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Conference Table

how many randall house employees...

By Ron Hunter






...Does It Take to Move a Table?


How many Randall House team members does it take to move a table? No, this is not a joke, and we have the sore muscles to prove it. In everyone’s home there is always one piece of furniture that you avoid moving at all costs. In fact that may be the only place in your house the carpet shows its original color and cleanliness.

It started upstairs, where the editors needed more room and our conference room needed a serious update. The editorial department of Randall House has more than three workstations and team members working out of storage closets. Producing more products and more materials for teachers to use requires more hands on planning and directing by editors. Where do we put them? With no more closets left on the third floor of our building, we needed that sacred conference room space.

Table on the Move

But what about that table? The table is 16 feet long, four feet wide and weighs—well, they say about five hundred pounds but I am sure that was just the end I was helping to lift! And this was just the tabletop without legs.


Conference Table 2


Why do we move tables, and how many people does it take? It took ten men to hoist this monster piece of wood, and two were guests in the building who took pity on us as we grunted and groaned. Others stared in disbelief, doubtful that the table was going to make it (or curious to see what got broken). Several fingers were mashed and egos hurt when none us could throw it on our shoulders and walk downstairs.

Going Down?

Did I mention stairs? And how do you get a one-piece tabletop that is 16 feet long through the doors and hallways? Larry Perry, our building maintenance guru, had a plan. After dreaming of putting wheels on it and riding it down like a giant skateboard, we woke to the crack of Larry’s whip as he guided us through the maze to the top of the stairs and drew straws for who got to be on the bottom, caught between gravity and a 500-pound table. Rank and titles have their privilege until you begin moving a quarter of a ton of tabletop. Many had “better” ideas about how to move the table and quickly offered advice.

Eventually, the tabletop arrived in its new home and was married back up with its legs. I have a new respect for the monstrous weight they shoulder. But the table is the only resemblance of our old conference room. Its new location feels like a new zip code. The new conference room was built around that table with all the media accessories necessary for 21st century conferences. Now our guests do not have to negotiate stairs, hallways, and cafeteria to reach a meeting room with 1970s décor.

Why? Because we live in a changing world! Tables are not the only weighty items that need to be relocated and moved for effectiveness. We did not move the table for fun, because we just wanted to irritate that hulking piece of wood, or for the benefit of bystanders who may gawk or doubt the need for change. We moved that table to give us a full multi-media conference room for our guests and Randall House team members.

In the same way, Randall House wants to move the families and churches in our denomination. We want to take our churches back to the day when we met the needs of families rather than the church. This move shows parents how to teach their kids diligently the values of Scripture in the home during everyday events.


What path does the move take?

Like the table, the path is not easy, and we hear the grunts and groans. Yet this difficult move will show families how to talk to their kids about biblical topics and help each family member make everyday decisions. It will remind parents of the need for consistency in their own lives—not just at church. It will partner with pastors to demonstrate small groups and Sunday Schools as the best investment of time and resources a church can make—an investment that will return better members because it will produce better parents.

A new generation of kids will come up through the D6 system, taking them to where the table will be and not where it was. This generation wants multi-media and relevance, boundaries and instruction that fit where they live. Churches that provide for them will still be in business 20 years from now.

Randall House also moves tables to move products. We move products because we listen to our pastors, teachers, and teens. Many congregations are graying; they cannot understand why their children and grandchildren are not serving the Lord. Perhaps it is because they are not willing to “move the table.” Is it worth a change to keep your kids in church? Yes, moving creates a new routine and a gauntlet that stretches all of us. Many have different opinions of where this move should take us, and few will shoulder the load. But when we get there, many will want to sit at the table. Our kids are worth it!

Will you help us move this table to serve this generation and the next? Like moving a heavy table, working together will lift our denomination, churches, and families to a whole new level.


ABOUT THE WRITER: Ron Hunter, Jr. is the executive director/CEO of Randall House. He and his wife Pam live in Nashville, TN, where they attend Donelson Free Will Baptist Church.


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©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists