For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Contact was the Hall Barbeque on the Front Lawn

Not every outreach effort can be linked directly to the salvation of precious souls but the experience below is just one of those encouraging stories you will want to read and share. Ken Kember , with the River Road Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario kindly responded to our request to have this story posted. It speaks for itself and it may give others the encouragement they need to try something similar.

About three years ago, we decided to try having a barbeque/open house at the hall to encourage our neighbors to check out the hall in an informal, "no-obligation" way. The hall has been in this neighborhood for many years, but many of our neighbors have never been through our doors. So we made up invitations and hand delivered them to the houses around the hall, inviting people to join us on a September Saturday morning for a free hamburger and to check out the hall. We don't have a parking lot, so we set up a couple of barbeques on our small front lawn and cooked up M&M pre-cooked tasty burgers, served soft drinks and cookies/squares for dessert. We opened up the doors to the hall and cleared away the chairs from the auditorium. We had a few tables with crafts for kids, and some places to sit down to enjoy the burgers.

We weren't sure what kind of response we would get, but we were pleasantly surprised with a really good turnout. It seems that people really appreciated the chance to "check us out" without feeling some sort of obligation. Several folks who had never been inside the hall ventured over for a burger and stepped inside and visited with the Christians. One young couple in particular living just down the street came over with their little girl. A couple of months later this couple came out to a breaking of bread meeting. They began attending regularly, and some months later came to faith in Christ, and are now in the fellowship.

Needless to say, this has become an annual event for us every fall. It is not a lot of work to set up but has the potential for great results. Many neighbors who would never step foot in the hall for a meeting have joined us for lunch. The Spirit of God is able to use this brief contact to generate some thinking and perhaps bring them back at a later date. The barbeque/open house format provides a great opportunity introduce ourselves to our neighbors, to give something back to the community in which we are located, and create a potential opening for the gospel.

Submitted by: Ken Kember

If you are aware of other outreach efforts in your area going on, be sure to send us an email so others can benefit from your experiences. Even if someone else submitted a similar report from their area, we still need yours. There will be something unique about your event.

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