2012 Minnesota South LCEF Grant Winner
How many times have you heard, “Having a church booth isn’t going to make any difference?” Not necessarily true. “There were nine families who attended our worship services as a direct result of our presence at Lakefront Days [in Prior Lake, MN],” said Pastor Rance Settle. “Plus, two people from adjacent business tents came up and asked us where Holy Cross was located. They had not been to church in some time and wanted to know more about a church that was this joyful and willing to be among the community.”
Minnesota South District Lutheran Church Extension Fund distributed five $1,000 Outreach Event Grants this year and Holy Cross Lutheran Church was one of the recipients. Their event was a multi-cultural community festival called Lakefront Days for the City of Prior Lake August 1-4, 2012. “We had an entry in the float parade, handed out candy and fliers to the kids. We also had a booth and handed out our church information,” said Settle. “Our goal was to introduce ourselves to the community of Prior Lake. It was also important to us to engage the community where they were comfortable, provide opportunities for us to dialogue with them, show them who we were and provide opportunities to share the Gospel.”
Following the float parade, congregation members and pastor used the booth area as an opportunity to dialogue with the community. To better engage the community with the Gospel, they shared booth space with the Gideons who offered New Testament/Psalms Bibles to passers-by.
“We made dozens of connections with the community, as we were the ONLY church with a booth set up amidst the business booths. We were asked often why we participated in this event and where we were located,” said Settle. “The Gideons distributed over 250 New Testaments, and many people, especially teenagers and adults, engaged us in conversations related to Jesus and our church. This was a great day for conversations with people in the community and fellowship as a church family. I believe all of us were amazed at how welcoming and open people were to hearing the Gospel in such a public venue. Overall, this was an excellent first effort to engage our community and much of our success was due to the simple fact that we showed a genuine interest in the community in which we are planted."