Last year one of our mission teams baked 600 cookies, bagged and tied them with a ribbon and began knocking on doors to deliver them. Although people were cautious at first, when a team member said they were with the church, the resident softened, and many of them said, "I love the church."
How did we get to this point? Very simply, we simply began.
We began by talking to a nearby apartment manager. From her we learned that she would like for their new move-ins to receive welcome baskets. After visiting nearby businesses, we came up with a bag that contained spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, a fresh loaf of bread from the corner bakery, a dish towel and some coupons. We added a welcome card and some information about our church.
Next we enlisted a small group to help, and off we went, climbing stairs and knocking on doors. After answering the door, these new residents moved quickly from hesitation to gratitude. After all, who doesn't appreciate a free gift and a meal, especially after the hassles of a move?
The manager began getting positive feedback from her residents, and soon was open to activities we could provide for the community. As we had the man power to do them, kid's clubs, carnivals, game nights were planned. Back up and down the stairs with flyers.
We moved from stage one to stage two of the outreach.
Small, hesitant steps taken with big smiles and friendly spirits opened doors into our neighborhood; and not only were the manager and the residents pleased, but I believe God was as well.
"I love the church," what better words to hear?!