Every Saturday afternoon around 4 o'clock, a team of people meet at Austin High School for setup. In a matter of hours, a high school gymnasium is transformed into a place of worship where the Austin Stone Downtown Campus will meet the following day for morning and evening services. Road cases filled with audio equipment are wheeled down hallways. Desks are pushed against classroom walls to make room for kids and students. It's a massive undertaking that's gone on nearly every week for almost 15 years.
As new residents, we've been invited into this process not only because it's important for us to learn to serve the church in quieter, less visible places but also because of the wealth of knowledge that comes from learning how all of this stuff works. In just two years, many of us will be sent out to serve in churches across the country and knowing how to be a part of a team that can manage this kind of logistical undertaking week in and week out is a huge help in setting us up for future success.
Here's a short time-lapse video I shot last week as we were setting up. From start to finish, this took about two hours.....
We've done a lot of this kind of thing over the past couple of weeks and while it can admittedly feel a little mundane at times, there's no doubt that a real bond is formed between everyone involved as we're setting up rows of chairs, putting down floor mats and rolling equipment through the halls of the high school. As someone who's stepping into all of this, more of an outsider than an insider at this point, it's beautiful to see the level of commitment all of these teams have in showing up to serve the church week after week. You get the sense that they understand the importance of the work they're doing and the role that it plays in creating a space where people of all walks of life can come together and hear God's word preached and to respond together in worship.
Already, we're gearing up to begin leading and have been given lots of other projects more directly related to worship leading but I wanted to spend a couple minutes on this part of residency because of some of the things I've been surprised to learn here.