I’m always amazed at our volunteer team’s insatiable desire to create a “wow” moment whenever they get a chance. But I’ve been really amazed at what I’ve witnessed the last couple of weekends at our Chapel Hill Campus.

Two Sundays ago, I saw a tweet from Mike Labarr, one of our volunteers, linking to this picture:

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@SummitCHC parking team rocks the #starwars look today

And then last Sunday when I dropped by, I saw this guy making his way into the parking lot:

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Can I tell you how happy this makes me? Nobody forced these guys to dress up like Jedi warriors or your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. It’s not a part of our training. There’s no advanced volunteer status we award to people who show up in costume.

Nope, these guys did it because they wanted to bring some fun to an otherwise monotonous job. They wanted to make a few kids giggle, maybe make them anticipate something new and different when they showed up for church.

I see the same thing when I go to our Cary campus and the parking team has donned Mickey hands. Or when a volunteer at Brier Creek sticks around to help a guest jump start a dead battery. Or when one of our West Club guys keeps a pocket full of dog treats for the neighborhood dog walkers. Or when a North Durham vol goes into a storm drain to rescue a kitten.

None of those things are requirements. None are in the job description. It’s simply part of their heartbeat for treating a guest like family, blowing up their perception of what they think church will be, and removing barriers of discomfort so they can clearly hear the gospel.

I get it: some of you can hear your inner legalist screaming right now (I know that voice…I have it too). “But Danny!” you bellow. “You’re not keeping the main thing the main thing! That’s not the gospel!”

You’re right. It’s not. Spiderman costumes and kitten rescues aren’t evangelistic techniques. Battery jumps and dog treats don’t save people. Shoot, some people even believe that Jediism is a religion. (Living in their mom’s basement, they are.)

But I don’t believe they’re taking away from the gospel. They’re looking for unique ways to connect, to surprise, to delight…as they move people towards the gospel. 

It’s part of their “extra mile,” and I’m grateful that they do it.

What’s your team’s “extra mile” story? Would you share it below?

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