Semper Reformanda

...some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help.

[Monday, August 23, 2010]

What do you do when the power goes out at church?

This past weekend was one for the books at the Crossing church. We had some crazy storms in Chesterfield Friday night which caused a tree to fall on an electrical pole near the church. Needless to say, when I got to work at noon on Saturday, the place was pitch black. I called my boss, who was already there and that's when things got crazy.

Now, before coming to the Crossing, my initial thought process would have been to cancel church. You can't be indoors because there isn't power (no lights in the bathrooms, no fire alarm system, no AC) and it's pretty steamy outside, and still no power for microphones etc... However, I got to witness something pretty cool happen. As the leaders circled up to talk through everything for the weekend, we started throwing out ideas on how to have a service on the back lawn. We had a generator (big enough for sound equipment, not the whole building) and the ground was pretty dry from the storms the night previous. So, everyone jumped into action.

We still had some issues... like pitch black restrooms. Luckily, we found some battery powered tea-light candles which we used to add a romantic feel (or creepy/cultish depending on who you talked to) to the restrooms for the night. Also, the back lawn has some low parts which were pretty mushy still from the rain. However, when you dump a bunch of sawdust on those parts, the problem just seems to disappear! Also, it was pretty hot. We battled that as best we could by providing water stations and paper towels, which I think helped out quite a bit. By the 6:30 service, the sun had set enough that almost everyone was in the shade.

We made sure to catch people as they were coming in to make them aware of the situation, and everyone had such a great attitude. There was a sense that this was something special... just for those who had chosen to show up on Saturday night. It was a really neat atmosphere.

The stage was rather simple -- some risers, mics and speakers. They stripped worship down to an acoustic set of songs that everyone was pretty familiar with. My heart went out to those guys on the worship team because though it was cloudy, when the sun was out... it was HOT! But they persevered through sound check and two services. Randall was our speaker, and because of the heat he summarized a 30 minute message into about 5 for the sake of everyone who showed up.

To help out with the kids and even the adults, we got an ice cream truck to show up, which I think paid off considering the line I saw of people waiting.

After the second service, Randall headed to our Fenton location to record his full-length message for the services on Sunday. Fenton is our video multi-site, and we normally use a recording from Saturday's services on Sunday in Fenton. However, since the power was out, a Saturday service didn't get recorded and Fenton wouldn't have had any teaching Sunday morning. So a hot, sweaty and tired Randall headed down to Fenton (which did have power) to make sure that didn't happen.

I was hanging with some friends after church, and came back for my car around 11pm. Thankfully, the lights were back on by then. Sunday was packed (I got to be at Fenton) and the rest of the weekend went really well.

I'm just really happy and thankful I get to be a part of a place that is as flexible and inventive as the Crossing is. These crazy moments when things don't happen according to plan are really neat because in those moments when you feel like you're scrambling, you get to see God do some pretty awesome things... things you might have missed had you been in air conditioning.


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