Follow the Leader

It's almost always during a crisis that you see what kind of leader a person is. Lincoln put his stamp on leadership history during the height of the civil war. Churchill became a leadership icon in the throws of World War II. Rudy Giuliani showed some masterful leadership in the days after September 11th. There is something about a crisis that reveals a leader's true mettle.

This week is Camp Sonshine (Baptists read "VBS") at McKinney Memorial Bible Church. This year the children's ministry leadership decided to hold Camp Sonshine at the Lockheed-Martin recreational facility, which is a pretty sweet complex near the Lockheed-Martin facilities in North Fort Worth. The grounds are complete with basketball courts, several pools, and ammenities that beat the heck out of the piecemeal playground and blacktop pavement we had at VBS growing up.

The only thing missing at the Lockheed-Martin recreational facility is cover from rain.

So yesterday morning, when we woke up at 6:30 to rain coming down at a rate of about 2 inches per hour, I figured it was going to be a crazy day. The kids were scheduled to show up to Camp Sonshine at 8:30, and at 7:30 word came that camp would be moved to the church building. Even if the rain stopped, we were looking at 3 or 4 hundred muddy kiddos.

I drove to the church expecting chaos, but instead I found a very organized group of about one-hundred volunteers working quickly, efficiently, but in an orderly manner to move Camp Sonshine - and hundreds of kids - to a brand new location. This meant hiring some entertainment at the last minute, organizing new games, logistics, and activities for the day, and figuring out a way to get the word to parents and volunteers in a matter of less than an hour.

At the center of the chaos was the Children's Director, Nita Menshew, who has been on the job at McKinney for almost two years.

As I walked into the foyer, expecting chaos, I saw Nita standing in the middle of the room, answering her phone, solving problems, and pointing volunteers in the right direction without skipping a beat. She wasn't panicked. She was smiling, laughing, and calmly making decisions in a split-second that would have normally received a week or two worth of attention.

The volunteers followed their leader, and the entire day went without a hitch. So much so that when my alarm went off this morning at 6:45, and I heard the rain pounding my window, I leaped out of bed - not because I felt like they would need me at the church, but because I wanted to be there to watch a leader at her best.

Great job Nita and leadership team.