In Enola, Pa., River of God Church is known as “the church that rakes the leaves.” During the fall, the church reaches out to local residents by sending teams of people to rake lawns and gather up leaves free of charge. While two of the team members rake up fall leaves, the other members speak with the residents, presenting them with baked goods and inviting them to church. (In winter, church members can shovel snow-filled sidewalks and provide baked goods with a “Shovel and Bake.”) Since beginning this ministry, River of God has experienced positive response both in new families coming to their church and doors opened to share Christ. “It’s been one of our most successful outreach events,” said Pastor Joe Drovich. “The community has been overwhelmingly grateful, because they couldn’t imagine anyone raking leaves for free. It’s given them a sense of trust in our church.” Easily re-create this outreach idea at your church at no cost to you.
• Schedule, Choose a weekend or two at the end of the fall season to hold the event.
• Recruit Sign up teams of volunteers to do the raking and the baking. Ask half of them to bring their own rakes, garbage bags and work gloves. Ask the other half to bring a baked good. If additional items are needed, ask other members to lend the church their equipment.
• Advertise Send a notice to the local newspapers and put fliers in local stores advertising the event. The ad might say, “Got leaves? Save the raking for us!”
• Promote. Have “bakers” wrap and decorate their cookies, bread loaves or other baked goods with colored plastic wrap or festive bows. Attach a card or invitation with church information, including service times, location and phone number.
• ·Pray Ask teams to meet at the church on the day of the event and pray together for the people they will be visiting. Ask God to guide the teams to homes with the greatest need.
• ·Plan Share a corresponding message series on “Servanthood: Taking it to the Streets.”
From: www.youthministry.com website. January 2013
The above article, “Youth evangelism: Rake and Bake” was written by Tom Shore. The article was excerpted from www.youthministry.com.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”