Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 Things I Learned During the Power Outage at Church This Weekend

OK - for those of you who don't know - we had a whacky church weekend. Definitely the whackiest I've ever been a part of in my 15 years! During the 9:15 service - mid-way through my sermon - the power just went off. Everything went down. Microphones, lights, screens, toilets, drinking fountains, sound system, band equipment, computers, copiers, everything off. Well the only things that really affected me were lights, microphone, and screens. It was a little crazy.

AJ (our audio tech) went in to high gear but to no avail - it was a bigger problem - the whole area lost power. So I just belted out the rest of the sermon without amplification and we made a bunch of adjustments - scaled back the 11:00 service - and went on. Electricity ended up coming back on right in the middle of my sermon at 11:00 - so neither sermon at either hour went un-interrupted. I learned some stuff from the experience.

1. We're really dependent upon electricity for how we do church. If the window shades hadn't been raised right before the electricity went out - we would have been "up a crick" because it would have been pitch black in the worship center.

2. Our team is amazing. They handled the set back with grace and excellence. Instead of panic or egos or short tempers or just freaking out - what I saw was a calm, confident, God-honoring, solution-driven experience. The few that I witnessed were awesome: Larry - gathering bottles of water for the nursery for drinking and baby cleanup, AJ calmly making contingencies if the power came back on during 11 (which it did), Brian and his musicians sitting in a circle hand-writing words and charts for the completely ad-hoc worship set, the skit actors going on as if nothing was wrong, Al easily explaining to everyone that today might be "a little different," Bill kicking into gear getting all the info he could from the electric company ... and there was obviously a bunch of other stuff that I didn't see...

3. We don't need electricity to worship God. While we're dependent on it - we don't really require it. The worship time was sweet - people were loving the spontanaity and having to figure out worship without any words. Brian did a great job picking out familiar songs and the team pulled them off so well in their little acoustic circle down on the floor. People totally got into it. It was awesome to hear just the voices rising up in the room. We need to incorporate some very simple worship like that from time to time in the future.

4. The acoustics in our room are pretty sweet when there is no amplification. I talked to people who sat all over the room and everyone could hear every word just fine without amplification (though the teaching pastor's throat would be a bit tender after a weekend of that.)

5. We should probably think of investing in some kind of generator at some point...

Was anyone at 9:15 or 11:00 this weekend? What are your thoughts?

4 comments:

aaron said...

I agree with you about the generator. I think we move more emergency lights into the WC and have a small gneerator at least to run the water/toilets. I was just talking about that yesterday.

j*amy said...

i didn't realize the toilets were off. i'm glad i never had to use them.

i thought it was pretty cool sunday, actually. it was a fun change, and having the "band" right down with you really helped me to connect with them and the whole congregation [granted i was in the second row]. plus i got some fun pictures of it.

jasonpauli said...

2 words...

Wind Power

I wonder...

the Jennings secede from the South said...

I honestly thought it was really cool! Besides being a little on the warm side, I liked the darker room & the worship a lot! It kinda made me feel like we weren't in America...like we could've been on the other side of the globe worshipping the same God.

I do agree on the toilets though...yikes.

Maybe we should invest in some shnazzy outhouses...