Today was a first. The first time we've ever had a Good Friday service in the middle of the day. We had no idea what to expect. It wasn't heavily promoted--just a few mentions on the weekend and a notice on the website. No printed promotional piece. How many people could even get away from their office on a work day? As a senior team, we guessed that 300 would be a win. In an outlandish act of faith, we prepared seating and communion for 500.
My heart first skipped a beat when I tweeted about the service a half hour before it started. I mentioned I didn't know if 50 or 500 would show up. A quick reply from Jon Ferguson said, "Plan on 1,000 minimum. Seriously." Jon is a smart guy and helps run a big church--so I was suddenly concerned that he might know something I didn't.
Jon was right. We were wrong. People kept coming and coming and coming. At about 5 minutes before go time, we tried the "scoot over" announcement. That did nothing. For every chair we opened up--20 more people had come in through the back door. By the time it was all said and done, we ended up with a crowd of more than 1,200.
But when I came home, I wasn't thinking about the numbers. I was thinking about the team. I watched Amy (who normally leads kids) greeting people at the door. I saw Mark (yeah, one of our pastors) in the parking lot directing traffic. I heard of people who drove to Target to buy more bread and juice for communion. I watched Trace move around the room finding more bread for lines that were running out. I watched Jason skillfully play and sing additional songs that had words he didn't know with music he didn't have--and Kathy skillfully picked up on that and led him with words on the screen. I saw Tom pick up a signal from me across a room packed with a thousand people and within seconds the one-thousand-pound wall panels were being stored away by 50+ volunteers and strangers who were glad to help.
Yes, it's cool to be in a church filled with energy and excitement. And it's fun when a bunch of people show up to remember Jesus' sacrifice. But for me, today, the win was watching the team. It's a team Jesus died for and it's a team I love. And for me, that made it a good Friday.