot more efficient and effective.

Alex Enfiedjian 17:12 Right? Yeah, productive people’s days don’t happen by accident, like everything is planned from the wakeup time to the morning routine of exercise to the family time, like everything is where it’s supposed to be. And they just stick to it. And it’s intentional. Yes, absolutely. David, you, you kind of talked about Netflix there for a second. And it reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. And that is the difference between consumers and creators. There are two kinds of people in the world, there are creators, those who are making content. And there are consumers, those who are consuming content. So there are those who are making Netflix movies, and there are those who are consuming binge watching Netflix movies, there are those who are, you know, writing songs, producing songs and putting them on iTunes. And then there are those who are consuming that media and downloading songs and buying songs from iTunes. There are the geniuses who created Facebook, and then those of us who mindlessly consume and scroll through Facebook. And I feel like people who are creating are people who are working and people are, who are consuming are those who are just passively wasting time. And the creators are the ones who are gaining influence, and money. And the consumers are being influenced and spending their money. And it feels like those who are truly productive. Those who are creating a lot of content are those who limit their consumption. They limit the amount of time that they spend mindlessly consuming information and media and they have their eye on the bullseye and they’re working hard to create content. It’s like a trade off. If you consume then you can’t create. And so you want to make sure you’re limiting your consumption so you can be as productive as possible. Do you have any thoughts about that?

David Santistevan 19:03 Yeah, absolutely. Man. It’s funny, you mentioned that because every time I’m watching a movie, that’s what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about, okay, I’m just kind of sitting here absorbing this. But there’s, there’s people who put in tons of work and creative thought and energy into creating this. So there’s people like out on the field, like filming movies, while I’m here watching the movie. And so I think I want to be careful too. I don’t want to, I think a lot of people can can demonize Netflix, and say like, Man, it’s terrible to like, watch any TV, like you’re just wasting your life away. I mean, it To be honest, like every creator needs some kind of you need to have some sort of consumption, because that can be creative fuel for your creations, right. So if I’m never listening to music, or if I’m never watching, you know, certain films or whatever, if I’m not having any sort of creative in input, my output is isn’t going to be as strong because we’re all a product of our influences, right? So we want to make sure that that’s still happening. But I don’t think that’s the problem for most of us, I think the problem for most of us is we don’t know what we want. It’s we don’t have a goal, you know. And so what we do is we end up wasting a lot of time, in the name of I am trying to get inspiration, when, you know, that’s not really happening. I think it was Steven pressfield. In the War of Art, he said, like, the creative person doesn’t wait for inspiration, but he works in anticipation of it. And so it’s all about sort of getting down and making things happen. So yeah, absolutely. I mean, I did just say that I watched the whole, Making a Murderer on Netflix, I definitely binge watch that me and my wife, and that was good. It was a fun, it was a fun thing for the two of us to do together. And I’m totally cool with that. But yeah, for the last number of years, I have not, instead of say, watching a movie in the evening, I’ve been, you know, doing a podcast, you know, podcast editing, you know, or instead of doing this, or that I was writing blog posts or things like that. And so looking back on the last couple of years, man, that really helped me accomplish a lot more, because I was taking the those hours that people typically use for just consumption and sort of vegging out, and I was being intentional with it, you know, because I’m not, I’m not, it’s not like, from eight to five every day, I’m pot, you know, doing podcasts and, you know, writing blog posts, that’s, that’s kind of happening on the fringes in the margins, you know, and so you have to say no to some things, you have to say no, to accomplish, whatever your goal is. And so I think for our listeners here, like, they should experiment with that, you know, catch, catch a vision for something that you want, and, and break that down, say a challenge, maybe over the next week, maybe take a week off of whatever it is for you, you know, it may be for you it is TV, or what, or some kind of show or whatever it is, and taking a week off of that, and saying that, let me see what I can what I can move forward here in whatever your goal is, you know, I think you’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish.

