Being a creative church doesn’t necessarily mean breaking out the paint or markers in worship. A great way to be creative is to take something you are used to doing and switch it up. Make it a little risky or surprising. Try a YardGive!
A YardGive is simple. It’s like a yard sale, but everything is free. Yep, free. No pricing or tagging. No counting money. No haggling. It’s the easiest yard sale you will ever do. AND it’s an exercise in letting go. Our first one grew out of a worship series during that time of year that everyone loves (apply heavy sarcasm)- stewardship season. We invited the congregation to clean out their homes. Things they no longer used, but also things they may still use but could stand to part with for someone else in need. We collected and sorted it all in our gym and opened the doors one Saturday morning to our immediate community.
This worked particularly well because our church is situated in a community with great physical need. We limited our advertising to several of the apartment communities right next to the church. Resist the urge to advertise in the paper or online if you’d like to build a relationship with your immediate neighbors. “Free stuff” ads will attract people from all over, and most likely more people than you can handle. But if you are worried about not having enough stuff, don’t be. Our church of a little over 100 people filled up our gym and we still scheduled a pick-up to donate what was left. Bottom line- your people have a lot of stuff.
The true beauty of the YardGive happens when the doors open. Most folks are in disbelief that everything is really free and it’s great to be the one that gets to reassure people of that fact. You and your church members also get to let go of the need to control who takes what and how much. If someone wants the whole table of dishes, find a box for them! If you think someone is taking the TV to sell it, so what? Maybe they need the money. Give them the specs so they can make top dollar. We’ve done this 2 years in a row and have yet to have anyone be rude or grabby. Mostly people are grateful, and you get to watch God redistribute your blessings. It’s incredibly freeing. AND you meet your neighbors. In fact, this year we invited our neighbors to donate as well and many did!
Out of all the crazy, wonderful days we have at The Grove Church, I think YardGive day is my favorite.