Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Making the most of Movies in the Park

I think that God wants to grow Hub City through Movies in the Park this summer. I really do. But it's not going to happen by accident. We've got to do our part.

Check this out: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2.

This really speaks to me about our part. So, what is our part?

We are going to be very intentional about using MIP as a platform to invite people to be a part of Hub City. We've invited people in the past, but it's time to up our intentionality.

How that's going to play out is where I need your help. I'm looking for suggestions.

Here's what I've got so far. First, we're going to have a separate registration card for people to fill out who want more info about Hub City. Second, I need some of our outgoing, extroverts to volunteer to wander around the crowd and talk to each and every person who attends. They can tell people thanks for coming, they'll ask about the person's church involvement, and if they aren't a part of a church they'll make a personal invite to Hub City (Let me know if you want to volunteer. Some of you would be GREAT at this).

That's all I've got so far. What ideas do you have? I don't think we do MIP just to do something nice for the community. It's a part of Making Disciples. It's a way for us to "go and make disciples." It's a way for us to build relationships with people.


At 5:42 PM, June 01, 2010 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Wow really?

(1) That (being approached by a stranger and possible religious zealot) would make me incredibly uncomfortable.

(2) That's exactly what people expect from a church presentation.

(3) Reminds me of the moment you find out that the nice boy helping you with your groceries is actually a nice Mormon boy who only wants to make sure you have a chance to read the golden plates before you die so you can achieve god-like status and make lots of spirit babies in the heavens. Makes me want to chuck my groceries at said nice Mormon boy's head.

Just sayin' : )

At 6:33 PM, June 01, 2010 , Blogger Frankie said...

But, Jaimee we need to understand that if we are just doing good works and not giving the person an opportunity to receive the gospel than our good works are in vain. Good works are great, but my righteousness is like filthy rags, so the only purpose to do a good work is for it to glorify the father and if we are not encouraging people and building relationship so they can eventually hear the gospel, then all we are doing is being a filthy rag.

I'm not saying hit them over the head with the gospel, but a personal invite is different. Obviously, we will weigh each situation and not invite every single person, but as we talk we should be able to discern who's heart is open and ready to receive the gospel and then invite them to church. Not every lady at the grocery store is ready :)

At 7:05 PM, June 01, 2010 , Blogger Jonathan Everette said...

And that's why you would be the perfect person to do that job. Seriously. Just sayin' :)

At 8:15 PM, June 01, 2010 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Haha! That's ok. I don't have to agree. Maybe you can at least think of how I would react to that while you're talking to people. It feels like a "hook" to me. I don't think I would let anybody form enough of a relationship with me at a public event like that to speak God into my life, but then again, perhaps that says something about me. Just think, people like me are what you're up against!

I would be much more likely to check out Hub City's website after enjoying some of their "good works," given the space and time to figure out what they're about on my own. I would feel less threatened. And I would feel less duped. I'm not trying to be critical. But I am trying to offer a perspective perhaps not recognized by a lot of people.

It's not like you're out there making Spartanburg a better place to live completely unnamed. Everybody knows Hub City does MIP. People see the website. Interested people ask questions. They seek God when they find themselves on the receiving end of the love of His people. Scared, hurt, skeptical, rebellious people are not drawn closer to God by having their personal space invaded. Well maybe they are sometimes, I dunno, but I wasn't.

I'm already nervous about taking my kids to VBS next week at a local baptist church because I know I'll have to answer the standard 20 questions. What if I answer some of them wrong and end up with some smiling plastic face praying for me?!? Frightening! lol. Sorry, can't help it. Me=piece of work. Can't believe I actually used to *enjoy* debating! : )

At 7:49 AM, June 02, 2010 , Blogger Frankie said...

"I don't think I would let anybody form enough of a relationship with me at a public event like that to speak God into my life, but then again, perhaps that says something about me. Just think, people like me are what you're up against!"

Jaimee, I honestly think you are unique, in a VERY GOOD way. If I were to meet you at MIP, I probably would not invite you to Hub City and I mean that in the most respectful way. If someone comes across as guarded or apprehensive that someone from the church is even talking to them, then that person is not the ideal person to ask.

At MIP, you would actually be surprised at the people who ask questions about the church. If they are asking, isn't that the perfect time to invite them? Others are looking for something and when we talk to them....just to start having relationship, then, we will see some are ready to be asked and some or not....but how could we ever know without asking them?

At 8:33 AM, June 02, 2010 , Anonymous Rachel said...

