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Robert A. Swanson, pastor of Long Hill Baptist Church, Trumbull, Connecticut

If you're like me, you've long been told (and have believed) that most outreach functions are best left to lay Christians because they don't have a hired-gun image. It's true: Lay people with the gifts of hospitality and evangelism can be tremendously effective.

But recently I discovered an opportunity tailor made for pastors.

Every six months, the 12,000 households in my community receive the Community Calendar, which lists various continuing education courses for adults. Courses are offered in both academic and nonacademic subjects-upholstery, dog obedience, cake decorating, parapsychology, meditation, and human potential. For years I thought, Somebody should offer a Christian course. The administration seems open to courses on religious topics, but only the New Age enthusiasts are taking advantage of it.

Finally, I decided, Why not try it? The town's director of continuing education ...

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