Earlier this evening our church gathered to do service projects. Some of it was for us (cleaning around the building, etc.) and some was meant as outreach (writing notes to visitors, etc.)
One of the projects we came up with was to send 5 or 6 people down to Center Street (the very busy street that our church sides up to) put up signs and offer people free drinks of canned pop.
My youth intern headed up this project with several teens.
"Out of 50 cars, probably only 8 accepted free drinks," he laughed. "Then, this security car pulls up and a guard walks over to us.
'You're on someone else's property.'
'I know, we're with this church right behind us.'
'No, someone else owns this property. If you move about ten feet up, you're on city property.'
And so we laughed. We laughed that we "got in trouble" with a security guard for giving out free drinks. And we laughed that we live in a doubting, mistrusting, lawsuit-laden, snooty, stuck up society that won't even accept free drinks!!
But behind the laughter lies an even greater determination...a determination to somehow reach our neighbors and show them the love of Christ. Looks like it will take some time for them to trust us. I pray that God will open those doors in time.