My Favorite Unsung Heroes

I have the privilege of being part of a ministry team where the work we do is behind the scenes. We have an amazing team of folks who love being under the radar and out of the spotlight. They’re great people who remind me of my favorite unsung heroes.

Walt Disney was the ultimate visionary. His name went on every project that his company release, and it still does today to a large extent. For his creative vision and unique way of inspiring his staff and the public, his name deserves to be associated with quality entertainment for the whole family. But the truth is, he had teams of immensely creative people to help him make his visions reality…from films to televison to theme parks.

One particular division of Disney staffers are the Imagineers. They’re responsible for the creative decision-making and hard work to make the parks as incredible as they are. They don’t get much credit for the work they do, though I’m sure they get paid well. They’re the behind the scenes geniuses at Disney.

During the glory days of NASA, the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, the astronauts were the face of the agency. But it took more than three men to get to the moon. A dedicated staff at the launch complex at Cape Canaveral and at Mission Control in Houston took care of the missions and made the greatest human accomplishment possible. These men toiled in near obscurity…most of them remained totally out of the spotlight…but without their efforts, our space program wouldn’t have been what it was.

The way I feel about these unsung heroes is the same way I feel about the tech team at Eastridge. These men and women take the vision the pastors lay out and help make them happen on Sunday mornings. I can’t be more proud of the team for all the hard work they do, and I appreciate them completely.

Who are your favorite unsung heroes?

The Call Of Duty

Reading today’s entry in the Eastridge daily reading plan was an eye opener. I’ve read the book of Luke I don’t know how many times, so I’ve read today’s chapter countless times. But Luke 17:7-10 packed a punch for me today. Here Jesus says:

7 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”

Luke 17:7-10 (NIV)

Continue reading The Call Of Duty

It’s National Volunteer Week!

This week is National Volunteer Week. I don’t think I’d know that if I didn’t work in the church, and that’s a shame. In so many arenas within our communities, volunteers make a major difference.

If you serve anywhere…in any capacity…as a volunteer, thank you. Your willingness to serve blesses people whether you realize it or not. If you’re not volunteering anywhere, I’d encourage you to do so; you’re missing out on countless rewarding experiences.

To all our volunteers at Eastridge: THANK YOU a million times over. On behalf of our pastors, staff, and elders, we can’t thank each of you enough for the inspiring work you do.

I’m particularly partial to “my” volunteers: the Worship Arts team and the bulletin team. Thank y’all from the bottom of my heart; I am humbled and privileged to serve alongside the best volunteers on the planet!

Everyone, please take the time this week to thank the volunteers you come in contact with. A simple thank you goes a long, long way…

The Shoutout, Part 1: Here’s How I Feel About Our Worship Arts Volunteers (Using Someone Else’s Words)…

I just read (literally, just now) a quote from Gene Kranz, longtime NASA Flight Director, who was in charge of Mission Control for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. He describes to near perfection the feeling of complete belief in one’s team:

“I always find that when time came for a mission, when time came to do something…[y]ou just felt so comfortable. I’m trying to find the right word for this thing here, but basically it’s just peace… [W]hen you reach that total peace, you’re ready to go. It’s interesting. The adrenaline’s pumping, but you have this incredible confidence in your team…”

(as quoted by Craig Nelson in Rocket Men, pg 238)

That’s exactly how I feel about our Worship Arts volunteers every Sunday morning. When I step into the booth and we fire the countdown…regardless of how practice and dress rehearsal have gone, and, believe me, they can be crazy…I know that our volunteers are prepared to give their all. I’m at peace because these men and women are prayed up, practiced up, and ready to serve.

Our volunteers go about their job, whether it’s onstage or in the booth, with the right heart and the right mindset. They’re committed to serving with excellence, not for their own glory…or ECC’s glory…or the glory of the Worship Arts ministry, but for the glory of God and the building of His Kingdom. Our volunteers lead worship because they are worshippers themselves. Even after a stressful practice, I have very little worry (if any at all) that our volunteers will do anything less than their best.

Nearly every week (OK, so I forget sometimes), I send an email to the past Sunday’s team letting them know how grateful I am to them;  now I’m doing it publicly. To all the Worship Arts volunteers of Eastridge…and to all our other ministries’ volunteers…thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving, for sharing, for allowing God to use you for His glory.  Eastridge is a better church, and the body of Christ is a better family, because you do what you do.