The event is over—you collapse in a heap swearing you’ll never do another overnighter again. Deep down, as much as you hate it, you see relationships growing with students and know the Gospel is being presented, so maybe… just maybe, you’ll do it again. Either way, now is the time to sleep.
Your peaceful and overdue slumber is sharply broken by the piercing of your cell phone. It’s 9 A.M. and the church staff is just getting to the office and wading through the aftermath of your event. The trustee is ticked about the Diet-Coke-and-Mentos-covered parking lot. The deacon wants to know why the baptismal is now empty and the carpets are so wet. The church cleaning guy is frustrated at the amount of toilet paper that’s missing and the senior pastor called having found where it ended up—the trees in his front yard.
This fictional event…well, honestly some of it is fiction…holds some great reminders. Yesterday we said make sure you say thanks; today’s reminder is to make sure you clean it up—which is how you say thanks to your church for letting you do this stuff in the first place!
A few lessons from our fable:
1) If possible, don’t use your own facility for “high maintenance” events. Rent out a YMCA or travel to a few different places so one place doesn’t take such a beating.
2) Clean up after yourself. There’s no faster way to lose your credibility, position, or salvation than leaving a mess in your event’s wake.
3) Know yourself. When I (Josh) think something is clean that usually means it’s somewhat passable. Find a leader who is detail-orientated and will make sure every nook and cranny are clean, and everything is back in place.
4) Be the last to leave. When you lock up behind you, there’s nothing left to chance. Not only that but it also lets you model servanthood by being the first one in and the first one out.
5) If you break something (hey, things happen)…give someone a heads up. Do it before it’s later discovered, and you look completely irresponsible. Don’t be that guy who blindsides his/her boss.
6) Fuel it back up and get it washed. Did you use a vehicle in your program or event? Borrow a parent’s minivan for your missions trip? Get it cleaned inside and out ,and make sure the fuel tank reads FULL.
7) Simple rule of thumb: Leave it better than you found it. Who cares about the senior citizens Bible study at 6am on Saturday morning? You do! Make sure their room, and any of the other ones you used, are back to ship shape.
Make them wonder if your event even happened because things are so tidy.
What else would you add to the list?
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.