Recently, my church held a large event for our town: a fireworks celebration.
We hold the event at the small, regional airport located in our town. On the opposite side of the fireworks, across a large field that runs along our town, is a set of pee-wee soccer fields and another church. This other church has an almost perfect view of the fireworks, if even from a distance.
Now, in the nine years that we’ve held this event, various companies, businesses, families, and churches have quietly gathered their own people to enjoy the show from their own parking lots, fields, etc… However, this year was different. This other church on the field held their own celebration…and invited the town.
They offered free food, and made a few subtle digs at our event, which charges a small amount for food in order to reduce the amount of money we lose by throwing this huge party.
Needless to say, I didn’t appreciate this attempt at riding on our coattails.
A Few Words About Church Outreach
The Church—and I’m referring to the global Church—always looks bad when her local bodies are fighting. If a church is holding an event on a particular day, don’t try to compete with them or draft behind them. Now, if it’s a holiday event like a Trunk or Treat or something in that vein, then all’s fair in love and event-based evangelism.
Of course, that’s to say nothing about the whole problem with church outreach evangelism in the first place. Most church events only truly appeal to Christians, so most outreaches—and yes, that is a generalization—succeed only in attracting a roving band of Christians who sample all the church events in town. That’s just one man’s opinion, of course, but I’m a pretty big man so….
There does seem to be a resurgence in service-based outreach, which I think is far more successful. My church recently gave out grocery bags packed with food and hygiene products to help “food insecure” kids make it through the summer. How did we do this? With a huge event in our parking lot? Nope. Quietly, on the last day of school, we gave it to them in the office. No pomp. No flash. Quiet service with the left hand no knowing what the right hand is doing.
What does all of this have to do with technology? Because in this Web 2.0 world, even the smallest things like having an event on the same day as someone else, has the potential to blow up…in your face and on your Facebook page. Let’s all play nice, ok?
Anyway, let’s call this rant over.