Saturday was an awesome day at my church. We had perhaps a couple of thousand people on our property for Fun in the Son, a day that I promoted as being a family event for a church family. If the people didn’t have fun, it sure wasn’t my fault. In addition to having vendors with tables filled with beautiful crafts, Fun in the Son had awesome live music, games, and a parking lot filled with carnival games including a big ferris wheel, a bungee jump, a mechanical bull, and a rock climbing wall. The kids (and grown up kids, aka adults) loved the dunk tank … especially when different members of the pastoral staff were on the tank. When I was on the dunk tank for two different time slots, the lines immediately became long lines. Throw in the grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza … it was an awesome day.
One of the challenges of the day was the barbeque chicken dinners. In purchasing the chicken quarters for 360 dinners, it was necessary to go to a restaurant supply company and purchase the chicken by the case. Little did I know how many chicken quarters were in a 40 pound box. I took the word of an employee at the store and purchased 10 cases of chicken and was confident that I had purchased too much chicken. About 5 hours into our Fun in the Son, I learned that we were some 100 meals short on chicken. And, to make matters worse, not knowing how many chickens he had cooked, our barbequer had quit after cooking the last chicken quarter a couple of hours earlier.
Now, I faced two major problems. First, it would take a while for me to find what I needed. No local store would have 100 chicken quarters in their meat department. Second, my cook informed me that the charcoals were cold. He would now have to start all over with new charcoal and it would take a couple of hours to get new charcoal hot enough to do the job. I was facing 100 people that wanted to have a meal. I had nothing to give these people and no fire to produce the meals once the chicken could be located.
How did I solve this problem? Thank God for Sam’s Wholesale Club. As a last and only resort, I went and purchased 25 rotisserie chickens and then cut them into quarters and served the meals.
Here’s an interesting observation that can be gleaned from my barbeque fiasco. In our children’s ministry, it is all too common for us to walk into our classrooms with a Fun in the Son barbeque fiasco awaiting us. We don’t have what we need and our fire is diminished or extinguished. The busyness of life during the last seven days has caused many children’s pastors and teachers to enter into a ministry situation with nothing to give. And, to make matters worse, we try to produce from a cold, fireless spirit.
In Acts 3, Peter and John were presented with a challenge/ministry opportunity similar to what we face each week. Thankfully, they didn’t have to go to Sam’s Wholesale Club. Instead, they had what they needed (“such as I have give I thee”) and the fire to deliver (“in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”).
Here is the answer to preventing ministry Fun in the Son barbeque fiascos. It is seen in the lives of Peter and John. Have communion with the Holy Spirit. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Enjoy Him in the public services. Enjoy intimacy with Him in the private times. In doing so, the “such as I have give I thee” will enable you to always have what is needed when you need it and there will always be the fire to deliver for those in need!