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The Day The Kick Drum Died

The kick drum head you see in the picture above has hung on the wall of my office for a few years now.  It is a great reminder for me.  Occasionally people ask about it and I am happy to tell the story.  My entire office is a static visual devotional of object lessons.  I made it that way to remind me of valuable lesson along the way.

You see the big hole in the head of that kick?  That was placed there on a Student Ministry worship night.  The drummer was a senior in high school…and was a great guy – creative as fire…and played LOUD.  Loud isn’t really a fair word.  He played PASSIONATELY.  I would commonly walk into one of the Student Ministry worship rehearsals and ask him to either switch to rods or work on playing softer.

One night during a particularly large Student Ministry kickoff, this drummer was really getting into it.  Despite my best attempts to tell him to “chill” a bit…it happened.  Suddenly I hear some garbled sounds coming from the sound system and then a loss of the low end kick.  I walk over to the front of house and ask our sound engineer what had happened.  They were clueless.  During a song transition I hear the drummer say “I broke the kick head”.  I was fit to be tied.  “If he had JUST LISTENED to me!!  If he had not been so irresponsible!  If he had just calmed down…pulled back.”  I remember going into my office and slamming my door.  Man…I was a jerk.

Then I heard it.

Reverberating across the massive church…the sounds of hundreds of youth singing at the top of their lungs.  I regained my composure and walked back into the Student Ministry auditorium and spent my remaining time worshiping an amazing God with the youth who were fully engaged…hands raised high…jumping…shouting….to guitars, keys, vocals…and a drum set with no kick.

I’m so glad that I had left the space when I did so that no one there saw my little temper tantrum.  After it was all over, the drummer walked over to me and humbly apologized.  You could tell he was upset and shaken.  I asked him to gather the team together in the green room…and took the head off the kick.  With sharpie in hand…I took time to celebrate what God just did in that room…and asked each of them to sign the kick….STARTING with the drummer to commemorate the moment…then used it as a teaching moment.

You see…we all have had – or will have – moments when our theoretical drum heads will break.  We will miss a transition, we will break a string, we will sing the wrong lyric…we will FORGET a lyric, we will start a song in the wrong key, something will fall, something will break, something will be muted that should be unmated….something will be unmuted that SHOULD be muted…and we will think that we’ve just lost the service…

…BUT God.

I chose to handle the situation SO wrong.  I chose to make the situation about a drum head…and me, the adult, ran away stomping my feet like a child…

…the Student Ministry team I was “leading”…lead ME…and hundreds of others despite of the shortcoming…because they kept their eyes fixed on the goal…


Don’t let a busted head make you skip a beat of your heartbeat for God.