This past Friday night, Good Shepherd hosted a Date Night in which church staff and volunteers provided programming and care for 225 children, thereby enabling parents of those same kids to enjoy a Date Night.
For the Date Night we provided a portrait photo ….
… pizza date night conversation guide ….
and two and a half hours of free time for couples (one staffer implored me, “Do NOT ask them what they did while they were gone. Just don’t do it!”
Here are five takeaways:
Number One: it met a need. The common refrain from parents on their way to drop their kids off was a combination of “Thank you we needed this!” and “This is the best idea ever.” Perhpaps the latter was true because of the reality of the former.
Number Two: Mission, meet Vision. Our mission is INVITING ALL PEOPLE INTO A LIVING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. That doesn’t change. Where we are going DOES change — and for the next seven years, we are going into the Beautiful Marriage Movement with the absurd goal of cutting divorce filings in half in our area while also touching 10,000 couples with life-giving, marriage-helping, God-honoring resources. But here’s the deal: we are STILL INVITING ALL PEOPLE. And we knew that many people in our church would find it especially easy to INVITE couples not from our church to events and experiences designed to help marriages. That hunch proved accurate, at least with this first event, as over 30 families who had never been to Good Shepherd on a Sunday took part in this Date Night. Wow.
Number Three: I saw a bunch of people I previously knew only through the Gold Hill YMCA. Again, as folks dropped their kids off it was, “I didn’t know you were a pastor!” or “I know you from the Y!” or even “I heard you were a preacher but is this your church?” (answer to that one, kindly, is “it’s God’s church and I get to be the pastor of it).
Number Four. Many of our outreach efforts are well intentioned, moderately effective, and somewhat intelligent. For whatever reason, this one felt smart (and I had precious little to do with it). It felt like a good merging of Holy Spirit power with people centered strategy.
Number Five: The conversation guide was such a hit that many couples passed it on to OTHER couples they met while out on the town. Check out the guide here.