An earlier version of this post originally appeared on December 22, 2015
As this post goes live on Thursday morning, the Durham Performing Arts Center will be noticeably more quiet than yesterday, and decidedly calmer than later this evening. On Wednesday, a small battalion of volunteers gathered to unload trucks, set up the venue, and handle a half-a-thousand details related to our Christmas at DPAC services.
And tonight, we kick off the first of six services over the next three days. 2,400 volunteers will serve more than 14,000 people, and the gospel will be proclaimed over and over as we celebrate the incarnation of the Messiah.
As we prep final details, would you pray? For all of the planning and logistics and spreadsheets and sweat, this is an event that cannot be measured a success without the life-giving, soul-stirring, peace-on-earth-giving power of Jesus Christ. Here are a few practical things you can stop and pray for right now:
Our team. I’m blessed to work with some of the most talented, hard-working people on the planet. They have put in some crazy hours over the last few weeks leading up to DPAC. Pray for rest amidst the craziness, and the ability to seize the wonder of Christmas even as they continue at a rapid pace.
Our families. Spouses and kids sacrifice the most this week. They have to wait extra hours and make extra accommodations for a husband or wife or parent who is in DPAC mode seemingly 24/7. Pray that they’ll continue to be patient as the countdown begins to Christmas Eve.
Our volunteers. I mentioned before: 2,400 volunteer slots are filled. That’s a lot of man hours, a lot of opportunities to serve, and a lot of opportunities to build friendships and find a niche in demonstrating gifts. Pray for those who are serving for the first time, and pray that the serving bug will bite hard.
Our guests. We want people to be wowed with the kindness and grace of our team, not to build our church, but to leverage an opportunity. We want to demonstrate the radical kindness of the gospel through the way we serve and interact with guests.
Our message. Christmas at DPAC isn’t about the music or the talent or the volunteers or the venue. All of those things are means to an end. The message is central, powerful, and life-changing. Pray for our pastor as he clearly shares the gospel, and pray that it will root deeply into the souls of those in attendance. Christmas is a hard time for lots of people. We want to point them to the hope that the baby in the manger gives.
If you don’t yet have your tickets for DPAC, there’s good news and bad. The bad is that we’re officially sold out. The good is that in three years’ worth of performances, we’ve never had to turn anyone away. While there are no guarantees, you can always show up at the DPAC box office one hour beofre the service you’d like to attend. Tickets that have been turned in will be redistributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
I hope to see you at DPAC!
(photo credit: Brett Seay)