Saturday, October 30, 2010

What does changing impressions look like?

This was a great week. It had some difficulty, to be sure. I celebrated two birthdays (and the people who love me made them both soooooo special)! And we keep learning new things.

And we watched some leadership in action. Pattie had the idea of doing a Free Car Wash, because, no one does that.

So, yesterday, at the Tobacco Plus (Ryan & Sale, the KMart parking lot) we held up big, cool signs telling people "Free Car Wash."

Oh, and even better, everyone was wearing my birthday present...t-shirts with "theCityShouldBeDifferent" on the front, and ".Com" on the back, huge letters. Yes!

We didn't know how it would go down, of course. There's risk anytime you lead or innovate. (Some Embarrassment and failure are the inevitable price of leading.)

Really, we're standing on Ryan St., shamelessly smiling, joyfully talking to each other, and holding up colorful signs sharing our Free Car Wash invitation. (We learned, if you hold the sign over your head, the drivers can see our shirts, and wonder, "what is 'theCityShouldBeDifferent' "? Yeah!) And at first, no one pulled in. We had a couple of short conversations through car windows. Waiting. Say a prayer. Put a band-aid on Emily's foot. (Go to Walgreen's first and get first aid supplies, lol.) Wait.

It could be a flop. We could have wasted this time and energy.

A car pulls in. Another. Then none. I get called over from the street to the cars to talk to someone. Then more cars. More conversations. Some are really needing to feel God's wind at their back.  The question is asked a few times, "Why are you guys doing this?" Our response, "We'll, we're a church group, and because we've experienced God's love, we want to give it away."

No Strings, No Catch...Just Love.

People wanted to make donations. We weren't accepting donations. Those who absolutely insisted on giving, we gave the money to the next car. One very cool guy stayed and helped us wash cars for two hours! I can't wait to get to know him better. He brought back his brother and sister-in-law (Happy Anniversary!).

We prayed with several people, calling out to God for their needs. I was so pleased to meet a couple of people who were looking, it seemed, for something of God that day, and this simple act of service spoke to them. I'm looking forward to seeing "B" at Group @ the Park soon (we have Community Group @ 8 pm on Wednesday nights @ Prien Lake Park, under the open pavilion near Prien Lake Road, weather permitting). Oh, and I'm so praying now for our new hairdresser friend to let me know how she was impacted by the Indescribable DVD we gave her.  And my new wed morning padna (not sure how you spell that) as he drove to Baton Rouge with Louie Giglio's "Two Words that changed EVERYTHING" in his cd player.  

How is theCityGoingToBeDifferent?

Part of it is changing some people's impressions about church and church-people. Giving God's love away because Jesus is Alive!


  1. Paul, thank you for your report! Standing on the corner with one of the FREE CAR WASH signs, I didn't get to see if anyone was pulling in or not. Haha, I was going on faith that people were and even if they weren't, the signs were definately getting attention! I'm so glad we didn't cause any accidents (it was close at one point though). I got to meet a few pedestrians, though, and Rachel was going around to all the vehicles trying to give out free candy! All in all, I feel like yesterday was a huge success from multiple angles. There was no doubt in my mind that our crew had the relational side and car washing side covered while I was holding a sign.

    Oh! And the foam signs do hold up better but w.o.w. the wind hitting those babies sure does make for sore muscles the next day. haha!

    Big thank you to everyone who served!! It would not have been the same without each person that served!

  2. Yes! It was great. Thank you for holding and smiling and relating to people on the street!

    Relational + Missionaries = Relationaries!