I once heard someone refer to Discovery as a church in a box. It sounded odd, but it’s true. When we walk into Giaudrone middle school on Sunday mornings, it is a welcoming place with many of the details that you would find in a church building… the sign-in table for Kids Kingdom, the Connection table, the sound system, the projection screens, and much more. Some weeks there is even a baptistery.
Most of us don’t think a lot about how a middle school is transformed into a place of worship for a few hours on Sunday morning and then back again, but every week, one of three teams, we call them Levites, shows up with a trailer full of equipment to Giaudrone and sets up the space where we meet. When church is over, another team will pack it all up and return it to storage.
Like those who serve in other ways, the men and women on the Levite teams are using the abilities, skills and talents that God has given them to serve Him. Each one of them is important.
One of those people is Max Burke, who acts as team lead for Levite team B and is the general go-to person for anything related to set up.
Max’s preparation for this area of service started when he was young. He was an organizer, that kid who wanted everything in its place and was particular about how things were done.
From the time he accepted Christ at age 15, Max knew that he wanted to do youth ministry. He went on to attend Southwestern Baptist Bible College and then to serve for 19 years as part time youth pastor at Parkland Baptist Church. At the same time, he worked in construction to supplement his income. In 1991, he started he own construction company so that he would have the flexibility and freedom to continue youth ministry and spend time with his family (wife, Debbie and children Christie, Jason, and Zach). Eventually construction became full time.
When Discovery Community Church started, Max’s daughter Christie became part of the founding group, and her brothers also got involved early as well. It was not long before Max and Debbie followed. In 2007, they became a part of Discovery and Max quickly got involved in the task of setting up. He has served in that area ever since.
But being a Levite is more than just putting things in place. For Max it is about making things efficient and easier for the people who do this job every week. He wants people to enjoy the experience, so he has built custom carts to store equipment such as the curtains and poles. He goes to the people who work in the various areas of service within Discovery to find out what they need to make things easier, and then builds it. His desire is to lighten the load.
Max’s favorite Bible passage is in Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Max likes the analogy of the race and believes that we are to run the race together. He sees the things that he does as helping to remove obstacles for others.
Often, those who serve behind the scenes don’t see the results of their contributions, but God always uses those who serve willing. As Max says, “When you commit and are right where God wants you, God will use that to touch lives.”
To find out more about Discovery’s Levites and how you can be a part of this team contact [email protected].
For more about Discovery’s amazing volunteers see: