Up-ended Routines

This winter, I was on the schedule to serve at our church. The roads were dicey due to some recent snow storms, but I had missed nearly a month of services because of travel, work or bad weather, so I shoveled the driveway, brushed off the car and got our little family on the road. To be honest, we didn’t really want to go. The roads weren’t terrible, but they weren’t good either and mornings together at home come at a premium these days. But we are people of our word and commitment.

We received word that the power was out at the building while en route to church. The estimate for the lights coming back on was right about the time the worship service would start. When we arrived, a bit late due to slow roads, many people were there bustling about. The music team was settled into doing an acoustic set, the sound tech on the schedule for the day relaxing in the booth. It was there that I notice two distinct moods or mind sets.

Mind Set 1: THE POWER IS OUT!!! THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO!!!

Now this mind set, I believe, comes from either the lack of fulfillment of one’s role in the matter or from it being a departure from normative experience. The latter being more prevalent. That is a simplistic view of the matter, but there was a contingent of people, worried, stressed and/or upset about the power being out on a Sunday morning.

Mind Set 2: The power is out, there’s nothing I can do.

Okay, same words, but lean into my punctuation and capitalization (or lack thereof). These people were potentially excited for an excuse to have a lazy morning, looking forward to a simple service and/or content with the reality presented to them. Again, simplistic, but this is the camp I found myself settled into.

I was able to have some great conversations as my role (projection) was impacted. There was a slight frustration in driving in through in climate weather just to sit around, but after a few minutes, that sentiment passed. To me it was simple, the church has gotten by for over two millennia, most of it without the amplification of sound or large scale visual aide. Why worry, God doesn’t need all this fancy technology, dedicated building or even a hot cup of coffee to reach people. I enjoyed talking to someone I’d didn’t usually get much time to talk to. It made me want the power to stay out.

Then the power came back on

To be honest, I was kinda bummed. I was hoping for a chill, intimate service, with only the essentials. (I’m not talking about the guitar, bass and drums.) I’m talking about the people and the Word of God. It also meant I had to get everything ready in 20 minutes, but that wasn’t too stressful, been there, done that.

In the end, it was interesting to view those two factions, those that were bummed about the power being out were now ecstatic that they could fulfill their duties and life would return to normal. And those of us who leaned into the possibility of a simpler day, a little bummed. Possibly because the work would be a little harder now, but I think many had their minds (I certainly did) set on more time with people and less time with process and technology.

I’ll stop there on this topic, before my bias comes fully through. I’ll talk more to that later because I’m ready to talk about it.

Posted by Brent

A God fearing, husband to one amazing woman, and a father to a handsome son (with another child on the way!) A media making, camera wielding, sometimes-running, outdoor enthusing, tinkering, coffee loving man. Oh, and he also does some IT stuff... Brent lives in the beautiful PNW! He is the founder of Thirty Five Media, member of Approach International, and Web & Media Manager for Headwaters Economics.