Wow, what a day!
Wow, what a day! Labor Day ended up being a great time of fellowship for our community. I’d never been to a FamilyPalooza. This was the second year of this incredible outreach event. While it’s difficult to count a moving target, our best guesstimate would be around 9-10,000 people! Hats off to the Children’s ministry who was in charge of the event. Wise decision to move to a larger parking lot! But like every sizable event at Southeast it ends up being a team effort with a lot of departments: Facility Care, Events, Volunteer Service Ministries, Security, Guest Services and plenty of others! You all are amazing at how you organize and pull off large events with excellence and friendliness.
At one point in the afternoon I was asking some “soaking” kids where they had gotten wet and they pointed west and these were their exact words, “Go past the Dunking Booth, past the King of the Mountain, and there are three water slides to choose from!” (In my mind, I was thinking, “No wonder we get called Six Flags over Jesus.”)
Our family had a blast. Beth enjoyed visiting with so many people and kids whom she teaches at church, Sadie did clean up, and Sam filled up helium balloons for kids. Afterwards he said, “Dad, the kids were great but the grandparents were so demanding on which color balloon they wanted for their grandchild!” (That will probably be me some day I’m sure.)
I spent my time going up and down the lines shaking hands and meeting people. Many of our Southeast folks jokingly mentioned how appropriate Kyle’s sermon was for what they were experiencing! (His topic was: When You Have to Wait.)
My favorite part of visiting with people was this—about half of them didn’t have a clue who I was... and they still don’t! (They had to be thinking, “What office is this nut running for?!”) But what that tells me is that FamilyPalooza was successful. It was a gift to our community and an outreach to our neighbors. The Children’s ministry has a great follow-up strategy to encourage people to visit the next KidWay program. I’m so glad that I’m a part of a church that provides us with a variety of ways to connect people to Jesus and one another. After all, if they come to a fun family event then perhaps the next time they come to the campus they may just come inside for a visit where they can learn and grow spiritually. The way I see it, hopefully, for many of those kids it could be just a matter of time before they will move from the water slide to the baptistery!