Servant Evangelism Ideas
Here’s a bunch of ideas of varying difficultly you can do individually, as a household, a small group or on our servant Sundays. Many of these are adapted from this article by Steve Sjogren.
Before we just into that, remember these key things:
- We don’t accept money for anything we do to serve others or provide for others… under ANY circumstances! If people are insistent on giving, request they give it to a local food back, or if they want to give you change there and then, to find someone selling a Big Issue, or a charity box in a shop.
- We’re doing more than ‘being nice’. Try to say or present the idea that we’re doing this to show them God’s love in a practical way.
- Be open to conversation – even those who are skeptical – just be loving and willing to meet people where they are. And remember, you don’t need all the answers to their problems!
- It’s OK to pray with folks. Don’t force this upon folks, but if they ask, then go for it! Don’t be surprised when the Holy Spirit has already been doing a work in people.
- Feel free to invite those who ask to our church – or direct them to a church more local to them. Remember, we’re not doing this to “grow the church”, Jesus does that. We’re liberally sowing seeds of God’s kingdom – it’s not a numbers game, it’s about giving ourselves humbly to Him.
We’ve broken these down in to some categories to make reading through these easier. We’d love to hear any ideas you may have too!
1. Coffee Giveaways
Relatively straight-forward! Take some coffee, maybe hot chocolate and a little milk in some cafe-style thermos containers and giveaway some free coffee on a cooler day. Do be careful not to upset local coffee traders.
Now, we know newspapers aren’t as popular as they were. But, a free copy might go down nicely! A local newsagents will normally let you order a bunch in advance. Either in the shop, or in town prepare a sign saying “Free Newspapers – Courtesy of Nene Valley Vineyard” and attach a connection card to each paper.
3. Soft Drink Giveaways
“Hi, would you like regular or diet?” Buy name-brand drinks (instead of the cheaper stuff… people get suspicious!) in cans and place a connection card under the opener. Again, be aware of local stores that may lose out.
4. Bottled-Water Giveaway
Some people may prefer water to soft drinks. Ice down bottles of water in large coolers for an alternative to a soft drink giveaway. Use the same connection cards. Don’t combine this with a soft-drink giveaway, because it offers too many options and gets complicated.
You can either make bags of popcorn before you arrive at your outreach site or consider renting/purchasing your own carnival-style popping machine and do it on the spot. You will draw more of a crowd with the machine on hand.
6. Ice Cream (or other) Coupons
Approach a local ice cream store or bakery and explain your desire to give away thousands of ice cream coupons. Chances are the owner/manager will be willing to give you a good deal on ice cream coupons. Attach a connection card to each coupon, and you’ll have a project that will elicit a response from just about everyone in town.
7. Daffodil (or other) Bulbs
A handful of bulbs is very affordable. When they come up in years to come, that person will reflect on your act of generosity.
8. Flower Seed Packet Giveaways
Give out flower seeds to celebrate spring. Staple a connection card to the packet. Sunflowers are great for kids – and wildflowers are popular and help bees!
9. Fruit or Veg Giveaway
An orange, an apple, and a banana along with a connection card in a paper bag is enough. This can be done door-to-door.
1. Door-to-door hot drinks
It might be a bit much for expect people to allow us in to their homes for a friendly chat and a coffee (understandably in an age of doorstep scams). But, might a doorstep chat and a hot tea or coffee be possible?
Now, we know newspapers aren’t as popular as they were. But, a free copy might go down nicely! Perhaps just a knock on the doors of your street with a note saying and a chat on the doorstep.
3. Front garden party or tea
“Hi, I’m doing doing some tea and coffee in front of my house, would you like to join me?” Stick the kettle on, make tea, coffee – buy some soft drinks, maybe a cake or do some food – and invite people to join you.
1.Umbrella Escorts Moms with kids and the elderly find it tough to make it from stores to their cars in the rain. We use huge golf umbrellas to help get them and their purchases to their cars with as little wetness as possible. Be sure to do this well, as folks might be wary as you approach their car!
2. Litter Picking There is lots of trash to pick up at festivals and sports events. Buy garbage bags, wear matching T-shirts and plastic gloves, and bring a sign to put up that says, “Kindness in Progress” while you pick up trash. People will notice.
3. Shoe Shines Small investment + some elbow grease = big return. Set up in in a reasonably busy public place, or perhaps in front of a barbershop. This is a great project to get talking with people; you have a captive audience while you serve!
4. Lawn Mowing Look for long grass, knock on the door, and go for it. Several mowers make this short work.
5. Grass Edging If you don’t have time to mow an entire lawn, edge the driveway and paths. Again, leave a calling card and maybe a small gift (chocolate bar?).
