Saturday, September 07, 2013

being church in mission on election day

A few weeks ago, a local Australian pastor asked my advice. He’d heard a rumour that I might be creative and outward looking. So, he asked, “how can we as a church maximise the fact our buildings will be used on election day as a polling booth?”

“Give the money away,” I replied, knowing that many Australian churches offer a barbeque to folk lining up to vote and that many charge a gold coin for the sausage and sauce.

In fact I said, warming to my new role of creative mission advisor, “Why not choose 3 local charities. And have your own vote. Invite everyone to whom you sell a sausage to choose what charity they most want to support locally. That’s a very different way of being church. Participating in mission by serving the community.”

He looked slightly crestfallen, so I asked how much they earned last election. Around $700 he said.

“That’s around $200 a year. If you keep the money, you simply reinforce the message that all the church cares about is itself, it’s own concerns and agendas. If you give it away, you’re inviting your local community to participate with you in mission.

“That’s a very different economic policy,” I concluded.

I’m looking forward to meeting post-election and seeing how the vote for mission might have played out in that local church

Posted by steve at 08:21 PM


  1. This is exactly what we do with our Christmas tree carnival every December…
    16 community groups decorate 16 trees inside the church… Visitors put a gold coin towards whichever tree they support…
    Lots of visitors, 16 charities better off… Then people come here for Christmas when we make clear the entire offering goes to Christmas Bowl…

    Comment by Amelia kb — September 7, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  2. Love that Steve. Last election, our building being used for polling, we put up a sign that we would be giving all monies raised to ‘Mary’s Soup Kitchen’ – a free meal program for those in need. Most people instead of paying the $2 for the sausage gave us a $5 note. Was fantastic.

    Comment by Bruce Grindlay — September 8, 2013 @ 9:23 am

  3. Great stories. Thanks


    Comment by steve — September 8, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

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