Deskworker or Doorkeeper?

My name is Jessica, and I am a sophomore Commercial Writing major from West Virginia. This was my first summer working the desk at Bradley Tower, the residence hall for all of our girl campers visiting this summer. I had a wonderful time sitting at the desk, getting to know the campers and their parents.
 But some days my job got particularly exciting.


An average first day of camp went something like this. . .

The doors burst open, and I glanced up from the desk.
 A crowd of noisy teenage girls spilled into the lobby, dragging their stuffed suitcases and balancing pillows which teetered onto the floor.

The sponsors followed, searching their lists of campers and room assignments.


“Do you all know where you’re going?” asked one of the waiting camp counselors whose job was to see that all the girls made it to their destinations.


“We’re looking for—let’s see here—room 3601, 3602, 3603,” replied the sponsor with a row of blue ID lanyards hanging on her arm.



“Oh, I can show you where that is,” said the counselor, “and let me help you with that luggage.”



The elevator door opened with a pinging of the bell, and the noise faded away as the door closed.


I turned to see a mother approaching me, a look of concern on her face. “My daughter was assigned to a room, but when we went to unpack, there was no one else in her room. Is she going to be all by herself?”

I smiled. “All of the campers should have at least one other camper with them. The other campers have probably not arrived yet.”

Comforted, she thanked me and walked away.


As visitors came into the lobby throughout the day, I made sure they signed the residence hall sign-in sheet before they headed upstairs.

Questions about rooms and luggage and new campers swirled around me. Parents who were leaving their teens here for the week wanted to know that their daughters would be okay. I offered assurance that the girls were in good hands and would be safe and have a wonderful time.

My sister dubbed my job during these weeks, “Deskworking Extreme.” And it truly was! A deskworker has to be ready for just about anything. Ready to answer a question, be it important or seemingly not-so-important. Ready to answer the phone. Ready to open the doors for campers and counselors.

But perhaps more than anything, a deskworker has to be ready to be a servant. 
That concept did not really sink in until I went to one of the evening services in the Dale Horton Auditorium. The preacher for the week was Pastor Jeff Redlin from Front Range Baptist Church in Fort Collins, Colorado. Before he started his message, he spoke for a few minutes of the many people on campus who worked behind the scenes, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, mowing the lawns, and performing countless other unseen tasks. He said that we should not forget their hard work for the Lord.
 Then he read Psalm 84:10: 

“I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”



The words hit home with striking clarity.
That’s it! I thought. That is exactly what I am this week--a doorkeeper. My heart was warmed to think that God had chosen me to fulfill this special task.

Though at times it was challenging and stressful, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in a small way at Teen Extreme this summer.

4 Responses

  1. Tisha

    Jess, this is a great story and huge reminder to us all that we are here to serve the LORD and help others. And from one deskworker to another, a literal “door” keeper is right! Oh, the things we don’t expect to happen…happen.

  2. Heather Wright

    Jess, I love the different perspective you gave on our job. It truly has been a blessing working desk this summer. Those campers definitely stole my heart; and it always cracked me up how they seemed to think that, if we sat behind a desk, we must hold all the answers to campus issues and life problems. It was great being a fellow “doorkeeper” with you.

  3. Monica

    Hey Jess! Great post. 🙂 Ahh…the memories I made as a “doorkeeper” last summer. It was a truly fun and rewarding experience! I see you took up the mantle and went beyond. Awesome job!

  4. Ryan Ebert

    I know Pastor Redlin!! Can’t wait to see him again!

Leave a comment