Oklahoma Church Holds Spring Sing in the Park
by: Stafford North | June 19, 2014
by Stafford North
The Del City Church of Christ, a five-hundred member congregation in the greater Oklahoma City area, recently held a very successful day which drew over a thousand people to a park area on church property. One of their members, Melvin Thompson, had the idea and was the main driver behind the May 3 activity, even covering most of the $6,000 cost himself. He, of course, had lots of help with the event from others in the church.
Since the occasion is recent, the long-term results cannot yet be calculated, but it is clear that the church gained great recognition and good will and, no doubt, has opened some doors for future contacts.
Behind their building, the church owns an area which has a garden and enough space to accommodate a large number of people. So Thompson contacted local elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools to have their choirs and bands to perform and got enough groups to come that would occupy the day from 10 a.m. on Saturday morning until 5 p.m. that afternoon. Of course many parents, students, teachers, and friends showed up to hear these performances. To accommodate the performers and visitors, the church made a stage and set up some stadium seating for the audience. A nearby school also allowed the church to use its practice field for some of the activities.
In addition to the musical groups, those attending could go horseback riding which turned out to be a big attraction. Even though the wait was sometimes over an hour, people were willing to wait to ride, following the guide through a trail around the area. The church also provided rock climbing, inflatables and had puppies to pet and to adopt if the family wanted a dog. They also provided face painting and “tattoos.”
The church provided a noon meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks. Since more came than were expected, they ran out of these and had to go to Sam’s to buy more. Many of the church members brought cookies. In addition they had a snow cone stand and popcorn.
To advertise the event, the Del City church sent in news releases to the local paper and made fliers to pass out at the schools. Since the schools had groups singing and playing, they were willing to do this. The invitations emphasized that the event was for families so many came with their children.
The church had a booth where they provided information about their services and their work so those attending would have a chance to learn more about the congregation as they might wish.
This event is a great example of a church reaching out to its community to make friends and to let people know about the church in a positive light. While this type of event may not work for your congregation, there is some strategy you can develop to make good community contacts. Building relationships with those in the community is very important both for the impression people have of your congregation and for the possible individual contacts you can make for follow up.