If you have worked in a church for any length of time, you know that just having a desire and working hard does not always draw the people you are trying to reach. Many times, you plan, work, pray and then nobody or very few people come to your event. It is hard not to give up. You pray for wisdom and keep working. That is what we have been doing for the last 5 years.
After our Christmas dinner, two of our members, were impressed to start having once a month dinners to bless the community. It was a great idea, but a little scary. What if we invested all this time and money and then nobody came. We decided to try one or two and then decide if we would continue.
Well, last night was the first one. We planned for 100 people. Fifteen minutes before we were scheduled start, we had about 15 church members there and maybe 15 guests. We were thinking about what we were going to do with all that chicken. 6:30 came and the people started pouring in. We lost count at 75. Remember, only 15 of that 75 were our church, and that was including 6 kids. The rest were families from our little downtown. There were smiles all around ! It was a sweet evening of good food and good conversation. One of our church members stated it best, " We wanted people to feel the love of God and I think they did. There was such a sweet presence here tonight and I think that people felt it."
One family in our church, accomplished in a few days, what we have been trying to do for years. The L's own the convenience store across the street from the civic center. It is the only one downtown, so just about everyone who live downtown shops there regularly. Almost all of the people that came to our dinner, came because the L's invited them. It was wonderful to see Mrs. L light up as her friends came through the door and she hurried to greet them. She made sure they had enough to eat and introduced them to the pastor and friends.
I can't wait until our dinner next month!