Last Friday was a night of firsts. Crosswinds played host to a program sponsored by ProjectUrge, a ministry that seeks to join urban and suburban churches together in ministry. I learned a lot about different cultures that night.

Our culture is pretty well planned out, punctual and ordered. The urban church culture is much more relaxed, less punctual and more spontaneous. Neither is better, but they are different.

The first “first” came when, 40 minutes in the the program, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Where can I plug in my keyboard?” I was running FOH for the program, and we had already completed the worship set. This gentleman was from the city and he and his choir drove out to sing. They were just a little late. I informed him of those facts, and he replied, “Oh no, we’re from Rochester, and we’re going to sing.” OK, then. Sure enough, they sang.

The second “first” was the performance by Morningstar church. A true, black gospel choir. They rocked the house. I have never mixed a choir like that before, and as it turns out, it was harder than I thought. I was well into the second song before I felt like I had a handle on the harmonies. Either by sheer, dumb luck, or God’s providence (I’m leaning toward the latter), I set up 3 mics for the choir. I normally do 2 in our space, but decided at the last minute to grab 3. Turns out they were perfectly positioned for the altos, tenors and sopranos. Once I figured that out, I was able to blend the parts and make it work.

I gotta tell you, they were incredible. The aforementioned keyboard player played like, 3 parts on his little keyboard (that we plugged into the acoustic guitar DI and I set levels and monitors on the fly during the first song…), and the dummer was like Steve Gadd.

The whole night really didn’t fit into my “Planning will set you free” mantra, but then again, because I had stuff plugged in all over stage, and had extra inputs wired, we were able to accommodate last minute additions. So maybe I was closer than I thought. Anyway, it was great.