So yesterday was a fun day at the Summit’s Brier Creek Campus, if you define “fun” using a dictionary from some bizarro alternate universe.
We launched two services at our brand new 450 seat venue, “BC South.” As a part of the kickoff, the plan was to have Pastor J.D. preach live at South, and to show a DVD in our North auditorium (a rare treat for those of us who normally enjoy real-time pastoral spittle).
As planned, I jetted up to the North auditorium at 11:15 to introduce the DVD and give the “J.D. in 2D” instructions (“Talk back to the screen, people. Laugh at his jokes. Please, no popcorn.”). But as soon as I walked in, I knew something was amiss. Our worship pastor Chris Gaynor was ad-libbing…something that he never does. It seems that the screens had gone dark. They were blank because the projectors had blown a gasket.
All of ’em.
Now you need to realize that we have a bajillion video projectors in our North auditorium. It’s like Best Buy meets the Grammy Awards meets the video projector fairy. And the breaker box for said projectors is nowhere that normal people would look. I know that, because Julian Milano, our head tech guy yesterday, is a very normal person who was feverishly looking in very normal places. Meanwhile, I grabbed the backstage headset so I could listen to the mayhem and start a fingernail-chewing habit, because one thing was becoming increasingly clear: if there was no projector, that means there’s no DVD, which means there’s no sermon, unless you fall back to Section D, Paragraph J12, Clause IVXX of my job description:
The Campus Pastor will, in cases of extreme duress, be called upon to preach a sermon at a moment’s notice, no matter how badly he may or may not feel the urge to throw up or submit an immediate resignation and find a less stressful job such as a personal pit bull tickler.
Finally, Julian popped back on the headset and let us know that he’d found the breaker box. It was resting comfortably on the ceiling of the auditorium, 30 feet in the air. It’s apparently placed there because that’s the last place a terrorist would think to look.
(Oops. Forget I said that.)
So with our only alternative being to pull out the Mi-T-Lite Ladder and hoist Julian over a crowd of worshippers, I pushed the transmitter button for my final piece of communication, feeling very much like Bruce Willis’ character in Armageddon:
“People, we’ve reached the point of no return. We’ve gotta call this thing. I’m about to sign off, walk up on that stage, and preach a sermon that I just heard an hour ago. May God be with us all.”
(That’s not exactly what I said. But it’s funnier than what I said, so it stays.)
And for the next 48 minutes my literacy skills came in very handy, because I read Pastor J.D.’s transcript word for flippin’ word. Including the big words that I didn’t understand. Including the parts I didn’t hear during the 9:00 service because I was playing Angry Birds.
But as you might guess, that’s not the best part. The best part was when I came off stage at the end of the sermon. You see, on our staff we have a rule of thumb that whenever someone preaches – from Pastor J.D. on down – we have free reign to critique and correct the moment the sermon is over. Apparently, even if it’s not necessarily your sermon. So I stepped off stage and into the presence of Jason Gaston and Spence Shelton: two of my favorite sermon critiquers. Gaston had dutifully taken this page full of notes:
I don’t care who you are, that’s funny stuff right there. And if you’re not laughing, you don’t recognize our lead pastor’s primary resources for … ahem … research.
As a side note, I’m not sure why Gaston believes he has the right to make fun of me. It’s not like I’ve ever compared him to Sasquatch or said he looked like a Sleestak or called him a backwoods redneck duck killer.
Anyway, if you were in the 11:00 service in BC North yesterday, thanks for your patience and your graciousness. Make sure you show up next week for more electrical hijinks, because if you don’t, the terrorists win.
*oh, who am I kidding? It was fun.