RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – A few weeks ago, on April 9, churches around the state participated in One Day: Serve Local. This event, sponsored by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Missions Team, encourages churches to get together and serve their community in an effort to share the Gospel and connect people with area churches while they do it.
Second Baptist in Russellville is no stranger to Serve Local. They’ve participated every year since its conception in 2020 when One Day had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. This year they decided to do two projects; help clean up a new Living Well Counseling site in Russellville for the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries and hold a ‘No Sale, Yard Sale’ at their church building. What was to follow at the yard sale was not anything they could’ve imagined.
A ‘No Sale, Yard Sale’ is just as the name suggests. The congregation or people in the community can donate items they are no longer needing, using, etc. to be placed out for others to come by and take if they need/want it. It’s a simple idea that Chris Russell, pastor at Second Baptist, said he first saw at the One Day event in Batesville in 2019.
“I was a part of the leadership team when it was coming to Russellville [the following year], so as a team we went to Batesville to kind of get a front row picture of some of the events and things happening,” he said. “My area was evangelism, so I went to a few of those sites and one of them had a ‘no sale, yard sale’ and when I saw it, I thought it was a really neat idea.”
Russell knew this was something they could do at his church; they would just have to adapt a few things to make it more accessible. Space was limited, both outside and inside, however having it inside seemed like the better option. They were hoping and praying for a big turnout and in preparation for that, they determined that putting them in groups and having those groups enter one at a time would allow for more space and more people to be able to come through their doors.
“It gave us the opportunity to better control the flow of traffic, and it gave us the opportunity to do a registration process so we could limit the amount of people going into the room at one time and not have a stampede of people,” Russell said. “We sat them down in groups and were able to share the Gospel with them in that process.”
Three hundred and fifty plus people made their way through Second Baptist’s doors that Saturday, and they were able to see 81 professions of faith and respond to 102 requests for prayer.
“I think this ‘No Sale, Yard Sale’ really is an untapped resource,” Russell said. “It’s a great opportunity to really see and be able to do evangelism in the community, through the church. It’s been a tremendous blessing to us…and done with some intentionality it really can be a fruitful ministry.”
Russell put together a guide for planning such an event. You may contact Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.