BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Story Church in northwest Arkansas has served something that most people enjoy as a way to share the Gospel: ice cream.
Pastor Aaron Johnson shared, “Our friends in Georgia had an idea to buy an old delivery truck and flip it to make it an ice cream truck. So we bought one and have been using it to reach people. Everyone loves ice cream, so we give it away for free! When COVID-19 hit, we had trouble finding a truck. We found one this month and bid on it, and we won!”
Story Church is a church plant in northwest Arkansas and they have a heart for reaching diverse people for the sake of Christ. In Bentonville, there are many different types of people due to it being a business hub. They want to be intentional about reaching these people using new, personal and creative methods. During this time, they have been steadily building their core team to officially launch in 2021. They are consistently connecting with people in the northwest Arkansas area through their ice cream truck and occasional outdoor gatherings.
Story Church is choosing to look more like Christ and less like the world. With this small act of generosity they are catching the attention of people by giving them something for free. Not only do they give away free ice cream, but they share the free gift of salvation.
Johnson also shared that when he and his family lived and ministered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, people didn’t understand why they did things for free with their church. Since they recently moved to Bentonville, they wanted to bring that aspect of ministry to northwest Arkansas as well. People are still shocked by the concept of something being free, without any cost. “When we give this all away for free, we tell people about the gift of God that is free! Then, we have conversations about the Gospel or our church,” Johnson said.
Many people are hurting during this pandemic: financially, emotionally, spiritually, and so on. Story Church is doing something to be with people. Johnson shared, “Everybody can do something. You might be thinking, ‘there is no way we can buy an ice cream truck,’ but just get creative. Buy a tent with a cover and give away popcorn for free at your local farmer’s market. Get out of your building. It’s not a ‘come and see’ mentality anymore, but ‘let’s go and do’ – COVID-19 has wiped this off the map.”
But it won’t stop with ice cream. When it gets colder, they’ll give out coffee and donuts. They have strategically put their website and church name on the truck so people will become more familiar with who they are.