Alex Enfiedjian 22:18 Yeah, yeah, we live in a world of distraction. And I wanted to ask if you had any tips on fighting procrastination and distraction?

David Santistevan 22:29 That’s a great question. Yeah, so when, when I’m feeling distracted, one of the best things that I do, I think is, is step away from the work for a minute or step away from whatever I’m doing. And I’ll actually like, like, pray, you know, and I’ll just kind of get myself centered in and asking God, like, you know, take a deep breath, you know, and say, God, like, you know, what, what is it that you want me to focus on, and, and just kind of asked him for his help, which is a great sort of, like, reset, you know, to whatever it is. And that’s like, one thing that I’ll do another thing is, man, just getting outside and like going for a run. I know, that’s maybe like a common answer. But there’s something that’s just so refreshing about that. I mean, I don’t, I don’t particularly love running, I do it. But it’s more about like the effects of what going for a run can do that I like. And so just getting outside going for a run, and then coming back to the work, you sort of have, like, a fresh perspective on it. And sometimes it is, like, I’ll need to, if I’m distracted, or if I don’t know what to do next, I will, you know, read a book of somebody that I really look up to, or listen to some kind of music of someone that I’m, you know, I really look up to, and then I’ll sort of get some inspiration and influence, you know, from them, and then sort of continue the work. But the biggest thing in overcoming, like, the procrastination and distraction is, is like we’ve been talking about, you know, like having that plan. And, and sticking to it.

Alex Enfiedjian 24:11 Yeah, yeah, totally, there’s a powerful question that you can ask to really overcome something that’s distracting you. And that is, does this thing that I’m about to do move me toward accomplishing one of my goals? And if the answer is no, then don’t do it, you know, but there are a lot of like, shiny distractions that can like just grab your attention and suck your time and like Facebook, or, you know, Netflix or anything like that, or just like technology websites, or all sorts of stuff. And I’ve found for myself, I don’t have the self control to, like, just say no. So I actually have found that the best way to fight distractions for myself is to remove them. And I think Craig Rochelle has a quote about temptation. He’s like, I’d rather remove a temptation now then try to face it later. And so for me like that, just Like eliminating the opportunity to be distracted completely. So I deleted my Facebook, my personal Facebook, I blocked any like time sucking websites that I used to go to frequently deleted any apps from my phone that were like just, you know, habitually clicking on, like, I had to get rid of it. And it’s like, freed up all sorts of time. So I would, I would encourage the listeners today to do the same thing. Like, if you’re distracted by something, if something is sucking your time, delete it, it’s like Jesus said, cut off your hand gadget your eye like, it’s it works. So just remove the opportunity, and you won’t have that distraction. So

David Santistevan 25:37 yeah, and I think that’s great. I think too, like, you have to have a passion for your goal, you know, I feel like if you really have a passion for it, if you see the need, if you look into the future, this is something else I do is as to ask that question, if I were able to accomplish this, what difference would this make in my life? You know, and you catch a vision for whatever it is that that you’re trying to do. And you keep that front center. So every day when you review your goals, you’re not just looking at, I need to write a blog post, now you’re thinking down the road, like, Okay, what will this what kind of impact will this have? Whose life can I change by whatever it is that I’m doing? That is what gets you motivated, right? It’s not always like the grind that gets you motivated, but it’s really, it’s the people who have a vision for the grind, you know, like, hey, if I do this, this is what’s going to be the result. And that can be motivation to say no to Facebook to say no to those little distractions, because, you know, man, this goal is worth it.

Alex Enfiedjian 26:39 Hmm. That’s so good. So David, you know, you’re doing a lot, you’re busy, you’re working on the fringes. So you’ve got your main, you know, worship, leading worship pastoring job, and then you’re working in the midst of all these big God sized goals that you’re trying to accomplish? Like, how do you make sure that you’re making adequate time for your family and adequate time for God?

