DIANA DAVIS: Go Ye -- to a yard sale
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Nice weather has arrived, and it seems there's a garage sale on every corner. If you're a garage sale fanatic and you're a Christian, here are some tips to turn a garage sale-ing hobby into an effective witness opportunity.
-- Go to the bank and get lots of $1 bills. Any purchase provides interaction with the seller.
-- Keep church brochures or business cards in your car or handbag.
-- Include your children. Give them some dollars to garage shop with you. Encourage them to be friendly, helpful and invite kids to church events.
Go garage sale-ing
-- As you approach each garage sale, notice bumper stickers, kids' toys, the lawn, etc. Observation enhances conversation.
-- Speak to the host as you arrive. Pay attention to others around you -- neighbors, strangers, workers and children.
-- Browse the treasures at the garage sale and find at least one item to buy.
-- Be gladly willing to have conversations. Especially if you live nearby, you'll likely have plenty in common.
-- Mention something about your church. If you discover she has no church or relationship with God, invite her to your church or make a plan to talk again. Before you leave, share a church brochure.
-- If you've invited someone to church, share your contact info and say, "If you ever decide to check out a worship service and don't want to go alone, just call or email me."
-- Watch for ways to meet needs. If someone mentions a life crisis, ask if you can pray for that need, offer to assist or share a Christian resource.
-- It may seem easier to leave a witness tract secretly by the cash box, but a neighborly conversation and personal invitation is probably more effective.
Host a garage sale
-- Many of the same ideas above apply for having a garage sale at your home.
-- People from all walks of life will arrive. See each person through God's loving eyes. Pay more attention to people than to your profits.
-- Schedule it prior to big church events, such as Vacation Bible School. Invite guests as you talk.
-- Serve iced or bottled water to guests as a conversation-starter. Put some Christ-centered items in your sale -- a Christian book, CD or cross. Purchase inexpensive Bibles or Gospel of John to give away.
-- Give a printed church invitation. Example: My niece had two big football players helping carry large items at her sale. Each customer received this note: "I'm carrying your burden for you today but Christ carries burdens for all of us. Come hear all about it at _______ (name of your church) next Sunday."
-- Ask God to prompt you to give something away.
Jesus instructed His followers to tell about Him "as you go" (Matthew 28:19-20). So this spring, as you go out for a morning of garage sale-ing, make it more than just a shopping trip.
Double your treasure. Share Jesus as you go.