Wednesday, September 30, 2015

31 Days: Door Holders

My topic and title for this year's #31Days is Door Holders.

That's right; thirty-one days of door holders.

Let me explain: At Passion City Church, they have an entire team of people called 'door holders'. They are, essentially, the greeters; the information desk people; the parking attendants; the customer service folks. They're the folks who greet you, in some cases literally open the door for you, and help you navigate what may be unfamiliar territory.

I visited Passion City Church last year and was impressed and touched by this team. The entire experience of pulling into a foreign parking lot and finding my way into a big building with hundreds of people streaming in simultaneously was made easier and even comfortable by scores of Door Holders. They did, in fact, literally open the door for us.

It mattered. It set the tone.

They made a difference.

/ / /

I was quite taken by this team and its name. Words matter, and I felt that conceptually, these particular words really conveyed the right intention and level of action for folks in that welcoming role. In fact, in some subsequent meetings at my workplace, I lobbied hard to 'borrow' the name and use it for our own Guest Services teams at PCC, as we considered how to raise the bar and cast vision in those areas. My lobbying was to no avail, as our team didn't feel like it would quite work at PCC.

I pouted for a moment and then got over it.

But I didn't forget it.

At the heart of everything I do in my current position in ministry is the idea of opening doors, extending grace, welcoming others, offering a seat at the table. Regardless of what we call our team, I want to be seen as a door holder for others, as much as possible.

It is not an easy thing, and I fail daily; this notion of loving your neighbor as yourself and considering others better than yourself - found in the Bible - require selflessness and humility that do not come easily to me.

But I am trying, because I believe it matters.

/ / /

Last week, I read this blog post from a writer / teacher much admired, and it put the final cog in place. As I strive to hold the door open for others, it is worth remembering who held the door for me. I did just that, in fact; I sent the link to the blog post to someone who opened an important door for me in life, and I said, You did this for me. Thank you.

And there it was.

For the next month, I will strive to write daily posts, telling stories of folks who cleared a path for me, gave me direction, pushed me along, provided a gateway, pushed me through a portal.

I suspect there will be more than one trip down memory lane and a few google searches.

And undoubtedly these posts will mean more to me and my current state of nostalgia than anyone who reads them.

But there it is; and I'm excited. I'll write tomorrow about my first piano teacher, Mrs. Millie Bark, whose hand on the handle of music defined my entire life. I hope you'll come along.

How about your door holders? Who's the first person that comes to mind when you consider this topic? Who would you write about?

Day 1: Mille Bark
Day 2: Diane Cornelison 
Day 3: Donna Ferrere
Day 4: Tony Stoddard
Day 5: Pauline Elizabeth Delong Case
Day 6: Nancy Beach

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