Our church has started a tradition at Christmas time called, "You've Been Gifted". We have "business" cards available to pass out to folks we want to gift in restaurants or coffee shops. On one side, the cards say:
"You've Been Gifted. At Hudson Community Chapel we believe the greatest gift that God has given the world is Jesus. This gift for you is our way of sharing the gift of Jesus. We pray you enjoy it."
The other side has our church's website, service times, and location. (www.hudsonchapel.org)
The idea is to do this anonymously by having a waitress bring someone else's bill to you and leaving the church's card with them instead.
Believe me, with over 3000 folks attending our services each weekend, we are really not doing this to scout for new members. (We've had to turn people away for lack of parking spaces, and we have a shuttle service for members willing to park off-site to create more spaces.)
Last year our church received many thank you letters from those who had been gifted by members...and there were all kinds of heart-warming stories. This gesture simply flies in the face of what our world is all about, especially during a frenzied holiday season. People are stopped dead in their tracks to think that a stranger would pick up their bill. It's a random act of kindness that brings a smile to someone's face and softens their heart.
I can't wait for my husband and I to have the opportunity to do this. It will be a lot of fun. Perhaps I'll look for someone to gift who seems all frazzled and stressed out. Maybe a young family with whiney kids. Or perhaps a senior citizen who is alone. Blessing someone in the name of the One who has blessed us so much. Anonymously. Because of love. I can't wait!