One of the most creative ideas that we came across in our travels north was the way a church in Toowoomba, Qld supports missions. We were invited to speak at this church during an evening service. This church had a very innovative way of running their evening services.
The church was set up with a number of big tables with chairs around them. There were menus in the centre of the table with order forms for a meal. People were encouraged to put in an order for their evening meal before the service and the meal was served later on. The night we were there the menu was different types of hot pies, chips, gravy and ice cream sundaes for dessert. All the food supplies for the evening were donated or bought by different members of the church. The service began in a typical fashion with some worship, prayers and Bible readings. Meals were served as we were introduced and began to speak about MAF and their work in Arnhem Land. A time for questions, a few more songs, an offering was collected and then the service was over, as dessert was served. At the conclusion of the service an elder of the church presented us with the money that was collected from the offering and from the food that was bought during the service. It was a significant amount of money, from a church that wasn’t very big at all, but was filled with generous and encouraging people.
One of the elders shared with me the amount of money that this church has donated to missions since they had been holding these services and I was amazed. It seemed to be a method that was working well. There were lots of families with kids there, because of the 5.30pm start. Lots of people were very interested and involved in missions, as we were able to chat with lots of people afterwards. It was a great place to visit and we were encouraged by how this way of doing church could raise awareness and support for missions throughout the world.