If you’re going to give a man a Gospel tract, wrap it up in a sandwich. – Charles Spurgeon
BRIDGEPORT – One event that has become a staple in the community is the city of Bridgeport’s annual Light-Up Night. Each year, around 5,000 folks gather in the middle of town to kick off the Christmas season and light the town’s Christmas tree. Last year we had an outstanding effort and all but exhausted our resources of tracts and Bibles located at the tail-end of the festival area.
From left, Jaycen Saab (AppalachiaCry) and Jim Glaspell (WV Bikers for Christ)
In a effort to get the Gospel to even more folks this year, we anted up our giveaway and became the only area church that is a donating sponsor. By God’s grace we were given a location right next to the main stage. This made for high visibility and our setup was easily accessible.
The brother in Christ and church elder Adam Felder who I do evangelism with shares my mentality of “kingdom building” and not “castle building”. Ergo, we have only one goal and that is to get the Gospel of Christ to as many folks as possible by working with other ministries. In that spirit we partnered with another dear brother in Christ who leads the WV chapter of Bikers for Christ. They brought their smoker over and cooked our pulled-pork BBQ for the sandwiches we were giving away. The concept reminded me of some advice Charles Spurgeon once gave. He said, “If you’re going to give a man a Gospel tract, wrap it up in a sandwich.”
And that is just about what we did. With every one of the almost 550 sandwiches we gave out went a Gospel tract attached. Additionally, we also distributed over 500 gift bags to children. Each bag contained a Gospel tract, church information, and a slick, full-color storybook from The Gospel Project. Over 1,000 Gospel messages were given out in love. What is a better Christmas gift than the message of eternal life?
While the team is serving the crowd and distributing materials, I walk the crowd with one-one-one conversations. By asking a simple question of “What does Christmas mean to you?”, you can quickly make your way to the Gospel and the “why” of Christmas (learn how here). These conversations are usually quick as folks are wanting to make their way from one end of the festival to the other. There’s a video clip at the end of this post with some footage from this year’s Light-Up Night in Bridgeport.
CLARKSBURG – After an exciting evening at Bridgeport’s Light-Up night, the fun wasn’t over yet. Despite the large amount of gift bags that were given to children, we had a surplus of about 300 more. So off to the Clarksburg Christmas Parade the next evening.
Our strategy for the Clarksburg Christmas Parade was pretty simple. We would arrive early and walk the parade route distributing gift bags to all the children until we ran out. Adam and I arrived and away we went.
This time of outreach though was extra special as I had a helper. My son has shown a desire to do evangelism with me on the streets, so off we went. What a blessing to see him growing in his courage and boldness to tell people about the Savior and share his faith – even if it is simply handing out Gospel messages.
After we ran out of gift bags, we spent some time with everyone else hanging around and catching candy and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas parade. I can think of nothing more to put me in the Christmas spirit that giving the greatest gift of all, the message of eternal life, alongside my son.
Soli Deo Gloria!