FIRST-PERSON: Sharing the Savior in the snow
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Even if you're in Florida, your church may have an occasional opportunity for sharing Jesus in the snow. Here's a few fresh ideas:
-- We're open! Invest in a professional, brightly colored sign or banner to display outdoors on questionable weather Sundays: "Let it snow! Join us for worship today at 11."
-- Biggest snowman in Kokomo! Build a gigantic snowman on the church lawn during the next big snow. Make a huge black hat, and gather accessories, buckets, snow shovels and ladders. A tree limb arm will hold a big sign: "God loves you snow much! Join us for worship Sunday at 11!" Send an email and phone tree message to invite church members to help. Some may bring bags of extra snow if needed. You'll enjoy fun Christian fellowship, and it may make the local paper's front page!
-- Snow fam. Build a snow family or a row of snowpeople on the church lawn -- snowmen, snowgrandpas, snowgirls, snowpets and so on. Each snow creature holds a sign inviting passersby to Sunday worship.
-- Snow shoveling party. During extended extreme weather, ask members to join deacons to shovel sidewalks for elderly church members and neighbors. Provide thermoses of hot cocoa for shovelers.
-- Snow soup. For snow parties, everyone brings cans of vegetables to add to huge, steaming soup pots.
-- Phones and escorts. Assign church members to call homebound church members during weather crises to assure their safety. Walk elderly folks to their car on slippery Sundays.
-- Coat exchange. It's like a cookie exchange, but warmer. Ask members to donate outgrown coats. Place them on big coat racks and invite everyone to help themselves.
-- Hot cocoa and warm teaching. Advertise a winter Bible study to feature a hot chocolate buffet with all the trimmings.
-- Mitten tree. To collect warm socks and mittens for a local benevolence project, roll donated gloves and socks and hang like ornament balls on a tree.
-- Winter sports. Take advantage of local opportunities for church family winter fun, such as sledding, ice skating, snow skiing or snowball wars. Enjoy indoor sports during dreary weather months. Don't have a gym? Rent a local facility for basketball, bowling, curling or volleyball tournaments.
-- Truckers and Travelers. If you're located near a truck stop or airport, consider a plan to minister in Jesus' name to stranded truckers or travelers.
-- Cancellation policy. Make a plan for extreme weather cancellations. For example, one church cancels worship only for major power outages or if the governor mandates a road closure. Post an announcement on the church's answering machine and website within two hours of worship.
God created the summer and the winter. Praise Him in every season!
This article is adapted from one first published in Baptist Press on Jan. 11, 2010. Diana Davis is the author of "Fresh Ideas" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and wife of North American Mission Board Vice President for the South Region Steve Davis. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).