Sunday, April 02, 2006
Still trying to figure it out
Way back in 2001, we hosted an event called the 12 Hour Blitz. It was your basic lock-in on steroids. 1 year of planning, months of prep work, lot's of apologetic training, lot's of encouraging students to bring their friends, lot's of work to get a team of over 300 adults (the church was only 500 people) , lot's of work raising money, taking events into the local public schools, totally turning the church building into a pimp zone and did I mention lot's of work. Well, we planned for 800 students and we shut down registration at 2100 students only an hour and an half into the event. We turned away over a hundred cars and traffic was backed up for at least three quarters of a mile.
We literally built a coffeehouse and a maze inside the building. We removed every ceiling tile in the place and put black lights frickin everywhere, it was cool back then. We just went crazy. We spent so much time just walking around the building and trying to figure out how to make it appealing to a kid who has never stepped inside a church building. We brought in a great speaker, had over 20 bands all night long and of course we put out the standard challenge to our kids about sharing their story withe a friend. All of this work for the sake of the gospel.
Well, we were overwhelmed. This building was not that big and 2100 kids sure does fill the place up. We ended up having to do 3 programs instead of one and something like 345 kids made a decision to follow Christ that night. I think about those 70 hour work weeks the 6 weeks prior to the event and all the energy we spent and it just makes me tired to think about it. I wonder and question what happened to those 345 kids. That's probably because I have been struggling with the old school altar call and all that the last couple of years.
I don't know, I am in a really weird place. Because for years this event gave me validation for why I did ministry, because I was so proud that we could make a huge impact like that. But 5 years later, I am still trying to figure out if it was worth it. I think about trying to do it again and I can't even fathom it. I do think God showed up in a major way, I do think the hundreds of workers and students who poured their time, money and sweat was great for building leaders, I do no think we made an impact in the community, I do think our kids held their heads high at their schools and I do think God was honored. But, now that I am trying to build a student ministry from the groud up, I am questioning everything that I used to do. That it itself is wild for me, because I don't do much questioning, I just do.