It's not Business, It's Personal
I'm sorry that I haven't been posting on this blog like I should. Some days I have nothing going on, and I feel like I have nothing to say. Then other days, I'm really busy and I just don't get to it. Either way, I'm sorry that I'm disappointing my faithful readers!
Last week I spent three days doing contact with my other church, Severn River Church, pastored by the greatest pastor in the world--my brother Ben. He asked me to help him collect surveys about the needs of our local community, and we set up our table at the community college in the Student Union. Wednesday was the first day of classes so it seemed like half of Anne Arundel county was on the campus, walking through the Student Union on the way to the bookstore and financial office. It was a prime spot for our table, but we didn't seem to catch anyone's attention. We only got 12 responses on Wednesday.
We were giving away a $50 gas card in a drawing each day, but we discovered that many of students hanging out in the Student Union do so because they don't drive and are stuck on campus all day. They bus or carpool or have Mommy drop them off each morning. We decided to go with a more "immediate gratification" incentive: a big bowl of candy. Thursday we got 49 surveys, so the candy was certainly a benefit. Friday we went all out and brought four dozen donuts, plus candy and the gas card drawing. That netted us a record of 90 surveys--the most SRC has ever received in one day in any area of the county we've surveyed.
We had a great response in general from the students who took the survey, but even more pleasing were the positive responses from the staff of the college, who complimented us repeatedly on the connection we seemed to be making with the students.
I think that churches can put money and other resources (staff, time, etc) in many areas of outreach, but the personal connection with people is always the best investment.