It’s that time of year! Festival and Christian conference season is upon us! As it’s my third New Wine, I thought I’d share how I’ll be preparing.
#1 Tent prep. Firstly, as the tent hasn’t been used in a year, it needs airing. Secondly, it was not good last year when the day before New Wine I realised that the tent peg bag had been separated from the tent. I ended up buying a gazebo from Tesco and taking the gazebo pegs to camp with because the others were nowhere to be found. When we got there, the gazebo pegs were far too small to withstand the wind. Thank goodness for helpful fellow campers who had brought spare with them!
#2 Writing talks. As a Team Pastor, I will be helping to look after the team who look after the marquee full of 8 and 9 year olds! This involves doing some talks during the week. Before I go, I will write my first couple of talks and have some ideas for the other one. I’ll wait and see what God does over the week before I write the last one, but I will certainly be giving them all some thought now.
#3 Packing venue shoes. I cannot recommend this enough. I will take a pair of shoes that I will only ever wear in the venue itself. To me, there are very few things worse than cold, soggy feet. By keeping one pair of shoes for use inside the venue only, I guarantee that I have always got a dry pair to wear indoors.
#4 Packing shower flipflops. This one speaks for itself really. It’s just common sense.
#5 Gathering a big supply of caffeine. There’s no way to get through a week on team without it, if I’m honest. I’ll pack a bag of ground coffee and filters as well as many mini cans of diet coke and Dr Pepper. It’s a must. I’ll also get some nice hot chocolate sachets to take back to the tent at the end of the day.
#5 Going OTT on snacks. The diet will definitely go out of the window at New Wine. My favourite festival snacks are; fruit winders, Belvita breakfast bars, monster munch and spearmint polos (to mask the smell of the monster munch).
#6 Get a haircut. Ok, so I’ve already done this one. But it’s going to be so much easier having short hair this year. Just shower and go!
#7 Learning actions songs. It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids work means songs with actions! I’ll be brushing up on the Good, good Father (Chris Tomlin) makaton signs and practicing my lunges for the chorus of Dustin Kensrue’s Rejoice!
#8 Leaving Formby in Formby. Now, this one won’t be easy, especially as I am taking the funeral of someone I knew and loved on the day after we get back. However, it’s really important, as much as possible, to concentrate on what’s going on at New Wine. The churches will be in the good hands of our readers, wardens and retired clergy, so there’s no need to be too worried about what’s going on back at home.
#9 Praying for the team. We have a Facebook group for Rock Solid and I will be praying for the team as we run up to New Wine. The week can be intense, and it’s a brave and wonderful thing to volunteer on team. I’ll be praying through the Facebook group by name and asking God to prepare and protect them.
#10 Praying for myself. It might sound selfish to some, but praying for ourselves is vital. God cares about us individually as much as he cares about everyone else. By praying for myself it means that I am focused on the only thing that I can directly change: me! This New Wine I will be asking for God to give me energy and protection, and for him to be in every encounter I have, be that with children, team or anybody else.
So they are my top ten tips for good New Wine prep.
Feel free to follow along as I blog a bit throughout the week.
love & prayers,