What I hoped would be a productive and problem free day, turned into a disaster.
It was July of 2012, I was on an internship at a church in the foothills of the Appellation Mountains in southern Ohio. Back in May I had been asked to lead the Vacation Bible School that summer. The pastor and I had picked out the curriculum and it unlike anything this church had ever done in the past. We were using Orange’s VBS material, for those of you familiar with church curriculum.
The past few weeks I had tried to organize everything, however, my leadership method did not match my volunteers method of following. While I had tried to get dead lines set, many of these were not met until just days before the first night of VBS.
The first night came. I was a nervous, stressed out wreck. Everything went smoothly until the opening started and from there, everything went wrong.
The opening went longer than anticipated, which set everything else off. In addition, there were a bunch of preschool and younger children there for which we were unprepared as we had advertised for kindergarten and up. During game time, there were inflatable, and I did not separate the older ones from the younger ones,
If your groaning now, Just wait it got worse.
I went into that night thinking that we could have the closing in the shelter house outside. The problem was that I had no clue what we were doing for the closing. and after that I had no way of keeping the kids from running back outside and into the parking lot.
After the kids who were not offspring of my volunteers went home, I called a meeting. I knew thing were wrong and I wanted to fix them. What I got instead was a mob of volunteers, who also happened to be mothers, who pretty much destroyed everything about the night.
At that point I broke. The stress, the nerves, the criticism, I couldn’t take it any more. I said some things I now regret saying, burnt some bridges that I was never really able to repair. I left that meeting, feeling that I had let everyone down. My volunteers. The pastor. The kids. God. Everyone.
Now I knew how Job must have felt, to have everything I had worked so hard for suddenly taken away. I went back out to the shelter house and wept, telling God your will be done, not mine. As I went back in to try to fix these things, I was confronted by the pastor who tried to consul me, knowing that I was hurting. I have no clue what he was told by my volunteers, I never made it back to be able to try to fix things that night.
I ended up making the changes the next morning and everything went smoothly for the rest of the week.
Yet I still feel like I failed at my defining moment in the internship. in my chosen career path, in life. That night changed me. I lost all motivation to complete the internship and the school work that went with it. After that night, my leadership skills seemed strained with the members of the church, and that hurt me a lot. These were people who only wanted to see me succeed. Yet I feel like I failed them.
Now I have learned from these mistakes, these experiences, and am better for it. I know what not to do for future reference. I know my triggers for the breaking point. I know what it takes to run aspects of children’s ministry.
All I can pray now is that God will guide me to the position that he has for me. Whatever may come, God will equip me for the task that he has for me.