Friday, March 17, 2006

Little steps

Last week we took our second step in serving our community through acts of kindness.
This is the story.
On Saturday March 11th we took our first step into the unknown of free car washing! The stamps for Christmas was very low risk because we were going to our community. The car wash was an invitation for them to come to us. We've got a great position on the main road with a large car parking area that just cries out to be used creatively like this.

So, on Saturday morning, buckets and sponges in hand, we waited for customers. Everyone on the team had been briefed: don't accept money, don't try to engage people in deep spiritual conversations, just remember that we're here to serve them in the name of Jesus—no strings attached.

At the briefing I said that 10 cars would be a great event, no cars a real disappointment, and somewhere in between would be okay. In the end we lost count. We were so busy and we were having so much fun, I forgot to video or photograph anything! Although it was very quiet for the first half an hour or so, suddenly cars started to pull in. We probably washed at least 10 in the hour or so we'd allocated. The whole event was a real success and everyone is excited about the next time.

We opened up our hall next to the car park and served tea and coffee to people as they waited for their cars. Conversations were light, but as you'd expect everyone was amazed that we were doing this for free. I wonder what they said when they got home.

Okay, so it's not rocket science and someone is bound to wonder if this is real evangelism. But I wonder if the view others hold of the church changes when they see us doing something for free. It bothers me that we talk about grace as a free gift, but almost everything costs money. I grew up through an era of thermometers outside churches to show how much money had been raised for the roof repairs. If Abraham was blessed to be a blessing, then how can we bless those around us?

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