The Christmas Poo...I Mean Play

It's actually kind of funny that on Nov. 20 of last year I wrote a similar article about my organizational woes. If you haven't already, you can read that here. Anyway, from that article you'll see that while I wish I had better time management, more structure, and better organizational skills, I also would like to embrace that fact that I am made the way I am made.
But you would think I would have learned my lesson by now!

You see it is nearing the Thanksgiving/Christmas season and I'm the midst of holiday music and program preparation. I love playing and leading Christmas music, and I enjoy trying to make our services special and unique during this season. But I have to be honest about it this year, I have stepped off in it, and don't know what I'm going to do. If you're not sure what it I speak of that I have stepped in, this is it.
That's right, I may have bitten off more than I can chew, may have dove into the deep in without my swimmies, may have cooked my goose, may have counted my pretty little chirping chickens before they hatch.

You see for the past three years for Christmas, our church has done something called "Christmas on Ivory". Basically it involves 3 grand pianos, 6 pianists, 12 songs, a children's and adult's choir, a full band, and a whole lot of talent. It really was a neat program that became a community event. Last year we probably had 800-950 people come through the doors for "Christmas on Ivory" (COI). The best part is that I was in charge of 2-3 songs. The rest was overseen by my amazingly talented piano player Amy.

But as with everything in life, all good things must come to an end. We decided that 3 years of the same thing was good, and that we would try something different. I say we.......ultimately it was my decision, but I did seek council (funny how when the hammer falls, it never falls on the wise council....only on the counseled!) Anyway, so we decided to do something a little different.

By July of this year, I had found our program for Christmas and was really excited to see it all come together! I thought surely this event would at least compare to COI! Well that was all fine and good until all the wheels started turning to pull this little shin-dig off. Perhaps I underestimated somewhere. I've got the food people in one corner, the actors in another, the band and musicians in another, the tech team in another, the set up and take down team in another, the construction team in another corner, the servers in another corner, and then of course I have the vendors for the lift we need and the mics we have to rent and the construction supplies and the paint and and and (for those of you keeping score, I've officially created at least an octagon..what with the corners and all)!!!!

"Why don't you delegate more?" you ask? Well I do and I have. In fact for every corner mentioned above I have a point person handling all of the details. The problem is that I have to know all those details in order to tell the point person how to make it happen. And truthfully everything is going relatively smoothly as it can when you put the fate of the Christmas program in the hands of 60 able-bodied volunteers. But as the date of the program draws closer, my sanity gets further and further away. At this very moment I am asking myself a grand series of

1) What have I done?

2) What if this is a flop?

3) Will this be a disappointment when compared to COI?

4) Will ol so-and-so remember his lines?

5) Wonder what's for dinner?

6) Did I make a huge mistake in letting ol such and such be in charge of that?

7) Is that a hippopotamus? I've always wanted one of those for Christmas!

We have successfully created a reputation that we need to maintain. And I feel as though I have successfully put the entire weight of that reputation on my back....carrying it around like a pack mule, just waiting to see how long of a journey I can take before my legs drop out from under me, and with it falls my great Christmas program and our church's reputation for the best Christmas gig in town.

My aversion to all things organizational have officially kicked in as I painfully try to keep my head above water in the pool of a Christmas production. I know, without a doubt that every volunteer will rise to the occasion, and pull off every task in their area with ease and excellence! I also know that this play is worth it. It is, after all, a joyous modern telling of the greatest story ever told. It involves a lot of people, a lot of work, and a lot of time. My life for the next 3 weeks will be completely wrapped up in getting this program off the ground. And at the end of the Christmas season, I will probably be totally exhausted.

But it will be worth it....right? If it flops, we'll just know not to do it next year right? One can learn, and learn by failing right?

My one nonnegotiable is that we do the Gospel justice by telling it faithfully, truthfully, artistically, and excellently. And if we do that, then all the work, sleepless nights, hours of rehearsals, and yes even the organization will all be worth it!


Here's hoping that this Christmas program will not be stinky and that instead the preaching of the gospel through it will turn sinners to Christ.

November 20, 2008 at 6:24 PM  

(1) That picture reminds me of Ryan Boyd.

(2) I hope that's not what you are trying to bite off

(c) You wanna hot dog?

November 20, 2008 at 7:52 PM  

Oh, I'm sure it will come off without a (noticeable) hitch! :) I wish we could see it!!!

November 21, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

Oh... I just remembered. I'm not going to be able to play for the Christmas thingy... something came up.

I keed, I keed...

Seriously (and I know how hard this is)one thing I have learned from several pastors and other leaders is that you have to trust your volunteers. They usually take their jobs seriously enough to get them done and if they don't the world doesn't end.

You do a great job, and you (we) will pull this thing off.

November 22, 2008 at 8:36 PM  

I just noticed your tag line. "Your Best Blog Now". Simply brilliant!

November 23, 2008 at 3:55 PM  

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