Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Best Laid Plans...

We had our one year anniversary service today. We planned for a month every moment of this service. We tried to do everything the best way that we possibly knew how. The feeling was electric all morning long. There was a big crowd and the music was totally off-the-hook! I got up to look back at all of the incredible things that have happened in the year since we started; and then give my vision of where we are headed from here. It was a message that I was absolutely stoked about giving. Nothing gets me more excited than laying out vision and direction.

That's when it stopped. As I was beginning to speak, I heard a loud thud at the back of the auditorium. I assumed somebody had tripped over a chair on the way to the restroom (I am getting used to distractions when I speak), so I kept going. The next thing I heard was somebody yell from the back "Call 911!!!". What?!? This is not happening. A man had collapsed on his way out of the auditorium and was laying face down in front of our sound booth. It turns out that he has heart trouble and had just recently had heart surgery. We have some incredible hero's in our church that immediately jumped in and knew exactly what to do. When the EMT's arrived, they said that we had done everything exactly right. It took about 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive and get him loaded up and ready to go.

I should tell you at this point that he is going to be ok. I just got back from the hospital and spoke with him and his wife. They apologized for interrupting our service!

After the ambulance left, we pulled back together, prayed, and I continued my message. I have never done anything harder in my life. I know that God had a reason for allowing all of that - I am not quite sure what it was yet. If nothing else, it shows that He is in control - not me.

5 comments:

Greg said...

Chris,
I am proud of you...sounds like all of you handled a tough situation the best that you could...thank God the gentleman survived (we are in the life saving business!). It is all a part of the seasoning process. Can you remember Guilliard?

Gary Lamb said...

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are the man. I would have freaked out and probably died myself.

Chris Surratt said...

Gary - I would have loved to. Sometimes it would be nice to just be the keyboard player and not the Pastor!

David Russell said...

Same thing happened in a church I was once at, except in this situation the speaker (the youth pastor) looked back at what was happening (man on the floor, people helping, others hovering around) and knew that the man had an ongoing heart problem. Without fully assessing all that had happened, he surmised that the gentleman had passed away (given his age, condition it did seem somewhat likely.) So, he told the audience to be in prayer for the family and that Brother so-and-so had "gone on to be with the Lord."

The next day, the same youth pastor was visiting the man in the hospital as he was recovering from a "mild" heart attack. He apologized for his grave error. (Pun intended.)

It's an amazing church that can raise the elderly from the dead! :)

Sounds like you handled this alot better than this youth pastor handled a similar situation years ago. Great job!

Dee McGarity said...

Chris,
I’m so sorry this happened. I can’t imagine why. We had a very similar thing happen to us at our first church in Chicago. I really think it is the devil doing the best he can to keep out the good that will happen in Greenville. Hang in there that has got to be the worst that can happen.

Love you and pray for you’ll daily.
Dee