There was an era in the history of the worship ministry that was categorized by, well, mayhem. That is, regularly, Sunday mornings were Crazy, and involved last minute running around, panic, and absurdity; and at the end of the day, we were often simply relieved that church had happened. I recall many times that Worship Pastor would be troubleshooting technical things or doing physical labor as the first service was about to begin, or times when I had forgotten about Something Important and had to track down Anyone to maybe try and help get Something accomplished while the service began. Or praying that a last-minute media item would work in ProPresenter.*
Not to mention, very often, no one knew exactly what was going to happen and when it was supposed to happen. I can think of various times when the musicians walked onto stage likely having no idea what song was supposed to happen next, or times when pastors would stop by the booth during the first song, asking me when something was going to happen in that service.
Despite the fact that there are lots of great stories from this era, this is not a season I would like to re-live. And a day like yesterday reminds me of how far we’ve come: a technical issue was frustrating, but not debilitating; I found volunteers to help out with time to spare;** and not once did I have to sprint across our campus in a panic.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we’ve arrived or anything. There’s still plenty of craziness on Sundays mornings to go around (cf. many of the post-Sunday posts here), but it tends to be of a different variety. We actually do some planning in advance, and now, it’s mostly my job to keep up with what’s happening and when it’s supposed to happen, and I suppose, to make sure it happens.
In any event, I’m so very thankful that Utter Mayhem has become, for most Sunday mornings, the exception and not the rule.
*ProPresenter, even in its very updated, modern state still likes to crash in the middle of services or refuse to play DVD clips. Some things never change, I suppose.
**If you see my number come up on your caller ID on a Sunday morning at 8 a.m., please know it’s only out of necessity. If I’m calling you on a Sunday morning, it’s very likely I need your help… just like I know if I’m getting a text or a call from someone on our team before 8 a.m. on a Sunday, I assume it’s not good news.