It's never the question if something will goes wrong. The realty is something will go wrong. When something goes wrong how will you handle it?
This morning I woke up, read my Bible and then got the text message. It's the text message no pastor wants to get on a Sunday morning. It said this:
We are out of power.
PG&E is doing some work on Shell Blvd.
They are going to hook up a huge generator to restore power in the church.
The picture is the huge generator that PG&E brought in that was attached with the text message. Within 5 mins of receiving this I got a call from our Technical Director helping to explain the situation. I needed to get to church quick to figure out a plan of what we would do. At this point I texted our Elders to keep them in the loop, took a quick shower, called a few staff and was off.
Upon arriving at church two of our Elders were there within 3 minutes of my arrival. We had a guest preacher, Gary Gadinni, with us and we connected with him about the morning. Gary was great and said, "I'm here to serve you." We tossed out a few ideas and after talking with more of our staff we were able to make up a decision. It wasn't an easy decision. We needed input from others, we needed to pray, and we needed to listen to information that we didn't have.
We decided to move our 8am service to our High School Ministry room across the street at Charter Square. There was still power at Charter Square so we would be good. After making the call it was time to move. At this point we had 22 minutes until our service was going to start; 22 minutes to move an entire church service to a new location that none of our team uses. We all shared the responsibility and communicated with as many people as we could. We had one consistent message to share, "We are having our 8 am service at Charter Square. We will figure out the next service next."
My role was to head to the parking lot and redirect cars. Dave, one our Elders, came with me. Dale, another Elder, went to Charter to help there. Gary went to Charter and spoke. Our worship team went over and made it all happen. At 8:01 am I received a text that said, "The power is back on but we don't have the lights up in the auditorium."
Charter Square was packed! It was great seeing our people respond so well and be so flexible. It was great seeing the church be the church.
As I think back to how this all worked out I think there are three lessons I'm taking from this:
1) We worked together
This was a group effort to make this happen. This wasn't about me. It wasn't about anyone else. It was about helping others draw closer to Christ. We wanted to help people have a time to worship Jesus and hear His word proclaimed. We worked together to make that happen.
2) We prayed
We didn't attempt to do this on our own efforts. From the first text until the decision we prayed. We texted others and asked them to pray. Gary said that he texted his church and asked them to pray. That is awesome! How cool is is that another church was praying for our church! God could have chosen to not allow the power to be restored and we would have been fine, but we wanted to talk with God for help.
3) We were flexible
We listened to others and were flexible. It wasn't my idea to move us to Charter Square. I had a different idea. Other people had different ideas. We talked about simply inviting people to return at 9:30 am and hoped the power would be back on. In the end it was the right call to move to Charter Square and help people connect with God. Everyone was flexible: pastors, worship leaders, Elders, ushers, and many more!
A huge thank you to our team for making this morning so memorable! Now the work begins of taking this information and what we executed on and great a plan for when it happens again. Because we all know it's not an if it happens, but when it happens.