When my family and I started a new church in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the first things we did was perform a community act of kindness. Seven teams, a total of 21 families, met on a Saturday afternoon at a large subdivision close to where we plan to locate the new church. We went door-to-door handing out free light bulbs to every household. Along with the light bulbs, we handed out brochures describing our new church and inviting people to come and visit our worship services. On each package was a note that read, "Spreading the 'Light' of the World through the Love of Jesus Christ."
All total, we visited over two thousand homes in about three hours. We received a number of comments. Some people were a little suspicious, others were cautious, but most were impressed by the fact that we weren't trying to sell them something but rather giving them something for free. The next day at our Sunday worship service, 11 families from that subdivision attended as a result of our efforts. Within six weeks after the event, a total of 17 families visited our services. All because we were willing to sacrifice our time and energy to show people the love of Jesus Christ in a simple, hospitable way.
The Lord has given the church a mandate to love others outside the walls of the church. Most churches do a decent job of ministering inward to those within the church. Sadly, few churches are doing anything to impact those outside the church. What a tragedy-especially when you consider the vast number of unchurched people who respond favorably to random acts of kindness and hospitality. One of the easiest and most rewarding outreach efforts the church can perform is community acts of hospitality.