by Jay Phagan
In my ministry career I have been asked to do many things. I have been asked to lead conferences, perform weddings, preach on occasion and lead Bible studies. Yet, maybe the strangest request is to take a turn in the dunking booth.
The first time I was asked to be in the VBS Fair dunking booth, it was explained to me that it is an honor to be in the dunking booth. It meant that I was popular and children would want to dunk me. I would make it fun! Popular! Honor! Where do I sign-up.
I learned a few things along the way from inside the dunking booth.
First, make sure the water is clean and there are no splinters in the board. It sounds like such a little thing, but I always ask them to fill the tank early so the water was clean and warm. I always wanted the inside to be safe.
Second, you need a team you can trust. It sounds funny, but you need helpers to draw a crowd, make sure people are involved and you don’t have someone tripping the bulls eye when you are not looking.
Third, not everyone dunks you the first time. They need encouragement to try again, scoot closer or take an extra throw. The goal is not to just throw the ball, it is to dunk someone.
Fourth, when you get dunked act surprised and make a big splash. The dunker, needs to know that they were successful.
Finally, train others to man the dunking booth. You see it is an honor and great joy to see someone go from sideline watcher to thrower, to dunker to dunkie and finally to skill manger of the dunking booth.
You know that dunking booth reminds me about the importance of Biblical Community/Sunday School. The learning/discovering environment should be clean and comfortable. It also needs to be a safe place of Biblical discussion, discovery and life application.
Second, a team of people is more effective. You need group members leading out in outreach and care ministry. It is to much to do alone and there is always some that is ready to take a part.
Third, the goal is not learning how to throw. The goal is to dunk someone. We need to keep focused on the goal of making disciples. Knowing the Bible is important, but building up and maturing disciples is the goal.
Fourth, as people make life changes that move them into a deeper relationship with Christ, we need to show excitement and express joy. Letting class members know they are growing and developing—hitting the bulls eyes is important.
Finally, training up new leaders is a very important part of the process.
Oh the final lesson. You will never be a great dunking booth person unless you are all in and excited.