This is really more of a sit-down conversation haha, but overall I agree with Jaimee. I understand the motivation for doing it, obviously, but the whole reason I left a certain church was the constant emphasis on attendance. I know our motives are pure for inviting people because it's to see them become disciples and not to compete with the church around the corner, but to the family who has been promised no pushy church behavior at MIP, it still smacks of "let's pack the theater the following Sunday". (And this is from a former pastor's daughter, born and raised in the church.) Again, this is an hour long conversation at minimum and there are sooo many points to the issue, but I'm just throwing my thoughts out there too ;)

At 9:03 AM, June 02, 2010 , Blogger Jonathan Everette said...

Man, I love the interaction and input. I think it's healthy. And I think its both/and not either/or. The key is, "how can we do both/and in a way that's not pushy, overly religious or pushy?" I think we can. In fact, I know we can. But the best way to do it is to have people like Rachel and Jaimee talking to folks (Jaimee, are your hands sweating at the thought of that?). You guys understand what's pushy, but you also know how to make people feel welcomed and cared for in a genuine and caring way. It's all about saying "hi, thanks for coming, do you want some bug spray, how'd you find out about MIP, we're honored that you're here, if you'd like to find out more about Hub City there's a card there for you to fill out, let me know if I can do anything to make your MIP experience better." I don't think that's pushy, religious or rude. I think its us doing our part to let people know we care with a personal touch/conversation that opens the door for the conversation to go deeper, but leaves the option for the conversation to go deeper up to the person who you're having the conversation with. Thoughts? Ideas? I really do value everyone's input. I think we all want to do the right thing, but so often the church has tried to do the right thing the wrong way. I think we can do the right thing the right way. And everybody will walk away feeling good.

On a side note, when I walk up to people and say thanks for coming to MIP their face always lights up, no matter who they are. They're always appreciative, always. Too often, however, I'm too scared to say anything.

At 9:25 AM, June 02, 2010 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Frankie~ At MIP, you would actually be surprised at the people who ask questions about the church. If they are asking, isn't that the perfect time to invite them?

No! I wouldn't be surprised at all! I think MIP is a great forum for people who are seeking to ask questions and get more info. And I think that when the info is available and it is the attender asking the questions, that is an EXCELLENT way to invite people to check things out and get involved. I just think that's light years of difference from *us* approaching *them.*

AND... I could be wrong, but I actually don't think I'm all that unique. I think if there weren't so many people like me out there, we wouldn't have to be coming up with ways of getting these people involved in a church community. I think maybe it's better to assume people are like me and then be pleasantly surprised when they're not! : )

Rachel! : ) "Sit-down conversations"... Do people still have those? T'would be nice! I'm glad you weighed in with your thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who bothers to think about stuff like that!

At 9:47 AM, June 02, 2010 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Jonathan, if it helps at all, I can't see you or Frankie going up to anybody and being rude or obnoxious about inviting people to our gathering. HOWEVER, I'm not sure that's something I'd trust everybody to be sensitive about. And on top of that, I don't understand the need to pursue people in that way. I think it's more effective to have them approach you rather than the other way around. Are you not already doing that? Is there not some box to check or something when they fill out the registration? Do you not have invitation cards or something similar to what we get Sunday mornings available for people to take? Why the need to get more "in your face" about inviting people? You don't have to explain, because like I said, I don't have to agree, but these are just some of the thoughts that run through my brain on the issue.

Oh and my hands aren't sweating, because walking up to a complete stranger and inviting them to "church" is not something you will ever in a million years catch me doing. In fact, if you ever see me do that, have me arrested because I am obviously on drugs. Wow... I think I just said NO. Guess there's a first for everything! : )

At 9:57 AM, June 02, 2010 , Blogger Jonathan Everette said...

Jaimee, you're so funny. "First time saying No." :) And I can see Frankie being rude. :) Thanks for the interaction.

At 9:41 PM, June 02, 2010 , Blogger Melanie said...

I'm almost afraid to weigh in on this because I might get volunteered to work beside Jaimee and Rachel!!!

I've erased my comment three times already...

We need to make the most of every opportunity that God gives us, especially when it's an opportunity to bring glory to Him. That being said, we need to make sure we are listening to the cues that people give us. As long as we are doing good works because God told us to, I don't think it's in vain even if we never mention God.... but if we miss the opportunities He puts before us, then we are in trouble and they will haunt us.

I, also, think there shouldn't necessarily be people assigned to do this, but that everyone who is volunteering should be open to talking with people if the opportunity arises... even me :)


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