Tonight is the first Crossroads service. This service is a retweeking of our church’s endeavor to reach out into the upotwn community through contemporary worship.
While it is not the only reason God has called me to this community, it certainily is a dominant portion of my call. Many prayers, tears, fears, excitement, sweat, and creative energy have been poured into this service by myself and members of our church.
As I nervously sit in my office praying and preparing for tonight, I am strangely reminded of how I felt before the Chicago Marathon. On Friday before the race, I was freaked out by every twinge and ache in my body that I would not complete what I had so diligently prepared for months. On Friday night, I slept pitifully as the reality of running 26.2 miles sunk in. On Saturday morning, I choked down coffee, a banana and a bagel because I knew I needed energy and strength. And right before the starting gun went off, I was crammed in with my wife, father-in-law around 39,997 of our “closest” friends, terrified that I would not be able to keep up with them and make a critical mistake that would leave me out of the race. But I also knew that there is nothing more that I could do now but trust in the process.
Likewise, for the past week I have neverously run through every detail of the service (what if the band is “too loud,” what if no one shows up–what if too many show up, what if my shirt draws attention away from God and onto me?). Also, the reality of preaching as an ordained ministry to a congregation has begun to sink in. And as I try to choke down a lunch that will sustain me, I realize that there is nothing more “to do” but to trust that God has brought us to this point and that he will carry this service forward.
Someone asked me what my hope was for tonight, and I felt stupid when I could not give her a response. Do I hope 120 people show up? Do I hope those few Young Adults I have met in the community who are disillusioned by church may stumble in? Do I hope that the service is embraced by the church as something “different” but “different in a good way?” I don’t know, but I do know that my true hope is that God is glorified through this venture and that all things are done with Him at the center.
So begins my marathon as a preacher.