What an ugly day…I think I hate rain as much as I do the snow and cold.
From a set-up and technical stand point it was a pretty good morning…nice and relaxing.
That helped because of some last minute changes we had made.
One of our core values at United is to be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure.
To be honest for this week’s Experience we were flirting with the line…but I felt confident that in it’s proper context the creative elements were going to making some lasting impressions that would ultimately advance the Kingdom.
Friday night we decided to pull two things much to my disappointment…
So I went from an excited nervous to just plain nervous because it meant trying to go back and make the message make sense.
At 9:15 I just wasn’t in to it so I apologize to that crowd.
By 10:45 it was a little better and so that’s what we posted if you 9:15’ers want to hear a better version.
I’m trusting though that God still spoke to people even through the confusion.
Other than that, I felt it was a great day…
…the band did great and the crowds (especially 10:45) was lively.
Met some great people today…I love the wide variety of people that God is bringing to us.
Next week is nothing but Q&A so if you have any questions about marriage, dating, relationships or sex, text us at 301-991-5746 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time now for my nap…I need it…then off to friends house.
This week will be really busy becuase I’ll be travellling next Monday-Friday so I’ve got to get 2 weeks worth of stuff done this week.
One highlight though will be tomorrow night’s trip to DC with Andy for the Caps and Penguins play-off game.
Last night’s practice for this weekend was awesome…I’m a combination of excited and nervous!
You’ll have to be there to see why.
This is about as edgy as I think we’ll ever be, but I truly believe that God has directed all of this to create an Experience that not only will you never forget, but will also get you truly re-thinking sex.
Speaking of excited, Andy and I got our tickets for Monday night’s Caps vs. Penguins play-off game.
Alexander the Great vs. Cindy (oopps I mean Sidney) the Sissy haha
Yesterday was Dianna Best, our children’s director’s, birthday.
The staff went out to a great liitle Italian place in downtown Chambersburg to celebrate.
For 44 days Dianna is a year older than me…ha!
In all seriousness, Dianna does an awesome job with “little people church”…please don’t forget to thank her for all she and her team does next time you see her.
Tonight CAYA is hanging out with a stop at Brusters in the mix.
If you’re in the 18-29 range stop by Brusters at 7PM to hang with them.
Going to try out Twitter for a week or so to see if I like it.
Got another busy week coming up where I’ll have to get 2 weeks worth of stuff done…definetely looking forward to vacation!
If you haven’t yet invited someone to United for this weekend…stop what your doing and do it now…you won’t regret it.
Thursday night’s service was quite full and Aaron’s use of architectural projection on the sanctuary walls was quite impressive.
I had prepared the message for that evening earlier in the week and had run through it a few times but was going to have notes on stage with me. About 1/2 hour beforehand, Aaron convinced me I should have it memorized…talk about a cram session, but I got it done with God’s help.
Friday I enjoyed my day off and just vegged while Lisa went to CAYA’s Good Friday service. Heard it went very well.
Saturday I was up early to go in to help with the Easter Family Fun Fest.
The rain was a bit discouraging, but kids and their parents just kept flooding into the buidling.
I ended up floating around helping where needed…the football toss game will never be the same after Andy and I got a hold of it…but for the most part I hung out in my office answering the phone with “yes we’re still having the event..it’s just been moved indoors”.
Around 11:30am I was asked to run to the grocery store to buy 100 more hotdogs and rolls.
I had no longer gotten back and they asked me to go buy 200 more of each.
By the time it was all said and done, they had prepared for about 600 but ended up with over 1000 people altogether!
I got yelled at by the clerk at the grocery store for taking all of thier stock of hotdogs and rolls.
He kept telling me that we needed to pre-order such large amounts. I kept explaining that we had prepared for 600 but now we needed to feed 1000, but for some reason that wasn’t computing for him.
As Andy said when I got back, “It’s not like you were stealing them…you still paid for them”.
With all those people on Saturday, I’m not sure why I’m still so shocked about the record crowds we had yesterday.
If I’m being really honest I thought United would have 450-470 and I was praying for 500.
So to have 550 was amazing.
The two sanctuary services combined for about 560 and the children had right about 200…amazing.
This week I’ll be planning a little further ahead than usual becuase I’ll be in Florida all of next week at a conference.
Please be praying that we can get everything done that needs to happen.
Also don’t forget that this Saturday at 3PM & 7PM in the multi-purpose room is a free community-wide date night where we’ll be showing the movie Fireproof.
Had tons of people say how powerful today’s Experiences were.
Really got people thinking about the role alcohol plays in their lives.
Tough message to preach though…no matter what some people weren’t going to be happy…and just in case someone was happy, you throw gluttony into the mix and everyone leaves challenged.
We set another attendance record today largely in part to the 9:15 setting thier own personal attendance record for the 3rd consecutive week.
Way to go everyone…keep inviting people…lives are truly being changed.
Can you believe our band? They killed it today with their version of Carrie Underwood’s song “Last Name”.
Gayle did a phenominal job not just singing but playing the part…and how about Aaron’s guitar solo and Brian on the banjo!
