This past Sunday at Redemption was one of the most stressful and most amazing experiences I've had in 12 years of being involved in church planting to various degrees. When we arrived at 7:30am to begin set-up, we noticed another event also being set-up on the football field of the high school we gather for worship at. One hour later the entire parking lot was full...not just crowded full...like not a single spot available full!
The school had booked this event without informing us and just over an hour before our people were to begin arriving there was literally nowhere for them to park.
I'll be honest, there was a moment where I really thought there was nothing we were going to be able to do and that we were going to have about six people at our worship gathering. But, then our team stepped up BIG time in three ways, reminding me how essential these three characteristics are on all teams...
We were given the go ahead to park cars on one of the sports fields so our Utility Team repositioned all of our signage, directed traffic, and became a parking team. Though they had never done this before (and parking cars is not an easy task, by the way) they did an incredible job. In addition, our Guest Services team had to flip the entire lobby around after setting it up because people had to come in an entrance on the opposite side of the building. In the midst of one of the most stressful Sunday issues I've ever experienced I did not hear a single complaint when they were asked to make an adjustment. They were flexible all morning.
In addition to being flexible, I was humbled by the number of people who showed up for service, threw on t-shirts (all our various teams are identified by different t-shirts), helped set-up, direct people, and park cars. No one came in saying, "I'm not scheduled to serve today, so good luck with this chaos." Everyone seized ownership and sought opportunities to serve. Because Redemption is our church they felt a responsibility to jump in and get to work when we were in need. I've never seen anything like it.
It's one thing to be flexible and take ownership, it's something entirely different to do these things and be unified and overjoyed to be serving the LORD together. Our team seemed to thrive in the midst of this challenge. I couldn't believe how many people on our teams commented on what an amazing day it was and all God did in the midst of these challenges. People were not just solving problems. People were solving problems, doing so with great joy, and doing it all as one.
Overall, if Sunday was your first time being at one of our worship gatherings, you would have thought we always parked cars in the grass on the backside of our building. Because our team was flexible, took ownership, and united together to serve with joy, it was one of the most fruitful Sundays we've had. I've never been so proud of our people. I'm so thankful for our team and even more thankful God allowed these challenges because of what it taught us as a team.