Our church loves the employees of our local Target. This is something we have tried to display in practical ways for over 5 years now. We have given them free candy packs, washed the store’s windows, and our favorite outreach, is to drop off donuts on every Christmas Eve to the employees that are working that night. Each outreach we communicate that we are trying to display the love of Christ in a practical and tangible way. Doing these outreaches from time to time has allowed us to build a relationship with our local Target.
Unfortunately Target’s employees have been getting the brunt of customer frustrations about the company’s policy on bathrooms. When we heard about this we knew that we wanted to show some love to our local Target. Our church got together to make cards that included a $5 Starbucks gift card, our normal outreach card, and an encouraging note that said:
“We know people may have been increasingly rude to you recently. We just wanted to let you know that our church is praying for you, God loves you, and we do too!”
After making these cards, we went up to every individual employee that was working that night, handed them the card, told them we were thankful for them, and even prayed with many of the employees right there in the middle of the store. The reaction was profound. Some of the employees started crying, all were beyond grateful, and many you could visibly see a release of tension come off of their shoulders.
The employees explained to us that in the recent weeks they have been yelled and screamed at, people have been increasingly rude, and their hours have been getting cut due to the boycotts. Some of them even told us that they were hesitant to take our card because they expected the card to be, coming from a church, full of hate and judgment.
When we were about to leave, the manager of the store came up to our team, explained how grateful she was that we would do this for her employees, and how hard things have been lately. She called for every employee that could to come down to the front and take a group picture with us.
Later that night she posted the picture on Facebook and wrote above the picture:
“Had an amazing group of individuals come to my store tonight to express how much they appreciate and love us despite our corporation’s current news stories. Greenwood Baptist Church we are so grateful for your gesture. We have had a tough few weeks, but you have reminded us of how great our Lord truly is. We need more people like you in this world!”
This Facebook post, along with some others, was shared over 100 times. People all over the nation and even around the world viewed this post and our message was received. Believers were encouraged, unbelievers were shocked, and Jesus’ love was on display.
I think my favorite part of this entire thing is that the manager continued this outreach the next day with the left over cards we had given her!
This outreach is incredibly reproducible and I would encourage you/your church to love your local Target in a similar way. We have to understand that as believers if we want our voices to be heard in a post-Christian society, we need to serve in outwardly, public, and tangible ways. People want to see our hearts before they begin to value our words. I’ve often wondered what would happen if every Target in our nation had a local church loving it consistently, humbly, and practically. Maybe posts like this wouldn’t even be necessary.