Yesterday we left home at 7:30 a.m. and got back at 10:45 p.m. Annual Magnification Picnic!
This picnic has come to require the same amount of creativeness that our weekly programming does - just not as spiritual. I am always worried no one will come, or people will not want to participate or it will be boring...but, once again we had a blast.!
In the never ending attempt to be creative I often loose sight of the power of connection. Our department consists of many teams, many of which never cross paths in the weekly execution of the services, so this picnic is vital! Without exception people leave having met at least one new person.
When our friends offered to host the event I jumped on the chance to not only face the planning of the event, but the preparation of my own home and property! "Yes" was out of my mouth before they finished their invitation! (Thanks Crawfis'!)
So, only the content of the picnic was left for me to organize.
The past year has been a year full of change, some of the changes were very difficult. Now however, God is beginning to reveal the 'next generation' that he is preparing to help lead Crossroads. This event gave me a physical chance to look across our teams and see the transition that has taken place this year. To visually see the different gifts this variation of ages brings to our department takes my breath away!
When Crossroads began we began primarily with very young leaders. At least in the area of worship volunteers. This caused us at times to struggle with the levels of maturity. We had to try to grow everyone up quickly. Then, as we settled into our middle years of ministry and all began to mature together, we realized we were not developing enough young people to join us. Now, I see the possibility of generations coming together like never before at Crossroads. And as I looked across the picnic I was very excited and pleased. A very balanced range of youth/maturity/experience - quite exciting!
The games I ask the picnic participants to play, of course caused them to work as a team - this brings me GREAT pleasure!
- This year I pulled out pictures I had saved since we left the old building and asked 2 team members at a time to connect faces with names. (Not really fair to the new team members...but, Oh Well!) It was challenging and proved that there is not enough overlap between the teams because they could only name people they had served directly with in most cases.
- We blind folded one person, allowing team members to verbally and physically guide them as they threw games pieces playing 'air golf' nearly taking the heads off of the spectators.
- We then chose 4 people from each team to see how many balls they could carry and successfully hand off to a fellow team member without dropping them..(I never realized how far people's clothing could stretch! ha ha). As the 'ball carrying' game came to an end and people noticed Youth Pastor Jesse was paddling a boat in the lake, it became a free for all pelting Jesse with as many balls as possible. I would estimate that at least 50 balls were floating in the lake by the end of the assault. (Funny how youth pastors are always targets!)
- Our grand finale was for the entire team to run, grab a kite that was still in the package, assemble it and get it in the air for at least 30 seconds. With 3 out of 4 teams tied for first place, this became the determining game for the championship (free gift certificate from the Crossroads Cafe!) People became creative (if not somewhat violent - in a Christianish sort of way.) One team assigned a team member to take the other team's kites and throw them as far away as possible. One team member slit another team's kite with his pocket knife (it still flew), and as everyone started counting off the seconds of flight required to win, the team in last place (the tech team) emerged victorious!
I would encourage any of you from other ministries reading this to consider the same type event, it pays huge dividends throughout the rest of the year. All of the participants now have "remember when we did this..." type experiences to share, many were reminiscing about last years picnic while we were together...priceless!
Another result of this year's picnic was the creation of a possible new team, the Photography Team. We have had photography teams come and go through the years, but this time we are going to recruit a leader and train the members to take it from picture to completion in organizing it for us. When you get together in a relaxed setting - good things happen! Literally hundreds of pictures of this event were taken by several team members. I wanted to give you details of the picnic today, and later this week I'll post a picnic photo folder for you to enjoy - have a great week!
The final picture shows the prize everyone wanted - the ShamWow. (Scott, pictured here, negotiated a trade to acquire it! ha ha)