Christmas Outreach to the Neighborhood

IMG_4219In the days leading up to Christmas, we prepared over 250 door hanger bags containing a New Testament Bible, New Testament reading plan, Gospel tract, homemade cookie, and a personal invitation to join our family for a home Bible study.

Initially, we just wanted to invite the 10 or so households in our cul-de-sac. But we had hundreds of bagged Bibles and tracts from an outreach we planned for our former church, which never materialized for one reason or another.

So, we invited our whole neighborhood.

It was a cold winter, and we felt the pressure to abandon our task. We weren’t going to speak to anyone directly, but even the act of leaving something as controversial as the Gospel on the doors of our neighbors filled us with apprehension.

To ease the burden, my parents decided to join us and make it a family outreach. But Satan had other plans.

My parents, wife, daughter and I piled into my parents’ minivan, and as soon as we pulled out of our driveway, we got a flat tire. We drove it about one block before realizing what happened — and ended up on the side of the busiest road in the neighborhood.

My mom decided to stay with the van, as she waited for AAA to show up. My dad, frustrated, decided to take our daughter back to the house to wait for us to finish. So, it was up to Megan and I.

One of the reasons I wanted to marry Megan was because of her boldness in passing out religious literature to complete strangers. She has an outgoing delightfulness about her that is appealing to everyone. As I wrestled with discouragement and anxiety, I relied heavily on Megan to keep us moving forward.

For the next few hours, we went up and down every street and cul-de-sac in our neighborhood, hanging the good news packets on our neighbors’ doors. We finally stopped, when the sky became dark.

We were completely exhausted — physically and spiritually. But went out again the next day.

For the second outing, it was Megan, Lexi, Nikki (our dog) and I. We had a red wagon that carried Lexi and the packages. This seemed a lot easier, because we weren’t dealing with as much adversity. It was actually kinda fun — especially when Lexi rang her jingle bell as we walked along.

We finished handing out all of the bags and completed the outreach. Now, all we had to do is wait to hear if anyone was interested in doing a Bible study at our house.

Unfortunately, we only had one response to our online survey — so we decided it wasn’t the right time to host a neighborhood Bible study.

However, we are very pleased to have participated in Jesus’ mission to the world, starting with our own neighborhood. We pray that God would use our efforts and the materials we shared to open the eyes of the spiritually blind and bring lost souls to Christ.

Tract or Treat

Tract or TreatToday is Halloween — or, as Ray Comfort likes to say, National Evangelism Day, when people actually come to your doorstep for free stuff. It’s probably the easiest opportunity to hand out tracts and engage your neighbors in casual conversation.

Since this was only the second year we’ve lived here in Charlotte — and we didn’t participate last year — we had no idea how many kids would show up at our door. So, we bought 42 full-size Hershey bars and wrapped them with Million Dollar Bills. (Note to self: We ran out in less than an hour. Get more candy next year.)

I figure, if you’re going to give out Gospel tracts, you don’t want the stigma of being “that person” in the neighborhood, if you can help it — so at the very least, give out the best candy you can with the tracts.

I actually had one parent respond, “Oh, this is the good house!”

I almost challenged her definition of “good,” but thought that could wait for our next encounter.

For more evangelism tips for Halloween, visit Living Waters.

Christian Music Day 2018 Gospel Outreach

Once Blind booth at Christian Music DayOn September 22, 2018, Once Blind (my wife and I) sponsored a booth at the annual Christian Music Day festival at Carowinds park in Charlotte, North Carolina. We shared our booth with two other Christian ministries in Charlotte — Justice Ministries (anti-human trafficking) and Love Life Charlotte (pro-life).

Over the course of 7 hours, we spoke to about 50 people and took them through the “Good Person Quiz,” which is basically our modified version of The Way of the Master. Everyone who took the quiz received a free copy of the Settled DVD or Heroine CD. Despite its age, the Heroine CD was a big draw for attendees who came to the festival to hear Christian music.

It was a blessing to have the other ministries at our table, as each struck a chord with concert goers and brought people to our table. We all benefited from sharing our resources.

Megan and I primarily spoke with professing Christians, who may or may not have a clear knowledge of the true Gospel. Many professed their own goodness and bristled at the thought that they — or anyone else — deserved God’s judgement. But when we walked through the Law — the way Jesus did — we shined a light on sin, and most came to realize the degree to which we all fall short of the glory of God.

Pray for those we spoke to — that God would convict them and bring them to saving faith, if He hasn’t already.

Overall, I think this was the best outreach we’ve ever done. We will definitely be sponsoring more events at Carowinds — and sharing our booth with other ministries seeking to impact the city of Charlotte with the message of Jesus Christ.