For three days prior to Christmas, the Summit is going to be invading the Durham Performing Arts Center for a fifth year. We’ll be celebrating the incarnation of Jesus, the majesty of the manger, the astonishment that God would dare become man.
Christmas at DPAC is – hands down – my favorite event of the year. It is as much a Christmas tradition in our family as attempting (and failing) to work through an advent plan and seeking marriage counseling for the harmful things we say while trying to detangle Christmas tree lights. Traditional, too, is this annual post on why you should serve (no seriously…this is getting ridiculous).
So at the risk of rehashing old content and sounding like a broken record, Uncle Danny wants to talk to you, Summit friends: you who have never attended Christmas at DPAC. You who have attended, but never served. You who have viewed this event as the one time you “take off” and just enjoy what’s happening around you. There are five reasons I want to challenge you to change your mind, five reasons that you should serve at Christmas at DPAC:
1. It makes a big church feel smaller. There’s no getting around the fact that we’re a big place. While it’s challenging to bring all of the Summit under one roof for one event, DPAC gives us the chance to take 27 weekend services and cram ’em into six. You’ll meet up with people from other campuses you haven’t seen in a while, you’ll rub shoulders with friends who do what you do somewhere else, and you’ll learn the names of folks you see all the time, but have never taken the time to meet.
2. It makes a big church feel bigger. Big feeling small is a good thing, but realizing the breadth of ministry can be a kick, too. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (don’t tell anyone): we intentionally go for “shock and awe” on our volunteer teams when it comes to events like this. If you serve on a regular basis and bemoan a lack of volunteers, I want you to see what can happen when everyone has a spot, we all pitch in, and we go above and beyond the call of duty for our guests. I want your role to inspire you to dream big for what your role / team / campus can look like.
3. It reminds us that it’s not about us. Christmas at DPAC isn’t about showcasing talent or making much of ourselves. We pour blood, sweat, and tears into this because we want our city to see Jesus with fresh eyes. We want to create a sense of wonder about why Christmas exists. We want our generous service to be a living, breathing, flashing neon sign that points people to the generosity of God becoming flesh.
4. It gives you a chance to try something new. This one’s for those of you who slip in and slip out each weekend, trying to keep your head down and avoided getting recruited by a team leader with a clipboard: serving at Christmas at DPAC is a one-shot deal. If you hate it, you only have to endure it for a couple of hours. If you love it, you’ve just discovered a way that God may want to use you long-term. Some of our internal studies have shown that when people serve, their feeling of being connected to the church doubles. We want to give you an easy on-ramp to make that happen.
5. It’s a far better experience for those who are serving than those who are served. Let’s get super-selfish for a moment: DPAC is just flat-out fun. Fun for attendees, yes. Inspiring to our community, yes. Eye-opening for the unchurched, yes. Stunning to see people finally receive the gospel, absolutely. But it is a completely different experience for those of us serving behind the scenes. Whether you serve one service or all six, you get to be a part of making this happen. You walk away with a sense of accomplishment. You see how God takes your gifts and your skill sets and your time and uses them all to bless others. (Oh, and if you need an even more selfish reason, you get early access to tickets when you sign up to serve. Boo-yah.)
This year we have identified 2,401 places for volunteers to serve. You can be a part of the Guest Services, Summit Kids, or Set Up / Tear Down teams. You can serve by praying for the services and our guests in the Boiler Room. We’re adding new opportunities to serve our city through pre-service receptions for prisoners, single moms, and other community partners.
Sign ups for volunteers have begun, and will continue until 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 18. Jump on it. We want you to be a part of Christmas at DPAC!