Hello Footprints and Magic Mountain

Running a daycare and/ or an elementary school would be my version of a nightmare.

The only thing worse might be running a Jr High School…

Our new Venue partners in Airdrie are Footprints Academy and Magic Mountain in Kings Heights and they’re amazing. I was walking through the spaces with one of the owners who said “I’m an engineer who’s now running a daycare”.

Man, you need to be an engineer to run a daycare!

Last Sunday was our first in the new location with a Venue Christmas Party as we ramp up for our first full blown Worship Experience this Sunday with new sound and lighting equipment and all the bells and whistles.

We’re getting ready for our Christmas Eve services at 3 and 5pm to host the City in our amazing new atmospheres and we can’t wait! Also because we’re at capacity already our 9:30 and 11am services begin Sunday December 29!

Part of the reason our new spaces are so great is because they are designed around kids and what engages them. There’s a little gym for them and a play place and other fun areas designed for, well, fun.

As I was walking through and starting to plan I realized I only ever really think about the main auditorium spaces while my wife Erin and her team concentrate on Venue Kids. There’s a reason why.

Years ago in my dad’s church they were looking for volunteers to run a summer kids program for one of the Sunday services. I volunteered because I love volunteering and said what I always say to myself: “How hard could it be?”

Famous last words. In fact, every stupid thing I’ve ever done were preceded by those words.

Erin said “I’d better help”.

I’m like “If you feel you need to, but I can control a bunch of children…” in my smug, smirky way.

Kids back then used to be in the worship time and then dismissed for Sunday school, which is different now because church also used to be like two hours long and not exactly as smooth or impacting as we can make services these days, so I followed the kids out and proceeded to take over.

The baby sharks could sense my inexperience and politely acted as if they were listening to my instructions and cared, quickly got through what I had planned for the entire time in about ten minutes, then went a little crazy.

It was a bit shocking and humbling to realize that I had no idea what to do next or how to control a bunch of children after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I love my kids and just kids in general because at heart I’m a big child.

I love adventure and when people say silly things. I say whatever comes to mind a lot and get in trouble, just like children do.

But putting a big child in charge of children was a bit of a mistake.

I always say Venue Kids is amazing BECAUSE I don’t run it. Sure we’d have a blast every week but I’d probably lose ten percent of the children and parents have a funny way of reacting when you calmly inform them their child had a terrific time in church, but unfortunately you can’t find them but are sure they will be happy whichever family took them home because they had the wrong label printed out and you lost them.

Our kids team just smiles and nods and makes it very clear they don’t need my help but “Thank you very much for offering”.

I know my place. Why? Because one Sunday years ago I realized I had no idea what I was doing and should just stick with my musical gifting at the time and let kids people do what they do best.

Erin watched me flounder for a minute so I’d learn my lesson, then calmly stepped in with “I’ll handle this…”

Oh the sheep knew when the big sheep was replaced by the shepherd and snapped to attention. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the sheriff was back in town. They basked in their new found security while I watched someone with a gift go to work.

It was so easy for her! I still remember the sense of calm that returned when she nicely pushed me out of the way and told me to get her a cup of coffee and quit embarrassing myself (I made that part up so you would feel sorry for me).

People have a tendency to look at the overall leaders of a church, or a hockey team, or anything really, and make a big deal of them. I think what makes someone a great leader is the sense my mentors used to give me of it being their great desire to see me develop and do well what God made me to do.

I think we’re all running a race, I’m just not sure it’s the race we’re supposed to be running.

But when you’re running with the right people they’ll help you stay in your lane.

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