Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Behind the Pulpit - The Insider Scoop on Working on a Church Staff

This is an expose, friends.

Just do me a favor and pretend one of those fancy accent thingys is on top on the second "e" in that word because I really need it to read "expose-ay," but I don't know how to type it. Right now it just says expose. Which isn't grammatically correct. Also, it doesn't make any sense.

Let's try it this way. I've got the DIRT, the goods, the secrets, the insider scoop on what is really happening outside that hour on Sunday morning that the people fill the pews and then go on their merry way. Now, I don't want to scare anyone, but let me just say right out of the gate that there are SHOCKING things taking place. Things I never knew about. Things that have sent me back to my office only to shake my fist at the heavens and demand, "Why God? Why didn't you warn me it would be like this??!!"

Prepare thyself.

Ministry is Fattening

Y'all. There are treats EVERYWHERE. My very first day on the job, the regular staff meeting was moved outside so we could check out the enormous blue x-ray truck that a staffer had turned into a mobile video ministry machine and there was a table covered in food. A couple days later, my new co-workers took me out for a welcome lunch and I ate a bowl of quinoa the size of a hubcap. We welcomed a new pastor to the staff - PICNIC! The lovely ladies who work in the office next door to me decided to throw a "block party" to welcome me and the Building Services guys to our wing of the building. I'll give you two guesses what was set up right outside our door.

As I stuffed my face with warm peach crisp, cream cheese danish, and lemon bars, I fake-lamented to my office-mates about the dangerous work environment. They laughed at me. Laughed. Shaking their heads, they smiled and said, "Didn't anyone warn you about the Ministry 15?" Popping another donut hole in my mouth, I shook a powdered sugar coated fist toward the sky and asked, "Seriously God? I thought you were supposed to lead me AWAY from temptation??!!"

Then I went to a meeting - CANDY!

It's Friday - MUFFINS the size of your head!

Way to go on that amazing staff meeting today. Know what errbody? PIG ROAST!!!

No joke.  I give it a month and I'll be petitioning to wear my yoga pants to work because nothing else will fit.

Crazy things are happening.

During the Sunday morning services last weekend I scrubbed mud out of a giant bounce house alongside a pregnant woman wearing white pants.

Once again, the muddy veteran next to me just laughed and exclaimed, "Welcome to ministry, Sarah!"

Don't Even Breathe Without Filing a Spending Request

Spending requests are this carbon-copy, white copy here, pink copy there, yellow copy gets filed, get the account number and product code right, don't forget we're tax exempt, better to submit them with chocolate attached necessity that I'm convinced will give me nightmares at some point. I work myself up into a tizzy every time I have to fill one of these out because I am convinced I'm messing it up. I mean, what happens if we need the hula hoops, pool noodles, a Frisbee golf goal, bubble wrap, pipe cleaners, and giant jugs of cheese puffs RIGHT NOW and I haven't filled out that blasted spending request? Now I'm scrambling, chasing around the finance department, throwing chocolate at anyone who can't outrun me, waving the hastily scrawled pages like a maniac, knowing that the clock is ticking before I need to peel out of here and race through the aisles of Sam's Club and ohforthelove do NOT forget to bring the tax-exempt form.

I need a nap.

A Catchy Name is Essential

When's the last time you were hanging out on your church's website and came across a new group called "Young Adults Meeting?" Never, that's when. Who would want to take time away from playing Madden '15 to attend that snooze-fest? Nobody, that's who.  But COLLIDE, now that's where it's at. Sign me up, get me the t-shirt.

A training program designed to make me a leader in my workplace? Yawn.......Hey, UNLEASHED!!! That sounds awesome! Where do I register?

The Garage, Impact, Legacy, No Regrets.

What's in a name? A whole lot, baby. That's why there is candy in the meetings - it fuels the name-creating creativity.  See, it's all making sense now.

The church staff is genuinely gifted by God and their passion for working hard for the Kingdom's cause is as real as it gets.

I'm going to go ahead and turn off my sarcasm font here for a second and say from the bottom of my heart what a blessing it is to be on this staff. I've only worked at my church for a little less than a month and already I feel welcomed, supported, valued, and encouraged. More importantly, I see God at work in BIG ways every single day. It's a rare privilege to work in an environment that is inherently selfless, team oriented, and encouraging. The people who work behind the scenes (and even those right in front of your eyes) are for real. They work out of service to Christ. Period.

It is such a blessing that I get to clip on that staff badge and be part of it.

P.S. I have chocolate in my desk. Stop by if you need a fix.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for me, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)


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