Partnering with the Community

Fro the past couple of big holidays, we’ve hooked up with community events and had a presence there.  And we didn’t just want to show up and be one of many…we go all out to make a splash.  I don’t think it’s necessary to create your own events all of the time – there are some great things that you can partner with that already have a crowd there.

On the 4th of July, our city does a big bash at the park with food, booths, live music, etc.  We set up a free bounce house (everybody else was charging $$) and gave away balloons and invited people to Oak Leaf.  We met one guy who now serves on our setup team.

On Halloween, we didn’t do a Fall Festival, we went downtown where hundreds of kids trick or treated and gave out candy and the same balloons.  It was so cool seeing kid walking around with balloons with our website address on them.  And we gave out good candy and invite cards. 

And last night, we put a float – a very cool float – in the Christmas parade.  It was a replica of the movie theater where we meet.   We gave out popcorn.  Our people, dressed like famous movie characters, gave out "church at the movies" invite cards.  Thousands of them.  It was a fun way to be involved in the community and be a presence.

This kind of stuff has been so valuable to us.  We’ve shown up at school events and brought the Easter Bunny and a thousand eggs to a neighborhood.  People see our church all over the place, and we love doing it.  We like making stuff in our town better, even for those who don’t go to our church.  As a church planter, I’ll show up with stuff anywhere there are people.  Instead of always doing my own events, I’ll partner with anyone I can.  I believe you have to be a part of a community in order to reach it.

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