David Santistevan 27:00 Yeah, man, that’s, that’s the big question for anybody in ministry, right. Is, is keeping the main thing, the main thing, you know, I think we can get so caught up in, in our ministry that we forget about that stuff, you know, when really time with Jesus is like, your most important priority, you know, so, I think for me, I. So I have to say no to a lot of things, you know, so when I’m not doing my work stuff, I’m with my family, you know, and I’m not, I don’t want anybody to get the idea, like, I’m this perfect husband and father, who’s, who’s always gets it, right. Because there, there’s definitely those seasons in those times where there’s stress involved, you know, there’s, there’s some friction in our relationship, you know, when, when it’s like, in a busier season, you know, but I think for the most part, like, is making sure I think it was maybe john Piper who said, this is there should always be You shouldn’t have your schedule set up in a way where you’re like working for 12 hours, you know, like, it just shouldn’t be that way. You know, there’s a difference between being busy and being productive, right? I think sometimes we can prop up like, Man, I’m just so busy, I have, I’m working 1214 hour days. And in a lot of situations, that’s, that’s just your priorities are out of whack. And I want to be careful with that. Because I know that some people have jobs, maybe some listeners here, where that’s, that’s what you have to do, you’re required to work that many hours. So I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about those of us who sort of willingly choose to work that much whenever we don’t really have to, there’s a time where you just have to cut it off, and you just got to go home and he got to hug your kids. You know, I struggle with that, you know, because I always feel like I need to be productive. When I’m on vacation. I’m thinking about like, Okay, what, what can I accomplish while I’m on vacation? You know, what can What, what, what’s the next thing, so at least have having that time block every single day where I have time with my wife and my kids, you know, and as far as time with Jesus, you know, for me, that’s like, the thing that I do first thing in the morning is making making sure I guard that time, you know, so actually, it’s not really first thing in the morning, I lied. So I usually work out first thing in the morning. And then right after that, I get the coffee going, and then I get my Bible and that’s what I do. You know, so before I work on a podcast, or write a blog post or anything, just kind of getting in the word and praying and being with God. You know, as a worship leader, there’s no better way to use your time than to spend time with Jesus. You know, like you can’t expect to just know the voice of the Holy Spirit on a stage if you’re not learning that voice and secret and knowing his word and secrets and so that’s that’s what I’m doing and I want to guard myself to to not just spend time with Jesus because it makes Is my career it makes me a better worship leader? No, but it’s sort of like an outflow of keeping the main thing, the main thing is spending time with Jesus, you know, and so I’m always trying to find a time every day to get into the word. You know, if I can’t sit down with my Bible, if it’s if I if I’m a little late in the morning, you know, throwing on the audio version, you know, so I use the Bible app on my phone to keep track of where I’m reading in the scriptures. So sometimes I’ll just listen to it, listen to the audio while I’m driving, if I haven’t had time to read it, but just sort of getting that that intake of God’s Word, and and prioritizing that. So I don’t know if that was helpful or not. But that’s kind of how I approach it. No, it’s

Alex Enfiedjian 30:40 good. And I mean, I think there are probably listeners out there going, Well, David, I’ve got three kids, and they’re up at like, six in the morning. And I don’t have time and how do I do it? And, you know, I wrestled with that question, too, until I finally realized, well, the answer is wake up earlier than my kid. You know, and that’s the truth. And and you hear

