“I feel defeated.”

Jordan and I have been doing a lot of preparation on Fridays, lately, for the Sunday Online Campus services. We make sure everything is prepped and ready. The past three months have shown us that we need to be prepared as much as possible.

This past week, we once again got everything prepped and ready for today’s service. As the service time draws near, we start to see blips with the hosting of our Online Campus page and the streaming of our service. We check everything and see we have all our settings correct. Yet, chat isn’t working. Live prayer isn’t working. Pushing our slides isn’t working. The live stream of the service isn’t working. I looked hopelessly at my laptop, and did what every IT person knows what to do in a time like this. Restart the machine.

The service starts later than normal. Construction in the area has made for a traffic mess in and out of the church. Last week, and this week, we delayed the start of the service by five to ten minutes. It doesn’t seem like much, but when people show up online and wonder where the service is it can be annoying. Ordinarily, we’d be able to tell them in the chat, but that wasn’t working.*

*Yeah, that restart? Didn’t help.

I was trying to problem solve the first part of the service. All it did was verify the issues we were experiencing were out of our control. Responding to this was difficult. I was angry, because it seems the issues are never ending. I wanted to hit something, but I knew that wasn’t a realistic option. So I threw a Sharpie at the floor.*

*Don’t mess with me!

Jordan had a commitment early in the afternoon, so I let him go early because things were dead with the Online Campus. I tried to watch the service online, but the video kept freezing up and/or dropping altogether. I threw up the white flag.

I packed up everything silently, and shuffled away to the minivan. I sat down in it and felt defeated. Since midsummer I’ve been trying to fix the issue we’ve had with our media streaming provider. Things haven’t improved with them. I’ve talked directly with the President of the company about the issues. We’ve been in process of looking at other options, but another long-term solution can’t be implemented overnight. Jordan and I have spent hours upon hours trying rectify the matter.

It’s one thing if the chat, or live prayer, goes down, but when the media streaming company you use continues to fail in streaming Online Campus services it undermines everything. I sat in my minivan thinking I can’t let this keep going. Close to 250 people attend the Online Campus every Sunday, and I felt I was letting them down.

What does one do in response? Refuse to be defeated. Keep grinding at work. Keep learning, and applying what you learn. Keep hustling. Keep creating with solutions. Keep listening and reaching out to Online Campus attenders. And, keep living with perspective.

While it affects me personally, it’s just another day. There are good days, and there are bad days. Tomorrow is another day. A good day will come. Besides, there are good things happening in my life.

I’ve spent the afternoon thinking through courses of action to pursue that will improve the Online Campus experience. If things fail again, it won’t be because of lack of action. The Online Campus will be better than ever.

But this morning? Yeah, that sucked.

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