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…”
The above pic is Andy and I at the Caps game on Tuesday night right before it started.
As you can see we had awesome seats!
The bad part was the Caps lost the game 4-2 to the Flyers.
Wow being that close to the ice gave a much better perspective for the size of the players and the speed of the game.
Because of how low we were, when the play was at the far end of the arena we had trouble seeing through the glass clearly so we had to switch back and forth from watching live action on the Jumbo-Tron to watching live action right in front of us.
A few times I forgot and just kept watching the Jumbo-Tron.
It’s amazing how conditioned we are as humans to watch our content on a screen.
This is why I’m excited about some of the things we’ll be able to do via video in United in the future.
Funniest thing that night was the lady sitting next to me. She introduced herself as a Flyers fan, but not an obnoxious one.
At one point in the game she turns to me and says, “Well you don’t have to cuss about it”.
I assured her that I hadn’t said any swear words. She insisted that I did and then repeated back to me what she thought I had said.
I told her it’s been about 15 years since I said anything like that.
She says, “No way, you’re a liar”. To which I lean over and say, “Seriously I don’t…I’m a pastor”.
She was blown away…first with embarassment. She said she felt like she needed to go to confessional…not sure why people always assume pastors are Catholic.
Then she’s tellling all her friends how cool it is that a pastor is 1. At a hockey game. 2. Has such good seats. 3. Is wearing Caps gear (guess she thought I was missing one of those little white collar thingies). 4. Is yelling for the home team.
I was able to tell her we cheer louder at United than we do at games though…she thought that was cool.
Wish I would have had the new United Promo Video loaded on my phone…that would have really shocked her.
Overall been an interesting week so far…
Got to share my faith with a Buddahist yesterday…that was cool
Last night I taught Earl’s class for him and as always had a good time hanging out with the senior saints of the church.
Last night I talked with them about being culturally relevant…at one point I threw out the name Brittany Spears…blank stares back. Then Kayne West…blank stares. Ummm…..ummmm….Perry Como…eyes lit up. 🙂
Should be a great weekend as we launch our brief 2-part series “What If”.
Remember the episode of Seinfeld where they discovered bizzaro world where they had alter egos who were completely different than they were?
The above picture is sort of like that.
Wow there was an incredible response to Earl and I swapping places today…wardrobes included.
Between the 9:15 and 10:45 Experience, I was walking thru the very crowded lobby and actually had a few dozen people start applauding.
I felt bad for Earl…everyone said to me “Oh you clean up nice”. What could you say to him?
Funniest line said to me was from one of the kids who said, “Who are you and what did you do with my pastor?!”
I enjoyed my time over in the sanctuary today but nothing is like being with you guys at United.
I was able to sit in for the 9:15 and just get to experience the Experience for once.
I really enjoyed Earl’s message, although that Burger King dude scares me half to death when I see him on TV…in person it was even worse.
Noticed we had quite a few people who came over to the sanctuary from United…oops bet you were shocked to have already heard the “First Things First” message in the past.
At the 8:00 service when I did the M&M’s illustration, I saw Kim Mills giving me a look like, “Please don’t squash them in the carpet, please don’t squash them in the carpet.”
I did a much better job at 8 keeping them from going everywhere than I did at 10:45…it was like a minefield up there.
Actually had someone say to me, “Now that you’re wearing a suit, you’ll be able to preach.” That’s hilarious, like a suit suddenly gives you super powers.
I had a bunch of family members in today and they got to be in the sanctuary for the first time….they liked it because they only ever see me in a suit at funerals or weddings…come to think of it…that’s about the only time anyone does anymore.
Best question of the day was someone asked me what I’ll be buried in. Great question…I don’t know.
Overall it was a fun day…I think it’s good that all 4 services and Experiences heard a fresh voice, but I’m ready to rock and roll again next week.
Tonight we’re heading off to the Old South Mountain Inn for dinner…been a few years since I’ve been there…usually very good…can’t wait!