You Need to Unplug Something

My furnace went out over the winter. Thankfully, a friend let us borrow several space heaters until the HVAC guy could get the part needed to fix the unit. I plugged in the heaters in 2 of the upstairs bedrooms. I immediately learned that the builders of our home had put both outlets on the same breaker and the heaters went off, along with a television and lamp.

I’m not an electrician and I’m sure there is a very logical explanation for why these plugs share a breaker, but needless to say we were out of luck running both at the same time under the present arrangement. Thankfully the breaker worked like it was supposed to and “tripped” before any major damage was done to our home.

My wife was pretty frustrated at the electricians in that moment. I was a little more grace filled, because I do the same thing…not with electricity, but with my energy and calendar. I think I’m the worlds worst at continuing to plug things into my calendar. I say “yes” too much. I take on too many projects. My people-pleasing nature makes it nearly impossible to let people down. So I just keep going…and going…and going.

Not all of the things are bad. I’m studying for my upcoming Sunday sermon. I’m calling people who are in need. I’m counseling hurting people. I‘m coaching my kids’ sports teams. I’m dating my wife. When I’m not working I’m dreaming about ways to do my job better. When I’m not dreaming I’m reading the latest book, blog or tweet about how to be a better leader, husband, pastor, etc.

I know I’m not alone. I talk regularly to people who live in this constant state of plugging in. You and I know this isn’t healthy, and it’s not sustainable. The question is: Do I have a breaker to be “tripped” before major damage is done? Do you have anyone in your life who has permission to tell you to stop/slow down/unplug? Do you listen to them or make excuses about how “it has to be done” or “it will slow down soon”?

When was the last time you unplugged from technology? Turned your phone off? Went 48 hours without checking email? Social media?

The reality is I could have reset the breaker and plugged in the heaters in both rooms, but it would have “tripped” the breaker again. I had to make an adjustment. I had to run an extension cord to another room for one of the heaters. I had to spread out the things that needed electricity.

Most of the things you do are great, but you may need to adjust. Spread them out. That may mean finding someone else to do some of the things you’re doing. It may mean just scheduling better so everything doesn’t hit at the same time.

Whatever the fix is for you, make the adjustment.

I just “tripped” your breaker. Go unplug something!

Adding a New Worship Service

I announced last Sunday to our congregation that beginning August 7th we will add a 3rd Sunday worship service. Currently we meet at 9:15 and 11am for identical worship experiences, but beginning on August 7th we will have 8:30, 10 & 11:30am services.

We have experienced great growth in our initial season in our new facility and this move is one that we feel like helps us accommodate those who are already attending and prepare for those who aren’t here yet.

Here were some of the determining factors in our decision:

  1. What is the % of capacity of both our existing services? Depending on who you read or listen to, no one, especially guests, likes to be in a room that is 100% full (except the preacher and the worship leader). So once you hit 70-80% (this number varies by the set up of your room) you are actually full.
  2. What # makes the room feel empty? While we obviously want to consider how full the room is, we also want to be aware of the # of people in the room that makes it feel empty. We want to try and insure that moving to 3 services doesn’t slow the momentum that we have by creating multiple less energetic, empty services.
  3. How many volunteers do we have, and how many would we need to add a service? We ran the numbers to understand what our current number of volunteers was for 2 services, and how many we would need to do 3 services. We didn’t just multiply the # for 1 service by 3, we tried to be strategic in our assessment of the needs for each individual service.
  4. What was the Lord saying to us about this move? While this is listed last, it was first and on-going for us in the entire process.

Obviously, since we are making this move all of the answers to the above questions were positive. We felt that our capacity numbers were right, our volunteers needs were attainable, and the Lord was leading us in this direction.

We are excited about this next step in the journey. I’ll keep you posted about our process.

What has your experience been in adding new services?