"It's easy to get people to write a check," one of our volunteers told me, "but we can't get people to do anything."
He had a point.
Like many others in our congregation, I was one of those people who wanted to address the needs in our community but didn't know how. Perhaps the problem was that we fail to present the congregation with opportunities that fit their interests, skills, and schedules.
So we staged a Good Works Fair.
We invited 30 local charities to set up tables one Sunday morning after service. Teen moms, abused women, incarcerated men, homeless children, feral cats, retired greyhounds, and neglected house rabbits were all represented.
We publicized their "wish lists" for a month beforehand. Church members dropped off food, toiletries, professional clothing, office supplies, books, diapers, and even checks.
Then on the day of the fair, many of our uninvolved church members found their niche and became active volunteers in these organizations.1