Parking Teams That Rival Aircraft Carrier Flight Crews
I wasn’t with the hordes of young people who watched Top Gun, went and bought a pair of aviators, and joined the Air Force. Flying planes didn’t interest me, but the high-powered glow sticks that the aircraft marshals carry were too cool to pass up. So I joined the team that every church-going, Junior High boy with too much energy for his own good ends up on: the vehicle marshals.
Being a vehicle marshal (AKA parking team member) is one of the most prestigious jobs you could have on a Sunday morning (slightly below greeter ninjas). But the marshals don’t live by standard protocol. A good parking team operates like the flight deck crew of an aircraft carrier to keep church members from hating each other. But how do you compete with all of the Tom Cruise fanboys to score a spot on this team?
There are 5 possible positions you can gun for, each with a specific skill-set:
1. The landing/take-off signaler.
You’ve got to have the “reverse power-strum” down. Plant your feet in a wide stance in a very visible location. Now point in the direction you want the cars to go and swing your other arm in a continuous full-circle. This move gets its name from the scene in “School of Rock” where Jack Black teaches the insecure kid how to really rip on the guitar. You’ll need it if you’re going to quickly direct cars through a megachurch parking lot.
2. The tower.
You’ve got to spot visitors and elderly people so that you can send them to the right parking spot or send the golf cart guy to pick them up. If you mess up, people will surely leave the church thinking you steal the visitor parking for personal use.
3. The radio man.
I went to a conference where the entire staff had those cool in-ear radios that police officers wear. You should get one of these to keep in touch with the tower. “What’s that? Incoming visitor? No problem, I’ve got a basket of Skittles ready for them. Over.” Be sure that you know proper radio etiquette before you take this job. If you leave your crew hanging without an “over” your career is “over and out.”
4. The ground man.
You’ll direct lines of traffic just like you would planes getting ready to park or take off. If you need to stop a line of traffic, just make sure you shout, “You shall not pass,” rather than casting the “Immobulusas” spell. Christians are very fond of Lord of the Rings, not so much of Harry Potter.
5. Golf cart guy.
The equivalent of the guy who brings a ladder for the pilot. If your church has a large parking lot, you send in the golf cart. You’ll get orders from the tower when he spots a senior citizen or baby-toting family and you move in.
What positions does your church have to deal with the universal “Church Parking Lot Issue?”
(For more great writing fromn Ky, check out his blog.)