BBQ Shows People Matter to God

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When East City Community Christian Reformed Church took advantage of a local grocery store’s offer to use its facilities to host a barbecue, fund-raising wasn’t the driving force. “We were more interested in getting our name out to the public,” said Shirley Kuurstra, a member of the ministry team of this Ottawa church.

Stationed outside the large store, the church’s praise team played popular tunes while shoppers were offered a free soda for filling out a survey titled “People Matter to God.”

Kuurstra said the survey results indicated that more than half of those responding had not attended church as a child, many felt they were too busy for church, and the greatest struggles related to finances.

East City also used the barbecue to promote upcoming events, but it was the survey that counted most. “It confirmed for us that the good news has to be communicated in the language of this culture,” said Kuurstra.

About the Author

Rachel Boehm Van Harmelen is a writer and consultant specializing in communications for nonprofit organizations. She and her husband, Peter, have four children and live in Fall River, Nova Scotia, where they attend All Nations Christian Reformed Church