David Santistevan 31:00 something, too, I will say something about that too. Little, little parenting tip here. So recently, so my son Tyler, he’s, he is up at around 630, usually. And so that’s, for a while, I was so frustrated at that. I was like, why can’t you sleep to like eight o’clock, so that I can have time to do what I need to do. And what I’ve done recently, and this has been great is Yeah, Tyler will be up at 630. And what we’ll do is we’ll read our Bibles together. So I’ll make it more of this is a discipleship experience for my son. And instead of it being an annoyance for me, you know, so bringing him into that experience, he’s only three years old. He’s He’s really smart, three year old though he like reads already. But what will happen is I’ll get my Bible out, and I’ll give him you know, my phone, we have the the Bible app for kids, which is really great. And so we sort of have this routine going, we’re Hill, Hill, open up the Bible app, and he’ll be kind of playing with it, you know, there’s different like animals and characters that you can push on. And so he’s, he’s reading his Bible. I’m reading mine, he’s telling me like, he’s looking at my little reading plan. And he’s telling me what I’m supposed to read next. And for us, it’s a time for us to be together. So I turned what I thought was like a barrier to my productivity or a barrier to my growth, and turn it around and say, Okay, how can I use this as an opportunity to disciple my son? Because, to be honest, I want Tyler I want him to see me reading my Bible. I don’t, I don’t really want to do that before he wakes up. I mean, that’s fine, if that happens, but I’d rather he see me do it. Because that’s sort of shaping his thinking on Oh, wow, Daddy, really prioritizes reading his Bible every single day, this is important. So just to throw that in there,

Alex Enfiedjian 32:40 that’s good. And I mean, I think there’s something to say, because I feel like, I know I in the past, I would be like, pushing back like, well, it’s just, David, you’re just perfect. You know, you just got it all together, you, you know, but you know what, like, anybody can do this, like, it really just goes back to having the vision for the life that you want, and the kind of person you want to be and the kind of person God is calling you to be. And you just say, Okay, I’m going to do it, I’m going to make changes, I’m gonna make sacrifices, I’m not going to make excuses. And I’m going to do it, I’m going to wake up early, or I’m going to turn this opportunity into something positive, where I can read with my child. So I don’t want people to listen to you and be like, Oh, man, David’s got it all together. But it’s a grind. But it’s a grind that is based on a vision that you have for your life. And that’s where this whole thing keeps coming back to that. So I have one last question for you. Before we before we let you go. And this is a deep one. This is a hard one, a heart question. And it is how do you how do you keep your motives pure, and make sure that when you’re doing big things for God, you’re not also subconsciously trying to make a name for yourself. Because I have found that the motives in my heart can be blurry, and I can legitimately believe I’m doing something for God. But at the same time, I’m looking for some sort of applause or a pat on the back or just to prove to myself that I’m not a loser. And I think there can be an underlying pride to productivity and progress. And I think highly moded motivated people tend to wrestle with that. So how do you keep that in check in yourself?

David Santistevan 34:15 Yeah, that’s such a great question, man. I mean, for anybody who’s in ministry, or who’s creating things like you have to keep that in check. And I think the first thing I’ll say is keeping my priorities aligned with the priorities of the kingdom. Right. So if I ever get into doing things that aren’t building people, or strengthening people or helping people, or helping to bring them closer to Jesus, then I know that I’m off base. But I’ve also found that you can almost go down that rep, that sort of rabbit trail to the point where you don’t reach your potential or you don’t release things that you could because you’re afraid of your mo This, and I think this is just it’s part of being human is that we’re always going to wrestle with having wrong motives or being selfish. And I think, keeping your eyes on the kingdom of God, and then just sort of going for it. Like, don’t let that hold you back, you know, because you could, you could use that argument to say, like, Okay, I’m afraid of being self serving, or I’m afraid of these wrong motives, and then you, you don’t do what God wants you to do, you don’t step out there, right. So there’s, there’s, that’s the other side of it. So I think, really staying rooted in the kingdom, and helping people and then just just go for it, like God’s given you a gift, don’t be afraid to use it, don’t be afraid to put it out there. I think that’s a responsibility that we have, and God’s given us the resources, he’s given us the creativity and the talents, to release art into the world and to release, you know, new songs and new books and resources, and whatever it is, to, to extend his kingdom and to train others. You know, like, it’s amazing. I feel like what, just even having a podcast, you know, this is like, man, like, here in my little house, I can create something that goes around the world, and, and people on the other side of the world can listen to this, and they can be influenced by it, and it can change their life. Like, that’s what motivates me, you know, doing the kingdom of God and changing people’s lives. You know, I think that that’s just an incredible thing to think about. And we live in an incredible time where things like that are possible, you don’t have to wait to be signed to a record label to make an impact, you know, you can catch a vision and step out there and create something and do something that that can reach people. And, man, that’s, that’s kind of what motivates me.

