One of the most important areas of being effective in outreach ministry is being able to use what you got and use it to the fullest. We had about 30 Dr. Peppers left from the Red Box outreach I wrote about a few weeks ago. Instead of putting these in the church fridge and drinking them or selling them, we wanted them to be used for another outreach. So today my friend Trevor and I went out with a cooler filled with the left over Dr. Peppers and Waters. It is about 90 degrees today so we decided to pass them out at places that people were having to work outside. The first and main place we went to was an outside oil change and car wash place. It was a very simple outreach, Trevor and I would just walk up to people working with a diet Dr. Pepper in one hand and a regular in the other. Then we simply said something like ” Hey, we are passing out Dr. Peppers today to outside workers to show God’s love in a practical way…would you like diet or regular” This outreach actually went very well, Dr. Pepper is king in the south and on a hot day it is like gold. Many people took it and took our card that explains why we do this and why we are serving them and they seemed very appreciative. Although Dr. Pepper is king; the best story of the day comes from a large coke from Taco Casa.
As we passed out the Dr. Peppers we met a lady named Kathy. She was working inside and when we asked her if she wanted a Dr. Pepper she said, ” No I’m more of a coke person myself” We laughed and I asked her if she was from the south and she made sure I knew she was “Born and Raised in the South” but she just liked coke. We joked around telling her we will make sure we have a coke specifically for her next time we do this. As we were leaving we got an idea to go to Taco Casa (a restaurant which is right by the car wash place) and get Kathy a large Coke…not a Dr. Pepper. Trevor got the coke and we pulled up to where Kathy was having a cigarette outside the office and Trevor rolled down his window and gave her the large coke. You could see the surprise in her eyes. Trevor gave her our outreach card and said. ” let us know if you need anything else” She looked at us and said ” All I need is prayer” She explained that her brother in law had just suffered a stroke and that he was not doing so well. We asked if we could pray for her and her brother in law and she agreed to let us do so. Trevor asked for the brother in law’s name and he prayed a simple and quick prayer for Kathy and her brother. Kathy seemed very appreciative of this and we left.
It was amazing that God prepared Kathy and us for that moment and it was also amazing that we were able to pray an actual prayer for her and her brother right there. You know the words “I’ll be praying for you” have become so cliché in our culture today. Atheist even say “I’ll keep you in my prayers” and all it means is I will be thinking about you. I constantly hear Christians and even find myself sometimes saying “I’ll pray for you” but never do it. It is very powerful when we do what we say we will do in the context of prayer. My youth minister told me that he told a man he had just met at the gym that he would pray for someone in his family and then when he saw them again about a month later when he told them that he was still praying for them he was touched that he was literally and actually praying for that certain person in his family. I am going to ask my pastor if we can pray for Kathy and her brother during the service sunday even though no one in our church knows her. Furthermore, either Trevor or I will actually and literally pray for Kathy and her brother and maybe even call her or go see her to ask how her brother is doing in a week or two.
Outreach goes so much further than a simple Dr. Pepper can. Outreach and serving people is not a program, but it is an authentic lifestyle. God used a simple Dr. Pepper can, or a coke rather to touch Kathy and allow us to pray for Kathy. And now we will have a person to follow up on and simply just say “hey, we have been praying for you and so has our church how are thins going?” and we will be praying, literally praying.
A couple of people I know have been trying out this idea of service evangelism and they have seen God do some great things. One of my friends leads a weekly water outreach at a park and they met a lady who came to church b/c of their outreach and accepted Christ that day in church. I am very excited about this and I hope those of you that read this can take what I am writing to heart and go and do some of these outreaches. Again this blog is for people to get ideas from and hopefully get inspired by… this is not me wanting to just selfishly show what kind of servant I am or write about my day, but I hope you who are reading this want to try to reach people in a genuine and effective way.
We have our 1 dollar car wash set to go on the morning of Sept. 25th (this is where we advertise a 1 dollar car wash, but we wash cars for free and then give that person a dollar) If you are in the Weatherford area and would like to come serve that day with us we would love to have you. This is a kingdom service outreach not a specific church service outreach even though we are doing this through my church Greenwood. So if you belong to another church or even don’t go to church, but still want to be apart of what we are doing that day we would love to have you. Contact me on facebook or call/text me (817) 694-6185
– Austin Cooper