Coffee and donuts outreach strategy resounding success…sort of
Mercy Church in Abingdon, Virginia had tried numerous outreach strategies over the years but had seen no success whatsoever. Heck! They couldn’t even get people to walk through the doors of their little dilapidated church building let alone hear about Jesus.
Well, there was that time back in ’92 when someone stumbled into the building looking for a toilet but sadly that was inspired by the call of nature as a result of the consumption of spirits rather than that of the Holy Spirit. But it was a step in the right direction given that previously he had used the outside of the building as a urinal.
However, this all changed after Mavis suggested that they serve coffee and donuts before the morning church service. A small innocuous sign was placed on the board outside the building advertising said free coffee and donuts to any of the townsfolk who walked past.
But no-one could have anticipated the effect this outreach would have on this little church, especially not Mavis whose numerous bake sales over the last 30 years had had little impact on the church finances.
Bob was the first through the door, “I confess that I had thought this building was derelict so imagine my surprise to discover that not only was it still in use but according to the little sign outside it was offering free refreshments. Well I had to check it out.”
Linda followed close behind, “You know finances are tight and the offer of instant coffee in Styrofoam cups was too tempting to refuse.”
Dave, an avowed atheist, was third, “I wouldn’t normally set foot inside a church building but the offer of free donuts overcame my usual rational thinking.”
Sue, the fourth entrant, commented, “Well I just saw the line outside and thought must be something good going on. So I just followed the crowd. I’m sure glad I did though.”
In total 20 people came through the doors of the church building that day.
Pastor Jim was delighted by the results, “Jesus said, ‘Come to me all you who are hungry and thirsty’ and I feel that our outreach strategy reflected his message.”
After the resounding success of getting people through the doors, Pastor Jim is considering his next move, “We’re thinking of working on stopping people running out the doors as soon as the coffee and donuts finishes and the service starts. Perhaps offering some more food afterwards might be a step in the right direction towards people staying for the service? We’re hopeful as getting them through the door was unheard of before this week.”
Reporter: John Spencer aka Not the Bible