Alex Enfiedjian 36:57 Yeah, I can hear the passion in your voice, just how you talk about it. I have two final, like thoughts. You had mentioned a couple of warnings about productivity. And then I’ll ask for your final thoughts here. I think you said it earlier, it’s really important that we don’t get so productive, that we neglect people in the process. You know, it’s all about people. So if, if we’re just about checking things off the list, then we’ve we’ve swung to the wrong side of the pendulum of productivity. So that’s one thing. And then the other thing that is really important for myself to hear is that God is more interested in who you are becoming than what you are doing. So we have to really be careful that our character is the main priority, and becoming more like Jesus is the main priority, not just getting all this stuff done for the kingdom. So do you have any final words that you’d like to leave for our listeners? Yeah, I

David Santistevan 37:51 love that man. You know, I always say this, that going to Bible College never really prepared me for the people part of the equation, you know, for ministry, you know, like I developed certain skills and, and how to lead worship and how to arrange music, how to be a musician, but really, when it comes down to it ministry, and life really is about people, you know, so maybe you maybe you’re a worship leader, you know,

Unknown Speaker 38:17 what you do is,

David Santistevan 38:17 is about people, you know, it’s about connecting with your congregation, it’s about leading them to encounter Jesus and then getting out of the way, if you’re a business owner, it’s still about people. It’s never about you. You know, it’s never about you just propping yourself up and saying, Look how amazing I am. Now, like you’re serving people, you’re creating things that are helping people do what they do better. And so I think always keeping that front and center like, how can I better serve people, you know, and keeping my heart fixed on on Jesus, through it all. That’ll keep us from sort of getting off track.

Alex Enfiedjian 38:54 That’s good. Call David. So I want to plug all your stuff, your podcast, your blog, your your keys, tutorial, your books, they’re great. Your albums, everything you’re doing is awesome. So where can people find all that stuff online?

David Santistevan 39:09 Yeah, it’s sort of sort of spread out a little bit. So the main hub I guess, for what I’m doing is David Santa Stephen calm, spell it s a n t i s t e v A n. So that’s where you’ll find my blog and the podcast and there’ll be links on there to my keys course called learn worship keys, where you can just go to learn worship Yeah, and then the the music that we do with Allison Park worship, it’s called, you can search that on iTunes or Spotify. Check out we just released an album in December called offer Jesus and really excited about what God’s doing with that. And I think that covers it

Alex Enfiedjian 39:52 cool. I’ll link all that in the show notes too. So everyone will be able to find it pretty easy there. So man, David, thank you so much for your time. And for your wisdom. And if our listeners loved hearing what they heard, go check out the beyond Sunday podcast. You will absolutely love it. I’m sure you’re already subscribed anyway. So thanks. Thanks, David. God bless you, man. Yeah.

Alex Enfiedjian 40:13 Thanks, man. Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with David, Santa Stephen, be sure to check out all of his great resources, I’ve put links in the show notes to this episode, David is putting out some really high quality content. So take advantage of it. And as for you, you know, go chase some big, audacious God sized dream Go, go find what that passion is that burns in your heart, and and get focused about it, you know, set some goals. In fact, if you want to email me a goal, I’ll try to keep you on track. You can email me at worship team And I’ll just check in with you and say, hey, how’s that? That worship album going that you wanted to work on or Hey, you know, how’s that song that you wanted to write? So, if accountability helps, I’ll be your accountability partner but, but go set a goal. go chase a dream, go do something great for the kingdom of God. And I’ll see you back here next month, where another helpful