Asking One Question
A local church, Brandon Gospel Hall in Brandon, Canada, has taken a booth at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair’s Trade Show for years. Mike Knox explains how they used If You Could Ask God One Question to start conversations about faith.
If You Could Ask God One Question
In recent years, the church has teamed up with a ministry called Postal Bible Studies (PBS) who used the booth for attracting new kids, teens, and adults to its free monthly by-mail Bible lessons, as well as for distributing other gospel literature. There has been a good history of effective outreach to kids and people from a more traditional and religious background.
This year, we decided to try a completely new approach in order to reach a wider range of people who attend the fair, especially those from a non-religious or secular background. I had heard Glen Scrivener mention on his podcast that he had set up a table in a city square with a banner saying “If you could ask God one question” and offering books of the same title to those who stopped by. I thought it would make a brilliant theme for our booth, so I ordered the book, read it and enjoyed it.
I had also seen university campus evangelism done using Soularium cards to engage people in spiritual conversations, and using an upright board on which people could write their opinions down of who Jesus was. We thought it would work well to put all these ideas together: A big display wall featuring the “If you could ask God one question” statement, a stack of the books to give away for free, a Soularium table, and an upright board with a big question mark on it for people to leave us their “one question.”
We approached The Good Book Company with our vision and they responded with a very generous discount that enabled us to purchase 1,100 copies of the book. The Canadian dollar doesn’t stack up well against the US dollar, so their discount was key to us going forward with this. They also provided us the artwork of the newly-redesigned cover, which we used as display graphics on the stand.
We also printed postcard-type invites featuring the “one question” artwork on the one side, and an invitation for people to follow up with us and express interest in attending Life Explored. These were inserted into each book.
Finally, alongside the stack of books we were giving away, which were placed within easy reach for people just walking by, we had a draw box for people to enter a draw for a free Tim Horton’s gift card. On the draw slips we included a line that said: “I want to explore my questions further! Please…” and then gave them the option of checking off whether they were interested in a Life Explored course, an Ultimate Questions booklet, or in a coffee and a chat.
The response was good, and so we have many people to follow up with. Quite a few checked the Life Explored box, so we’re hoping to set up a Life Explored course here in Brandon. We also have 41 people who asked for the UQ booklet, and many that want to sit down for a coffee and talk. Over the course of the six day fair, we gave out approximately 550 books and had many excellent conversations. We plan to use the rest of the books at similar venues, as this was so successful. We saw evidence that the statement itself provoked thought in a lot of people, and quite a few were curious what questions other people had written on the board.
While we were targeting a different demographic, we felt it was still important to have something about PBS there, especially given that the booth is registered under that name. And so you can see the banners in the back corner of the display. For the many kids that passed by we gave out 1700 pre-packaged kids packs, each one having a colourful picture with a Bible verse, and an info brochure on PBS.
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Christianity Explored Ministries helps people love, live and tell the good news about Jesus Christ. To learn more about our resources visit ceministries.org.
This post originally appeared on The Good Book Company website. Used with permission.