These new, customizable versions of the Advent devotions present great opportunities for becoming an outreach service project into your community. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions to help you use either of the booklets:
Maximize Your Customizable Space
- Create a business type card to give away inviting them to check out the website (www.lhm.org/advent/)
- Use the customizable box on the inside front cover to invite your neighbors to worship, concerts, or special events.
- Distribute more through gift bags. Place the booklets in plastic bags to hang on doorknobs. Enclose a flyer with church holiday activities and a witnessing gift like a pocket cross, church magnet, or a small birthday candle with a note about the light of Christ.
Leadership Opportunity for Youth
- Involve your youth in reaching out through service: Parcel out the tasks of entering the customizable text, printing, and assembling the books. Have the youth hand them out to members of your congregation, either as people leave worship or another activity. Youth can also distribute in the community at events and businesses, or using the door hanger idea, above.
Creative Opportunity for Evangelism Team
- Involve your evangelism or outreach committee in deciding ways to distribute the booklet, if you have a Lutheran School, it could be a great tool of outreach to families outside your congregation.
- Create an email address just for advent devotion responses. Invite people to send questions, comments or even a personal prayer requests through a special email address through the church website or a free email provider like Yahoo. Recruit a few qualified volunteers to personally respond to every email. Individuals could also do this when giving booklets- create a free email address (set it up so that it does not give any personal information) for people to discuss the devotions and faith.
- Recruit volunteers to deliver the booklet throughout the community, coupled with a short visit at the door, inviting your neighbors to Christmas events. Some who might not attend at other times of the year might be open to an invitation at Christmas.
- Host an event at a local nursing home, celebrating Advent/Christmas and distributing the booklets to residents.
- Give a quantity to a local charity that distributes gifts at Christmas. They may appreciate having another quality item to offer.
- Take a team to distribute outside a sporting event, concert, etc. Check with event location or city about best legal practices for distribution.
- Use the downloadable bulletin insert - The Ultimate Re-gifting - to highlight witnessing ideas for members.
Witness Opportunities for Every Member
- Give to individuals encountered through everyday activities a simple, “Have a Blessed Christmas” greeting.
- Drive Thru restaurant workers
- Bank tellers
- Restaurant servers (leave WITH tip)
- Cashiers and baggers at stores and gas stations ONLY after making a purchase.
- Toll booth operators, parking lot attendants
- Enclose a copy when paying bills
- Leave in phone booths
- Leave a quantity in waiting areas- Doctor's office, hospital, restaurant, bank, funeral home, etc. with permission. (Use your Project Connect Junior Display for professional look.) Remember to check back and keep the location stocked. The business may also be interested in keeping a good thing going- let them know you can supply topical booklets too.
- Take copies with you when traveling- you never know whom Lord wants you to meet!
Bigger Challenge for Every Member
- Commit to reading with a friend who does not yet know Jesus as Savior or who has drifted from church involvement. Challenge yourself and your friend to take 5 minutes a day for reflection. Make plans to discuss. Listening is most important! Surprise them by asking them to help work at a church activity- an easy way to get to know people and for you to discuss more.
- (Follow up with Here booklet at www.shoplhm.org.)