6. Dog “Cleanup” It’s an unsavoury job, but someone has to do it. Jesus said, “If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, be the servant of all.” Actually, it’s not that tough with the right equipment—you can find specialised scooper equipment at a local pet store.
7. Food Delivery for the Isolated Find legitimate isolated people in your neighbourhood. Start a system with interested neighbours for weekly hot food delivery. This is a great outreach opportunity new folks in your church; they are often interested in helping others even if they don’t yet know Christ, and a project like this could easily be an entry point to their hearts.
8. Sports Boot Cleaning
Head to the Sunday league sports field, or a local rugby club and offer to clean their boots for free.
Everyone hates weeding! Offer to do a bit for free in your neighbourhood.
1. Business Employee Gifts
Surprise employees of local businesses with a small gift, such as a basket of pastries. Bring in one package to be shared by store employees and leave a connection card that reads something like, “We appreciate how you serve the community with your business, and we wanted to share God’s love in a practical way.” You could even do this in your own workplace.
2. Buy someones coffee/meal at the drive-thru
When at a drive-thru coffee shop or fast-food place, why not pay for the meal of the person behind you. If you’re feeling brave, leave a card with the server to give to them.
3. Bird feeders for retirement homes
Provide an acrylic bird feeder—the kind with suction cups that stick right to the window. Return occasionally to refill the bird feeder and check in on your new elderly friend. Note: Most outreaches to those in convalescent homes will touch their extended family, as well. If you haven’t the budget, you could offer to refill the feeders of neighbours too.
4. Meals for keyworkers
This has become a bit of a fad in pandemic times. But once this has died down, many NHS and other keyworkers will face the same stresses. Maybe but them a meal, or pop in with boxes of chocolate when nobody else is, leaving a connection card, of course.
5. School Supplies
Distribute school supplies house-to-house, especially in neighbourhoods whose residents include many children. This might even be an option to build an open, supportive relationship with local schools.
1.Pictionary in the Park
Pictionary is more fun that you think! Set up in a local park and play the game using a whiteboard to draw hints. Complete strangers will start to join in, especially if your group is friendly and animated. When onlookers correctly guess the answer, allow them to play the next round. After 15-20 minutes, take a break, serve soft drinks and talk to the visitors one-to-one.
1. Christmas Gift Wrapping
Wrap Christmas presents for free for shoppers. Depending on the location/store, you may have to rent the space, purchase the materials, and do it at the hours they ask. On the other hand, some may give free space, provide the materials and are very accommodating regarding wrapping hours. You aren’t in competition with the fancy department stores—they do a classy job, but you can help those in a hurry, those with few or small gifts, or those who just can’t afford to spend money on fancy wrapping.
2. Mince Pies & Mulled Wine
This can be done as a ‘giveaway’, or as a way to invite some neighbours your don’t know so well over for a bit of festive cheer. Stick on some Christmas songs. You don’t need to go fancy – supermarket mince pies, and even ready-made mulled wine do great with some gentle conversation!
3. Doorstep Easter Egg Drop
Dependent on the weather, put some mini/small easter eggs (or larger if you prefer) in a gift bag, and leave them on people doorsteps on Easter Sunday with a little note or a connection card. If these are your neighbours, make it personal! If the weathers bad, just knock.
4. Shopping Check-In
Shoppers are terribly burdened at Christmas. Set up a booth at the in a relatively secure place with a package checking system, and watch over their packages until they’re finished shopping. You will be able to talk with them when they drop off their packages and when they return. Be sure not to lose any!
4. Summer BBQs
Invite your neighbours over for a summer BBQ!
5. Caroling and Candy Canes
Organise a caroling group and go house-to-house in neighborhoods. Take candy canes or a small gift to give, as well. For lower-income estates leave homes with fresh hot chocolate and mince pies too. All with connection cards/labels.
6. Valentine’s Flowers
Hand out roses or carnations in busy areas or in front of busy stores (with permission). Hand a flower and a connection card. Mind the thorns!
7. Reverse Trick-or-Treat
Although many churches do not endorse this holiday, it’s becoming increasingly popular – and a great opportunity to shine a little of God’s light! The Saturday before Halloween, throw a costume party during the day (positive costumes—nothing scary). Group everyone in teams of 4-6. Go house-to-house and give away sweets. Say, “No tricks, just a treat to show God’s love.” Don’t let them accept any sweets from residents; only give away bags of swets. Leave a connection card – and maybe have someone with an ‘official looking’ lanyw=ard, so as not to scare people.