Shut up and drive

Church Van
Photo by Simon Abrams via Flickr (Creative Commons)

People are showing up and I have a million things running through my mind.

  • Do I have all of my personal stuff?
  • Do I have all of the stuff we need that the church needs to bring?
  • Are all of my leaders here?
  • Did I double check fuel levels? What about oil changes, we good there?
  • Which students still need to turn in permission slips?
  • And those two students I was trying to convince to go at the last minute, are they going to show?
  • Did I print off directions? The other drivers hate it when I forget to do that.
  • Don’t forget the orientation before we leave.
  • Did I print the flyer for parents? If I don’t write down all of the details they will call me the whole time.
  • How will I start a meaningful conversation with someone new on this drive?

These are the myriad of things rattling through my brain as students show up for an event. I have a tendency to think 2-3 steps ahead of what is presently going on. Early arrivers check-in and I barely even acknowledge them as I’m still lost in the mental checklists of a deeply analytical moment.

And I’ve learned over the years that since I’m lost in those details it’s better to identify a couple of volunteers who can be fully present when students arrive with their parents. It’s better to allow them to greet trip participants, answer questions, and get their bag put in the right place.

But there comes a moment in each youth group trip where I have to intentionally shift gears and turns off all of that forward thinking.

Sometimes you just have to shut up and drive the van.

That’s how I’m feeling about life right now. There are a myriad of things going on. Too many things to list and some far too personal or private to share. But each day I have to find a moment where I tell myself, “Just shut up and drive.

All of that future planning and strategy is great. But if I don’t shut up and drive forward, those plans and strategies will become regrets. And ultimately, intentions, plans, and strategies don’t mean squat. All that matters is results.

Shut up and drive.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

2 comments

  1. Wow! Reading that checklist of what’s going through your mind before a youth trip – made my heart race. So true. Very good idea to have a go-to volunteer in that role. Also, great advice that you used to illustrate the need to Shut Up and Drive in life in general.

    Thanks again for the great info you provide on your blog and Twitter! Very valuable to those of us on the “front lines”!

  2. No joke. I always feel on top of the logistical details of a trip… until the actual trip.

    And the metaphor is great, too. Youth ministry may look different in different contexts, but the “driving” is still the same: Loving kids where they’re at and pointing them to Jesus.

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