Taking 4th of July Water Outreach to Infinity and Beyond
What’s the problem?
The Vineyard Church has a strong desire to reach their city for Christ. Many of the people that they want to reach simply have no interest in coming to a church, no matter how awesome they can make a Sunday morning service become. The attractional church model just isn’t quite cutting it. To reach the unreached of Dayton, The Vineyard Church has to take Jesus outside of their four walls to the streets.
What’s a solution?
In preparation for July 4th, 2011, The Vineyard Church developed a buzz to move them forward in their summer water outreach to the Dayton community. They purchased different well-known full sized characters – including Buzz Lightyear, the Hulk, and Justin Bieber. These characters were placed in different locations around the building as an encouragement for people to drop off cases of water. Each week, the characters were moved to different drop off locations to keep things interesting.
Each person was encouraged to give according to what they were able to. One guy dropped off 35 cases of water. Others brought one or two, while some just gave cash. The water piles continued to mount up until over 7,000 bottles of water had been gathered. Many people spent hours sticking labels on the water. A few people helped load the truck, which included packing the barrels and a holding bin with water bottles and 80 large bags of ice.
However, all of this wouldn’t have meant anything without those that scattered across Dayton on July 4th to distribute the water bottles to nearly 5000 people at 3 different firework shows. In addition to handing out the free bottles of water, the members of Vineyard Church spent time loving on, talking to, and praying for the people of their community, demonstrating Christ’s love in both word and deed.
Though this outreach has affected many people, one story stands out in particular. A few years ago a guy was walking with his family to the Delco 4th of July celebrations. A teen handed him a bottle of water. The man read the label and stopped walking and shouted to the teen who gave him the bottle, “What kind of church are you?” The teen replied, “The kind of church that gives water away for free.” Her reply really lodged into the man’s heart. 12 months later he brought his family to check out the church that gives water away for free. They are now serving members.
Want to do something like this?
Do you have people? Do you have access to bottled water? If so, you are a prime candidate for this kind of outreach. Also, don’t be afraid to make it fun for your congregation by purchasing life-sized characters to mark the drop-off locations for water, soda, or whatever else you want to give away during your outreach.