Every year our church has a community carnival. We spend money. We charge nothing.
We have the big slidy things and free hotdogs and a dunk tank and games and facepainting and snow cones and popcorn.
Instead, we let people see other people and have conversations while watching our visitation pastor try to ring the bell with the sledgehammer and some of our youth staff end up in the dunk tank.
I had someone ask me about it the other day, wondering why we aren’t proactive with the faith stuff.
Here’s what I said (sort of):
- It’s extravagant. Like God.
- Sometimes people need to have fun on church property without having to turn in their names or get hit for a contribution or listen quietly to a sermon.
- Jesus went to a wedding, turned water into wine, and didn’t preach at all. We’re only turning scoops of ice into snow cones, but the principle may be the same.
- The school kids who see their bus driver running carnival rides, the public school teachers who get to see kids from last year’s class and thank them for coming to the carnival, the mail carrier driving the train, the real estate agent serving hot dogs, and the hair stylist singing are getting to show love without being able to justify it by the number of pamphlets handed out.
Do we have events where we preach and teach and accept donations? Absolutely. Without apology. Do we have one-on-one conversations that get pretty spiritual? Had several this week. But sometimes we just want to help people laugh. Together. Near a church building. Being served by the church.