Pretty funny when you think about it…last week Brian was mixing at the turntable and this week he plays the banjo…incredible versatility!
Yes we’ve got something planned next week that your not going to want to miss…make sure you invite someone to come along.
Someone asked me after the 9:15 what is the point in which someone is considered biblically speaking drunk.
My thought is once it affects your motor skills you are drunk. Which means that if you’re getting a buzz your close to the line if not already over it.
So please if your going to drink, do it responsibly…really no reason to have more than two drinks.
However, remember that all of us are taking the 30 day challenge…No alcohol at all for 30 days.
Again just to reiterate for those who may be reading this and you haven’t listened to the message. I don’t drink…haven’t had anything in over 16 years so this message has nothing to do with me and everything to do with teaching what the Bible truly says about alcohol.
The live questions today were once again fun but still a bit nerve wracking.
Answering questions in front of hundreds of people when you have no idea what’s going to come in is full of pressure but I think has been worth it.
The morning started earlier than normal for me when I was awoken by the sound of a snow plow…wait a second, what? A snow plow…are you kidding me?!
I get into church ok, but I’m wondering about the parking lot…Earl is normally in charge of snow decisions.
It was a bit slippery walking in from the parking lot and I’m worried about the older folks at the 8:00 sanctuary service slipping and falling so I call to have at least the senior parking area and guest parking area plowed.
Uhhh yeah…when I come out then at noon time everything is melted…snow, no snow…are you kidding me?!
So I get into the multi-purpose room to discover that the gym floor is a mess from a wedding the night before and that all of our tables for the tech area need to be carried out.
Now I’m running behind but not bad…everything is ready for the band to do their morning warm-up except the batteries for the mouse died. No problem more batteries in the back…ooops all batteries gone…send Brian out for batteries.
Ok, back on track…great band warm-up although Aaron asks for a bit of extra time. I told him no it’s 8:30 and we still have to check videos and other stuff.
Hit the video button…it plays on the screen…uhhh were’s the sound?
Check eveything we know to check…nothing. Starting to worry because we had 5 different video clips to play of which 2 were very important to my message.
Why do these things always happen on weeks that Andy is away?
Trying desperately to call him and wake him up on his “vacation”. Nothing, try Gayle’s number, Andy’s sister’s number, his parent’s number to see if they know which room they are staying in at the hotel. Nothing…nothing…nothing.
Mmmm…starting to get nervous…time is ticking.
Finally get a hold of Andy. “Oh no problem…do this.” “Mmmmm…already tried that”. “How about this?” “Nope did that to”.
Ok, time for plan “B”. Have Andy talk to Chris on the phone and walk him through repatching our entire video system.
7 minutes left until the 9:15 is supposed to start.
5 minutes…3 minutes…2 minutes…”Ok guys go ahead and start the countdown just without any sound”.
1 minute and 15 seconds left and the sound kicks on…whew just in the nick of time…everything will be good from here right…wrong.
Because we took so much time getting all that fixed nothing else got checked so we were having problems in other areas and then I come out on stage and don’t have a functioning microphone because I had forgotten to switch it back to the right channel after being in the sanctuary last week.
Luckily Aaron figured that out and was able to get me back on track during the first video.
All in all the 9:15 couldn’t have been much more of a trainwreck behind the scenes and then somewhat on stage.
How embarrasing since I was talking about making a great first impression in the message.
In any case, I had quite a few people tell me afterwards that despite the obvious glitches, the message was really convicitng and motivating so hopefully the whole thing was just Satan trying to keep us from accomplishing what we’re called to do in Franklin County and beyond.
A big thanks to Chris, Jerry, Jason and Aaron for keeping their cool under pressure and making the most of a bad experience. And oh yeah…thanks to Andy for being “on call”.
The 10:45 then went off without a hitch and was a reminder of why I was so excited about today.
The band did a great job in both Experiences and the new stage design Aaron did for this series is incredible.
I think the big light heart was a hit. Although I had a few people tell me they thought it was unintentional.
Guess that tells you what they think of Aaron’s ability to think creatively! 🙂
I had told Aaron earlier in the week that this was going to be one of my longer messages and wow I didn’t disappoint. 🙂 Nearly 45 minutes when you include the prayer at the end.
Guess I had a lot to share 🙂
In the hectic pace of the morning I lost my water bottle somewhere, so what the team doesn’t know is that backstage I was grabbing anyone’s bottle I could find and drinking from it.
I’d pay to see their reactions right after having read that!
So basically today was at both ends of the spectrum…but I’m still proud of the team for pulling through.
Today though was further proof of why we need more of you to serve. I am in no frame of mind to preach when all those other things are happening and I need to be there to help.
I look forward to the day when the only thing I have to do on a Sunday morning is preach and then be told afterwards about how things just barely came together in time.
When we were done today I went to lunch with Don Dennison, his wife Phyliss and Kim Mills. I hear Don did a great job filling in for Earl today in sanctuary.
I’ll check-in tomorrow with some other weekend thoughts. In the meantime, keep asking yourself “What if…”