Carole and I have just returned from Highland Oaks' annual parking lot carnival. It's really a big deal. Numerous giant inflatable games and exhibits are brought in. There is face-painting and tossing balls at stacked bottles. The food is free. Literally thousands of folks buy a $3 ticket for admission.
The purpose, of course, is to build goodwill in the community and hopefully make a few contacts that result in positive spiritual benefits. In other words, use the carnival to introduce people to Jesus.
Is something like this a wise use of the congregation's money? Perhaps it's worth discussing. It costs a bunch of money...I'm sure just buying insurance for such a big event is staggering. But it does introduce, even in a small way, the community to Highland Oaks. They know we're here and they know we're a friendly bunch. My question to the readers is: Even if none of the thousands of guests ever darkens the doorstep of the church, is such an effort still worth it because of the goodwill created in the neighborhood? Is it worth it just for the sense of teamwork it builds within our fellowship? What do you think?
I know this sounds like I'm negative toward the annual project. But actually I'm not. I just don't know enough about whether actual productive contacts are made and I would like to know that before I decide. Again, what do you think?