I saw where a youth workers had posted that she had crashed and burned in her big group talk. Needless to say youth workers began affirming her that she was now a part of “the club”. As youth workers we speak, on average speaker 50 weeks a year, not including devotions or bible studies. It, as J.K. Rowling says in her address to Harvard, “Failure is inevitable”. All our messages can’t be “winners” in terms of style or even substance. We stumble over words, say the wrong thing, say the right thing the wrong way, and the lame jokes are a-plenty. But, there are some benefits to joining the great Crash and Burn Society,
There are plenty of members
For some reason, there are those who join the Crash and Burn society (not by their own choice mind you) who think that if you fail you are put into a room, alone, and forced to write 1,000 times, I Will Never Fail Again (which is not true) or worse I Will Never Try Again. Instead, what if you knew that joining the Crash and Burn Society meant you were put in a bright room where there were round tables, coffee and doughnuts and around those tables were people just like you. For a short time each of you would share your failure(s) but you don’t dwell there too long but instead you start to compare notes and offer encouragement. Suddenly failure isn’t so bad, it just the price of admission to sit around the table and learn something about yourself, your ministry or business, and maybe even about God.
Dues are paid regularly by attempting greatness.
To stay in the society, dues are paid regularly. You can pay at your own pace, it all depends on how often you reach for greatness or create your art and share it with others. The people who fall behind on their payments aren’t, sadly, seen around the table very much. This may mean that they have decided to play it safe or quit trying all together. The dues you pay though gives you access to analysis, commentary, wisdom, refection, advice, and encouragement and those benefits are worth every penny.
You’ll recover quicker
I recently had my gall bladder out. It’s wasn’t as major a surgery as let’s say heart surgery but it put me back a few weeks. The first time you fail at something it feels like you’ll never get back to normal. Recovery is a necessary part of healing. But once you’ve crashed and burned a few times you starts using those failures to build bridge to success. Failure drains our courage and all we want to do is lay in bed in dark room. But then, a spark. An idea. Something inside of us pokes us and says, “If you’ll stay here, you’ll die.”. That’s quite a motivator. It reminds me of some lepers in the Old Testament who were caught between an army and a city under siege. Their choices were to go back to this city of chaos and die eventually of starvation or head towards the army who were the ones besieging the city. The lepers said to themselves, “Why stay here until we die?” They marched towards the enemy army hoping to find mercy and a curious thing happened.
When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
Failure is never fatal if we are moving in the direction of faith. The Crash and Burn Society is about forward motion not about who runs the fastest.
If you are not a member yet, here a simple pledge you can take
The Crash and Burn Society Pledge
I (State your name) fully admit that I have crashed and burned. I have done what 90% of people never do, I attempted to do something big and scary. I tried, failed but most importantly I learned something about myself and God. I plan on crashing and burning a lot because becoming good, even great, at anything requires that I pay the dues. Thank you God and my fellow C&B members for loving me anyway and without condition. Oh, and I’m gonna crush it my next time out !
So, have you Crashed and Burned lately? Good, there’s a seat at my table. Want a doughnut?
Need more encouragement? Here’s a video of J.K. Rowling speaking at Harvard on the subject of failure.
When did you last crash and burn?
How often do you pay your dues?
What’s keeping you from joining the rest of us