One of my favorite parts of staffing David’s Tent is the opportunity to spend time with our incredible staff community. Each staff member has laid down their life to come and lift up the name of Jesus 24/7 in our capital city. They just might be the most surrendered, joy-filled and devoted people I know. Getting to know each of them truly is a joy and an honor! Right now we have about 40 full-time staff living in community houses all over the city and serving in shifts at David’s Tent. My husband Ryan and I have the privilege of leading one of these community houses–our house covers the 3 am-9:30 am watch. In our home we have a total of 11 people: 7 adult staff, our wild and joyful 18 month old son Jethro, our yet-to-be-born baby due in November, and Ryan and I.
As a mom, my role in staffing David’s Tent looks a little different from many of the other staff. Even though my son often puts me a nightwatch schedule of his own (if you know what I mean), my time is spent mostly at home, not at the tent. Having been heavily involved in David’s Tent since the kick-off in 2012, this transition into motherhood and staying at home was very different for me. Not bad, just different.
These days my role is focused more on building community within our home and smoothly running our house rather than leading worship and booking worship teams. Both are absolutely necessary and important! In this season of my life I’m gaining a new perspective on true fellowship and the beauty of community, even in day to day life and the seemingly mundane.
Acts 2:46-47 says “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (NIV).
What I love about this passage is that it paints a picture of what daily life looked life in the early church, but that picture isn’t just worship and seeing people get saved. A key part of the early church was spending time together in their homes and eating together. As David’s Tent staff I love that we gather and worship at the tent daily, but we also come back to our homes to fellowship and break bread together.
Just as I know the Lord is pleased when he looks at David’s Tent and sees our offering of praise, I’m convinced that he is just as pleased when he looks down and sees the unity and love of our community houses. This isn’t to say that our community is perfect or glorious all the time. Not at all! Honestly, there’s a lot of messiness that comes along with living in Christian community. There’s a lot of “iron sharpening iron” and that’s not always pretty at the time. God is using our community to refine us, sharpen us, transform us more and more into his image, and teach us how to love. There is a real transformation happening in each and every one of our staff members, including myself and my family! Often this transformation occurs in the seemingly mundane parts of life. It happens at the lunch table as we share our stories and dreams with one another, as we are real and vulnerable with one another and ask for prayer, in those moments where someone gets on your nerves and you have to decide how to respond, or even as we serve through cooking and cleaning. It’s in moments like these where the rubber meets the road and God has a chance to move in our lives to heal, refine, redeem and transform. Although community life definitely has its challenges, it is also filled with beauty.
This season of staying at home and focusing on building community, being a mom and a wife, planning meals, and leading small groups has given me a new and beautiful perspective on just how valuable community is. I am thankful that every day we get to travel to a little white tent on the National Mall and sing our hearts out to Jesus day and night along with worshipers from all over the United States and the world. I’m also deeply thankful that in the midst of this God has placed us in community, in homes all over the city where every day He brings transformation and healing to our lives. Community is messy, community is glorious and community is beautiful. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
P.S. If you want to join our community of full-time staff, email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply!