Next week marks one of my favorite events that we do all year at the Summit. Perhaps the favorite event. I’m referring, of course, to Christmas at the Durham Performing Arts Center: two days / five services worth of music, spoken word, and some really fun surprises.
It’s an event that will see over ten thousand people in attendance, and with that size crowd comes a real need for volunteers. We’re talking lots of volunteers. 1,400 volunteers, to be exact.
In the past I’ve written about the three reasons you should serve at DPAC. That’s you in the individual sense, not the collective you in which you say “Oh he’s saying you but he really means that bum in my small group that always wants to talk Calvinism and debate the finer points of patristic theology.”
Well actually, I mean you. AND the early fathers expert who was predestined from the foundation of the world to be a know-it-all. But if you are a part of the Summit Church, you are the you I’m referring to. (Yes, I know, I should probably say “To which I refer” but that doesn’t rhyme as well.)
So here it is: three more reasons you should serve:
1. When you serve, you’re creating a sense of the familiar. I’ve said before that we could step back and let the fantastic DPAC staff do all of the seating and our great friends at the Durham Police Department do all of the parking. And yes, they’ll be on hand. But imagine for a moment that you are attending a large company Christmas party. Several divisions are coming together, and you’re facing the prospect of a night with hundreds of total strangers. Now imagine that you walk into that party and see Jim from accounting, the guy that you grab a burger with every Tuesday for lunch. Suddenly a large party becomes smaller.
We want to create that same sort of safe space at DPAC. By having all campuses represented at all services, there will undoubtedly be someone for everyone. When our guests have that spark of familiarity, they relax, and we add relational collateral. For the non-believing guest, they might even see a neighbor parking cars or a co-worker checking in kids or an old college friend shaking hands with people at the front door. Familiarity breaks down barriers, and when barriers come down, the gospel goes forth.
2. When you serve, you’re transferring DNA. For all of the DPAC’s beauty, design excellence, and comfort, it’s not home. It’s not a place where any of us go each week for worship. It’s not a Summit campus. While it’s a beautiful venue, it’s not our venue. But when you step up to serve, you’re moving the values of generosity, kindness, and hospitality into the public realm. You’re serving as an ambassador for your church and for the kingdom at large. Just as you create a sense of familiar by giving people a familiar place, you create a sense of home by replicating experiences and common values.
3. When you serve, you’re dipping a toe in the water. This is where the rubber meets the road for many of you. You’re not one who serves on a regular basis. You’ve never been a part of the Summit Kids team. You’ve never served on First Impressions. You’ve never participated in the Prayer Team, showed up early for set up, or stuck around late for tear down.
And I get it. Those things take an insane amount of commitment and sacrifice. But that’s why DPAC is an event that is perfect for you. You can commit anywhere from one to three hours for one time. Test the waters. Kick the tires. If you love it, talk to your campus leader about serving some of the other 51 weeks out of the year. If you hate it, well, there’s always Christmas 2016. DPAC is a “one serve” opportunity, and it’s a great chance for you to figure out where your sweet spot of service might be.
Here’s the skinny: volunteer sign ups will remain open until Monday, December 21 at 5:00 PM. To see where you might fit the best, get started here. And for more information on Christmas at DPAC in general, check out the site.
(photo credit: Brett Seay)