As we move into a time in between past/normal/precedented and COVID/not normal/unprecedented, our evangelism efforts may feel stuck. No one wants more events that happen over Zoom, and it’s also still not wise to gather without precautions. We want our unsaved/unchurched neighbors to know we care for them. So how do we spread God’s Word and invite others into the community of church during this time?
Spring Cleaning Is Coming
I am sure that spring cleaning has already started in some areas, but depending on the weather where you live, yard work may not have been started or completed. Are there elderly folk in your community who could use some help getting their yard in summertime shape? Reach out to your neighbors and offer to help clean up. Showing up and helping out those in your community is one way you can be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.
During my spring cleaning, I often go through my clothing and get rid of clothes that do not fit me, I haven’t worn in a long time, or are simply not appropriate for the life stage I am currently in. (I’m looking at you, my piles and piles of shirts that are too casual for business casual.) Are there families in your extended community with younger children than yours who can use clothes? Or do you have blazers that could go to college students needing to ace an interview? With thrifting in style and environmental sustainability on the forefront of some people’s minds, hand-me-downs are more “cool” than they used to be. Consider asking around and, instead of bringing those boxes to a donation site, give them directly to another family or person.
We all went through a baking phase during the early stay-at-home-orders last spring. It’s time to pull out those skills you learned then and bake some goodies to hand out to neighbors. Where I live, food has been a great way to show our neighbors we care for them during this time. Baked goods are a low-pressure task for you and also a great way to let others know you’re here and that they are on your mind. When putting baked goods together for your neighbors, you can even put God’s Word with it in a note, tract, or even a whole Bible.
Use printed Scripture verses or write a prayer for the people who are receiving your donations. But be careful to be authentic in your want for them to know Jesus; you don’t earn brownie points in heaven for conversions. It’s not you converting them, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit.
I come from a small-town church where everyone knows everyone else, and we rally around those who need a little extra help. But even in bigger urban churches, people know when a new baby is born, when someone has something to celebrate, when a member has surgery, or when a busy time is coming upon a family. When you hear about these things, consider creating a meal train for the family. There are some quick and easy websites and apps out there that make it easy to sign up and coordinate. It takes only one person to create the sign-up for many people to take turns bringing food for the family in need. I also recommend using disposable containers so there is no pressure on the family to bring the containers back. You never know how much a warm meal might mean to someone.
All of these suggestions can be done with proper guidelines and recommendations from healthcare professionals during our transition out of this awful pandemic. While we look forward to the days that big evangelism events can return, we also know that our actions to our neighbors can be a source of the light of Christ. I pray that one of these ideas blesses your faith community and that the hope found in Jesus Christ starts to transform those around you.