Love Loud: An interview with Michele, Part 2
**If you missed Part One of this interview you can view it here. I think you will find both parts a real blessing!
Keri: How did you go about promoting this in the community? What are some things people could do to get one of these started?
Michele: Well we advertised in the community. First of all we made posters they were a simple 8×10 poster and it had a pocket spot in it and it gave all the info of what we would be doing for the 3 days but they could also pull out a slip of paper to take home with them with phone numbers and reminder dates on there.
We put those everywhere from grocery stores, Walmart, the library, the laudrymat where people would be sitting there looking freely at advertisements on the board.
We also put ads in the newspaper with our logo and explained what was happening for the 3 days.
The last thing we did was we also put out banners in front of the church and in front of the park to bring people in said Love loud free carnival day and emphasized what was free to get people to come in.
Keri: What specific activities did you plan for those 3 days?
Michele: Well we had a lot of ideas when we did our brainstorming trying to pick out what we wanted to do. We originally got this idea from a church in Florida and just seen a lot of, they did it for a whole week. Their whole church did it, but we knew we couldn’t do that big of a project. So what they did all types of activities and we took what they did and took what our class thought our class could handle as a group. We narrowed it down to during the day and two of the days we delivered what we called love baskets. We went to police stations and fire stations in our community those contained all kinds of things they would be able to use. We went to places in the city, downtown, where our church was located and just walked into the library and told them how much we appreciated what they have done for the community. People were shocked that we would do that. That was two things we did during the day. Preparing and delivering those baskets.
>Thursday night we did a project, a carwash, we advertised it for widows and single moms. By the end of the night we pulled in any cars that we could. A storm had come through and once the storm ended we just started getting cars in. we met a lot of people through that. People were just shocked that we would just wash their car. People wanted to give us money and donate but we refused because we wanted them to understand that it’s just your night to get your car washed. We just want to love you tonight so we did the carwash on Thursday.
Friday night we did a dinner for people who had lost their jobs. We had advertised for that wanting people to come out. We had several families come and we had several of those peole come to church on Sunday. They just couldn’t believe it was free no strings attached at all. We did a comedy set up for them, entertainment, music, and then family fun and game night a bunch of games.
Saturday was our biggest day. That was a free carnival event in our city park. We ran a complete fully functioning carnival with inflatables, hot dogs stands and booths where kids could come in and play and win prizes at those.
All for free.
Keri: I keep hearing you say “No strings attached” You mean no money and you also mean no preaching right?
Michele: A lot of times even when we presented to them that we were providing the meal we could always feel or they would just flat out ask the question, you’re gonna preach to us right? We were like “No preaching. This is just fun Family fun night. No preaching involved, no presentation of anything. I think the people then relaxed and when we sat down and had dinner with them there was no pressure. I mean who gives anything for free like that anymore? When we hear we’ll give you a free condo, what do you have to do? You have to sit through an hour and a half long presentation of what they are presenting to you. So I think people finally relaxed and put their guards down when they realized they were going to just have fun.
Keri: I think that is a hard boundary to get through. Because people automatically think there’s something “you’re going to evangelize me tonight, you’re going to call me forward they don’t know what to expect.
Michele: That is something, I love how my husband put it, he said, We were depositing love into their account and that there is going to be a day they need to draw on that we are hoping we planted even the tiniest seed I mean they had to see Christ’s love through what we were doing and we are hoping that the day they really need that or the day they decided that they need more of God that they will take remember what we did for them.
Keri: Love first leads to effective change in someone’s heart. Without that you are just trying to work a system or something like that. Will you do love loud again?
Michele: This isn’t the end of this project. We are going to do this on a monthly basis. We are going to pick an evening or a day and we are going to love loud in our community for that day. Anything that we have left over that was donated to us we have saved and we are going to use that continually throughout the months and maybe we will raise more money to do smaller project. It can go on, and it can be any extreme that you want. As small or as big as you want.
Keri: I love that you are going to keep doing this. I’m sitting here thinking if everyone at church got involved. If everyone gave 5 dollars and donated their time.
Michele: What was amazing to us was even the day of our first love loud project a family came to the church that were living in their car and they had a son and a daughter and they had been kicked out of a moldy apartment. They were desperate and had nowhere to turn. The church ahs policies on a couple of things they can do to help them. But because we had our love loud T-shirt, because we had stuff in our room we were able to reach out to them in a way that our church would not have been able to as a whole. We were able to give them chick-fil-a coupons so they each got a meal for that day. We had a little goodie basket that we gave them and just trying to help them and we told them where all the activities were going to be and they showed up at every single one of those activities. It was neat to watch. That would be neat to do once a month by going out to a business and telling them how much we appreciate them by doing something for them Or by doing something for kids at the park or whatever we picked for that night or day.
So we saved everything in hopes that we would be able to do that.
Keri: What is your advice for someone who is thinking of doing this in the future?
Michele: We learned a lot. It was hard to decide what kind of scale. We were dealing with our class of about 30-35, on average, who were committed to doing this. It takes a lot of time to prepare a head of tiem which we tried to do. We prayed over each and every aspect of it as it came up. Each day as we were preparing for that thing we had very specific prayer requests. We met once a month with meetings to keep everyone up and hand out assignments to people so that Geoff and I weren’t doing all of it. We really wanted our singles to do it. To help organize it.
My advice is that you have to really have to start by picking the days you want to do this. You’ve gotta make sure you are able to advertise in some way or who you are going to infiltrate that if it’s a small project. Get everybody involved and stay very organized. We had a budget and you have to stay within that budget. We had to stay on top of things. How much we were spending how much we were not.
Probably, the biggest advice we had were the things we struggled through the most were how we approached where we held things. For example, the dinner was held at our church gym. That probably was not the best venue. It automatically made people think that we were presenting something to them. Next time, we are going to make sure that is somewhere completely away, a restaurant or whatever we have to do to have that off the church grounds. I think organization is the key, having people in charge of each project, staying on budget, making sure you have the equipment you need for each project and of course praying over each and every one of those. Because that was the goal. Yes we really wanted to love loud in the community we wanted to let them know that we do love them. But if God isn’t 100% a part of that it doesn’t matter how much effort we put into that it’s just not going to function the way that it should have. When we look back over it we have gotten thank you notes from singles already. Just being able to organize something of this size and keep your cool if I should say ti that way, keep it all together somehow and not be yelling at each other out of frustration because it’s not going right. That was huge. I think that was because of the we had prayed through this; all together as a group, and Geoff and I, and separately about each one of these activities. We felt like God was a huge part of that. No matter what He was right there. Orchestrating every one of those details at our events, that’s huge
Keri: When we are talking about Love Loud, the singles, and about how the Bible talks about Single people- about how they can be so used of God, and it’s such a blessing to see you all lead singles in a way that they can actually use their extra time or money, or gifts and talents. Whatever that may be that they are not currently using in a family to serve God’s people and serve the family of our community. It’s just a blessing
Michele: Amazing. Even for the singles themselves I think they feel limited. This was one of those projects where we tried to show them that you can take a huge project like this, you can do this, and guess what, when the church decides to do that you can be the leaders in this project. Because they are so capable, so willing, and so able, and have the desire to serve and so it is just a perfect match for the singles to step up and do that type of stuff.