Feeling Supported?

We left the hockey game, all 47 of us, and headed for the vehicles. What a night! The Silvertips, who are having a terrible season, almost won! They blew it on a penalty shot! We headed for the church van. Oh yeah, the 1992 Chevy Club Wagon; the one with AM radio only. Try explaining that to today’s teenager. It usually goes something like this:

“Hey Chad, will you plug my iPod in?”

“Can’t. No auxiliary input.”

“Oh ok, will you put the FM radio on so we can play our music through the radio?"

“Can’t. No FM radio.”

“No, I have this adapter that will let you pla

y your iPod through the radio. So just turn the radio on.”

“Can’t. No FM radio.”

“Ok. Well, just turn on the radio and I’ll show you how it works.”

At this point they think that I’m just an old man who can’t figure out technology. That’s when I have to explain to them what AM radio is. Most of them have no idea such a thing exists, and after scanning through some stations even more of them are shocked that anyone would actually listen to this nonsense!

Back to the story. We’re leaving the hockey game and headed for the Club Wagon – AKA, Bertha. I sent some kids and leaders ahead to get in the van while I, being highly responsible, wait to make sure no one gets left behind or lost in the crowd. After I’m sure everyone has headed to the vehicles, I start walking the block and half to the van. That’s when I’m greeted by some overly excited Junior High boys,

“Chad, did you move the van? It’s gone!”

Ok. This is a joke, right? The van can’t be gone. Vans, especially 15 passenger Club Wagons, don’t just disappear. But they’re right. It’s gone.

Now, this story is more elaborate. There is a reason we parked in a tow zone. We legitimately had permission. But that’s a different part of the story.

The one I want to tell is about youth ministry, and the sort of crazy situations I often find myself in while working with students. Honestly, I’ve never visited the impound lot, and I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be doing it to retrieve a church van.

Who calls to have a church van towed? We even have, in beautiful purple/pink writing, the name of our church and phone number painted on the side! What kind of person has a church van towed?

Ok, so I tell you this story because I was reminded of the strange circumstances I often find myself in because I work in youth ministry. The van impounded, 13 kids standing outside with no way to get home, and four other vehicles loaded and ready to head out.

It’s moments like these that I am actually reminded of how much I need volunteers, parents, and support of others in ministry. Had I been alone and pulled a bonehead move that got the van towed, what would I have done? Had I been going it alone, doing my own thing, this could have been much worse. I pictured 13 Junior Highers walking the streets of shady neighborhoods, under the freeway, next to the bus station, to get to the impound lot only to wait on a tow truck driver to show up and release our church van. Maybe that would have made for an even more exciting story, but that usually doesn’t win points with parents. Instead, because we have amazing volunteers and parents, I was supported helped through a sort of crazy situation!

Like I said, I don’t tell this story because it’s funny, ridiculous, or humiliating – though it was a bit of all of those things – but because it confirmed for me that we have a great group of students, volunteers, and parents at Bethany Covenant Church. Everyone did his/her part. Everyone remained calm and pitched in. So instead of being a disaster, it was a hiccup in an awesome night! Oh, and the kids have a story to tell. It was one of those unintentional, group bonding, memory makers with the youth group!

What support do you have? Who supports you in your work, your ministry, your life?

When you wake up to realize the proverbial Club Wagon's been towed, who do you lean on for help?


Brooke said...

Treyton had a blast, and yes, he has a fun story to tell!!! Thanks for all you do!!!

The Howells

Benjer McVeigh said...

That's a hilarious and really cool story. It's times like that when things go terribly wrong (although I've had our church van towed) that I realize how supported I am. One year we took our 11th/12th grade students on a small retreat to Jackson, WY, and my car broke down in the middle of nowhere at 10pm. We were able to limp it back to a town of 100 ten miles back (at 20 miles an hour), and we found a church to leave it at. Thankfully, we had enough seat belts left over to cram students into other vehicles and the church van, and we were back on the road. So that I wouldn't have to worry about the car, then next day a parent found a trailer, called a friend, and drove 4 hours round trip to get my car and bring it to a dealership that someone in our church owns so it could be repaired. Oh, and the dealer gave me a deal on the repair. I was SO grateful.