Monday, September 10, 2007

A Real Pain in the Neck

A week ago we were building toward one of our biggest Sundays of the year. We were prepping for a total reorganization of our elementary department, and prepping for promotion of almost all children. Three days ago I was setting up for an open house and then analyzing how many name tags we needed to print ahead of time. Two days ago we were hosting an open house for the new kindergartners so they wouldn't be as intimidated by the "big" Grow Zone. Yesterday, I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock, rolled over, my neck popped and then pain hit. I couldn't move my head without a sharp pain in my neck and the muscles in my shoulder cramping. All I could think was "not today, not today."
After several attempts followed by screams and tears, my husband and I realized there was no way to get me out of bed, therefore, there was no way I'd be going to church. But of course, the show must still go on. My husband delivered the few items that were still in my car, and my team took over. They did great! While yes, quite a few things went wrong like the computer crashing right before worship, some volunteers didn't show up, and parents failed to read some of the signs and became confused. But the kids still learned and had a great experience.
All this just reminded me how important it is not to hold too tightly to control. That no matter how well organized you may be, others need to be invited into that creative zone deep within you. Jared, our Grow Zone Director, asked one of the best questions he could have thought of on Saturday before our open house. He said, "Could we go through exactly everything that's going to happen tomorrow so I can be sure that I understand all that you've been thinking?" Our conversation revealed we were on the same page. But had we not gone through it, I'm sure his confidence level when pushed into leading on his own would have been much lower.
Amy, my Early Childhood Director, thinks much differently than I do. While I'm completely global, she's completely analytical. One of the biggest lessons I've learned from working with her is that no matter how lined out an event or a project is in my mind, it does no good to our group as a whole unless I put it on paper.
While I would have LOVED to have woken up without a pain in my neck, I am thankful that things still happened. Our executive pastor has reminded me that the true test of an effective team is to have the leader gone and see if things still function. I'd say we have a great team!

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