For the past few summers, I've been suggesting that they take some tables and chairs and put them outside on the patio. That way people can sit outside and have a comfortable place to chat. Unfortunately, I no one's listened to me because it's never happened.
Well, the other week, Mrs. BigKat and I decided to make it happen. Not only that, but we also made it into a cool service project for kids! As a parent, I know how hard it is to find good service opportunities for young kids, so part of what I do as a Sunday School teacher is to come up with creative ways to get the kids involved in ministry. Last winter, our Sunday School class found out about a need in India. There are families there who have no doors on their houses and no blankets to protect them from the cold in the winter. So our class raised money during February to help provide blankets for them. I had planned on having my class do another 'Blanket Month' project in September. But we saw a great opportunity to have the kids get it kick started in August. That led to the creation of...
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL DONUT STORE!!!
Here's the plan. Each Sunday in August, between 1st and 2nd service, our kids will run a Donut Store in front of the church. We'll have tables and chairs so that people can have a comfortable place to relax and enjoy donuts with their friends. There are a bunch of different jobs for the kids: making signs, creating table decorations, passing out flyers, serving lemonade, collecting money. The donuts cost a dollar each, and the money will go towards buying blankets for families in India. So not only do our kids get a chance to help out people who need help, but our congregation gets a place for people to socialize after church.
Last week was our first Sunday. I wasn't sure at all how many donuts to buy. At first, I was going to go with 3 dozen. But we decided to bump it up to 4 dozen. We had considered 5 dozen, but really didn't want to be stuck with any leftover donuts, so we just stuck with 4.
Turns out we really didn't have to worry about leftovers! After first service, people started lining up at the Donut Store. And I mean EVERYONE! The 4 dozen donuts were gone in a couple of minutes, and there was still a line going into the parking lot. And people were very generous. Our 4 dozen donuts led to $128 in donations. That's 25 blankets! Next week, we've decided to bump it up to 15 dozen and see how that works.
I think this will be a great illustration for the kids to show that God can use anyone for ministry. When we're helping others in Jesus' name, God can do amazing things through us. We might be limited, but He is not. I am very excited to see how the next four Sundays go!