When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to be part of our marching band by becoming a majorette. We didn’t have a ton of time to prep before one of our first major appearances, where I was actually chosen to have a little spotlight moment. We had been learning how to do a high baton toss and catch, and as one of the older members of the team, I managed to catch it more often than I had to chase it… thus my spotlight moment.


Needless to say, I was quite nervous.


This would be a moment when all eyes were on me, so I began to prepare and practice furiously. The big day came, and as I went through the program I kept anticipating that toss, playing it over and over in mind, and just hoping for the best.


The moment came… I tossed… I caught. Then I stood there in awe, amazed that the baton actually fell right into my hand.


It didn’t even dampen my spirits, when my mom chatted with me later about it. She congratulated me on the job well done, but further conversation revealed that it may not have been my most graceful moment. Apparently, my stance was like a penguin and my arms held up high just waiting for one of them to make contact. Still, I didn’t have to do the “baton chase of shame.”


Sometimes our roles, whether in small or large group, feel like a spotlight moment, where all eyes are on us. Much of our success or comfort in those moments tends to point to how much time we have prepared to lead. We may not be “practicing furiously,” but hopefully we have taken time to put some great rhythms to work in our lives.


Have we set aside time to pray for our group? Have we read through the curriculum ahead of time? Have we thought about how we can make this personal in the lives of those we interact with? Have we anticipated how we can cue parents? Have we memorized the verse we are asking the kids to learn, so we don’t get awkwardly stuck during the verse activity of the day?


Sure, we may not always come across as the most graceful in each moment (where everything has gone perfectly according to plan), but that’s ok, because sometimes it is just great to stand in awe, amazed at how God has made a success of your time, because you have allowed Him to work in and through your best efforts!


By Karis Stiles
Parker Hill Community Church
Scranton, PA

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