Working for a high school ministry is an ever evolving adventure. Today’s adventure was learning the importance of fully relying on God. Buckle up. It’s quite a ride.
Earlier in the week, I met with my compadres about this weekend’s service. There were a lot of moving parts. For one, we had the student impact dance team perform, which is new for me as a tech director, and instead of a message portion of our service, we had a 24 minute documentary that wrapped up our sex series.
There were a few bumps in the road with running tech for the dance team this weekend. We were able to give the team two hours on the stage on Friday to work through a tech rehearsal. Our goal was to do some more theatrical lighting for the dance, and highlight them well. Unfortunately, by the end of the two hours, we still hadn’t seen the entire dance.
The plot thickens.
Earlier in the week, we had determined that Friday was a great time to listen to the audio mix of the documentary in the auditorium. Friday came around, and I received an email from our producer that his hard drive had failed, but thankfully he was able to save the files. This set him back a ways, and prompted a move to Saturday for audio check. Saturday came around, and a few more issues popped up, so we didn’t audio check then either.
Fast forward to this morning…As I was driving into the church, I was praying. The thing I kept feeling was that this is going to be a morning that only works with God.
Pause and rewind for a minute, and let’s go back to lunchtime on Friday.
I was invited to lunch with several of the ladies from the programming staff at Willow. Throughout the course of the hour, we covered a broad range of topics. As we were broaching the topic of evaluation and realistic expectations, one of the group members mentioned something that stuck out. In the church she came from, every time there was a bump in the road during a service, the congregation treated it with reverence. For example: If a microphone went out during the message, the congregation would quiet down, with the eager expectation that God was trying to say something. More often than not, when things go wrong, my initial reaction is to find out what is wrong, and attempt to ensure it won’t happen again.
Let’s resume our story.
As I was driving into the church this morning, I received a call from our producer, letting me know that he had stayed up until 3AM finishing the documentary. He had set it to export overnight and went to bed. When he woke up early this morning, he realized that the export had failed, and corrupted the entire file. His next course of action was to try to open the latest auto-save of the project and work from there. Unfortunately, his latest auto save was a few hours behind where the final version should be. All morning, he was working tirelessly to get the video back to the final version, exported, and into the presentation computer so we could test it.
Meanwhile, rehearsals kept moving upstairs. The music and tech teams were so gracious and flexible in their reactions, as we improv’d our way through the morning. As more and more things seemed to go awry, I remembered the story from Friday. My thoughts changed from what was going wrong, to looking for what God was trying to say. When we approached time for talking through the morning’s elements and details, our worship leader brought up a timely story. In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle of the morning, his reminder was to find moments to be Mary’s in the middle of times where it is so easy to be Martha’s. This was another solidifying moment of the morning.
After talk through, our producer walked in, with the finalized documentary in hand. He had struggled to get it exported throughout the morning. It had failed twice until he switched to another editing machine in another part of the church. From that moment on, I could tell that the team’s perspectives had changed, everything was going to be okay, and it is only because of God that everything was going to come together.
The time for service came. As we meandered through our service, the expectation for God to move grew. After the documentary, our pastor got up and shared, after which we went into more worship. As we entered into the last song, I just stood and watched the congregation. Everywhere I looked, there were students who were coming to God with hidden sin and shame. Healing was taking place. The energy of the room was absolutely electric. It was almost surreal that something that profound could come out of the morning’s earlier chaos. All I can say is, “Only God.”
I am so thankful to each member of the music, tech, and programming teams today. Because we were all in the right place with our hearts and minds, a path was prepared for God to blow us away with his Presence. Today is a day I never hope to forget. It was a lesson in truly letting go, letting God, and knowing that He is fully in control.