How to Sustain Community Outreach Events
For the past eight years, Queens Church in the USA has been active in
evangelizing through street fairs. In New York City, there are multiple street
fairs every weekend from April to October where vendors set up booths to sell
merchandise or food. At least once a year Queens Church joins a street fair to
introduce True Jesus Church to the hundreds of people who walk through.
From our experiences in this outreach work, we have learned much on what
to do and how to keep this work going.
Have a Goal
Our purpose is to introduce our church to others so that they begin to
study the truth with us and eventually receive baptism. So we try to
participate in street fairs that are close to our spiritual convocations and
evangelical services. We want to keep in contact with anyone who shows interest
in our church, so we make sure that we have members who will be in charge of
calling those who want further information.
Each time we take part in street fairs, we have to find out which one we
can join and then take care of logistics. For every street fair, we have to
make sure that we follow all the rules and procedures that have been set up.
(This is true for all outreach activities, but especially for the ones that do
not take place on church property.)
For example, there is the matter of knowing who is sponsoring the street
fair. The sponsor or theme of the street fair could affect who attends the
street fair. If we are aware of this beforehand, we can prepare early for these
circumstances or choose a different fair to join.
In the weeks leading up to the street fair, we check our supplies of
flyers and other church publications to ensure that we will have enough to pass
out. We also start to prepare all the members who will participate in how to
approach people to hand out flyers, simple questions they can ask to spark
interest, and how to answer questions that are commonly asked.
It’s a good idea to role-play and practice beforehand so that everyone
involved feels comfortable performing the tasks that need to be done.
It is difficult to gather the courage to initiate conversations with
strangers, but with practice it gets easier. One of the most important factors
in preparation is prayer, both before the event and right before leaving for
the street fair. It is essential to have the guidance and power of God with us.
When we are at the street fair, we take turns standing in front of the
booth and passing out flyers. We ask passers-by if they have heard of the Holy
Spirit, or if they would like to believe in Jesus. If they show interest, we
talk to them and take down their contact information. And if they ask more
questions, we bring them back to the booth so that the members there can answer
Those who sit in the booth also take the initiative and let people know
that the publications in our booth are free and conversations start from there.
It is important to be well-versed in the Bible and our basic beliefs in order
to answer questions or engage in longer conversations with those who stop and
are interested in hearing more about the Bible or our church.
It is a great blessing to share the gospel with others. Although
participating in street fairs is only one of the many ways we can evangelize,
this yearly event has helped us realize what a special position we are in as
children of God, and we want to continue to preach because we are moved by the
joy we feel when we do this. It is wonderful to see the fruit of our labor when
we contact people from the street fair and they come to church.