We all want to avoid those moments as youth pastors that fit all the stereotypes. I had a classic youth pastor moment on Wednesday night that I thought I should share on here.
I was in my office 1 minute into a counseling appointment when suddenly the church fire alarm went off. My first thought was that it might really be a fire since our system doesn’t go off unless we are doing a planned fire drill for the elementary school in our building. I quickly learned that it was not a fire as our high school praise band came running upstairs confessing that they had been running our hazer machine and set the alarm off.
Now I feel I should say something at this point in the story. We purchased a hazer when we installed lights in our basement youth room because by definition a hazer is different than a smoke machine in that it is hypo-allergenic and also doesn’t set off smoke detectors. The good news is that no ones asthma was acting up, but the bad news is that the alarm was going crazy. When I say crazy I mean that I have never known we had so many sirens/alarms and lights that could go off in our church.
I would say that there were already 30 or so people in the building which was just enough to make it chaotic as they all looked to me to see what I would do. I had no idea what to do. I realized and have since corrected the fact that I am untrained and have no knowledge about our alarm system.
Instantly my phone was fielding calls from our facility guys and church administrator, was who was getting a call from the alarm company. As I fielded these calls I was trying to turn off the alarm and call what I hoped was the fire department number because I new they would show up soon.
It was too little too late and soon we were blessed with 3 trucks in our parking lot. I got to the one who went out in rain and told them that they had put on suits and come to our building for no reason other than a false alarm. This was both embarrassing for me as a man and as a representative of our local church.
It turned out that a guy in the building had been trained to silence the alarm and after resetting it a couple times (so it could go off again) and having the fire dept. come back we go the problem under control. This was all in time for me to get down to the basement where students oblivious to what had happened the last 45 minutes had come in and the night had begun. Kristin finished the counseling appt. and the night went off without a hitch. I was stressed and frazzled from running around with my head cut off, but that was my problem.
Ironically my lesson was on I Peter 5:8-10 that we have a very real enemy that wants to speak lies into our lies and make us think our battle is here on Earth.


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