Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The emotional sine wave of church volunteerism

Tonight was one of those nights. Not universally grand; not universally challenging. Just back and forth between those extremes at a break-neck pace.

4:04pm: Leave home to head to church.

4:12pm: Hear a loud pop and see an unknown object fly out from behind my car.

4:13pm: Arrive at church, get music stuff setup for adult worship practice.

4:16pm: Begin moving drums, etc. over to the youth building for youth worship. Notice that my passenger side rear tire is completely flat.

4:35pm: Adult worship practice. My timing is way off this afternoon. Bummer.

5:10pm: Move self, guitar, and youth ministry laptop to youth building for youth music practice.

5:12pm: Youth ministry laptop has crashed. Now in an endless boot loop. No time to fix it—need to practice youth worship music with the others.

5:56pm: Youth worship practice was good, but we have no way to project song lyrics. Move guitar back to worship center for adult worship tonight. Arrange to borrow netbook from Pastor for youth music tonight.

6:02pm: Slam down a quick dinner. Encouraging comment from a church member about recent worship song selections.

6:15pm: Pastor delivers netbook. Download slides (which I'd fortunately stuffed onto a remote server before the youth ministry laptop died), carry to youth building, and setup for projection.

6:25pm: Back in worship center, ready for adult worship. Shoot! Forgot something on the netbook. Head back to youth building.

6:28pm: Final tweaks on netbook. Back to the worship center.

6:35pm: Help lead adult worship. (Great singing tonight, congregation!)

6:45pm: Back to youth building.

7:02pm: Help lead youth worship. (Great participation here, too. Sweet!)

7:30pm: Return netbook to Pastor. Change tire on my car with a friend.

7:42pm: Store guitar and music away.

7:46pm: Start cleaning up youth building music stuff. (Why did somebody leave a cooler with water in it in the youth room? Mildew experiment?)

8:24pm: Head home. Me, my sons, and my donut-sporting car.

Net emotional state, when it was all said and done: Quite positive. Stuff happens. Computers fail at the worst possible time—count on it. Tires blow. Schedule contention happens. And yet I was able to experience not just one group of people singing praises to God tonight, but two! That's enough to make it all right for me.

Special thanks to: Josh, for the extra hand with tire; Erica, Emily, and Camden, for the lovely youth music tonight; Jim, for the encouragement; John, for the netbook save; Mary and Sharon, for working around my schedule tonight; and Barbara, for keeping the whole lot of us sane.