Wednesday night of Week Four of the 2008 Montreat Youth Conferences will forever be remembered as "The Night the Bat Came to Worship."
It's not that bats are uncommon in Montreat. Quite the opposite, in fact. I remember a time during my freshman year that a bat actually flew into our dorm building, and was eventually chased out with a baseball bat (a tale we always referred to by simply saying two words: "bat bat"). We even had a bat fly into a worship service at the end of the previous week, but it didn't stay around for very long. But on Wednesday night, a bat flew in near the beginning of the worship service, and remained for pretty much the whole thing, flying around Anderson Auditorium. It just wouldn't be ignored. And for hundreds of youth and adults who may not already know that bats occasionally fly into buildings in Montreat, this was a noteworthy occurrence.
Thankfully, our preacher, Bridgett Green, had the grace to accept the bat's presence--even incorporating a mention of it that worked quite nicely with the theme of taking risks: "It is a risk to preach with a bat flying over your head, but it's a risk I'm willing to take!"--which injected a bit of humor into the evening which released a lot of tension.