A note from Chris Adams: Ever hesitate to train women to be evangelistic? We wonder if they will come, what they will think, if they will be fearful of sharing their faith. Adding evangelism into women’s ministry doesn’t have to be frightening. Read this article by guest writer Dr. Deb Douglas, minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La. When I first heard about her cupcake evangelism I thought, how easy! See what you think.
By Dr. Deb Douglas
I want to start a revolution! A revolution of cupcakes. Not only do I love the chocolaty goodness (a good cupcake must be chocolate), I also love the convenience and freedom from messiness of a cupcake.
Why a cupcake revolution?
About now you’re thinking cupcakes are not new. They are all over cooking shows and recipe web sites. But hear me out. I am talking about a cupcake ministry to your local Laundromats. You may think I’m crazy but this works. Did you know that Laundromats have become hangouts? The free Wi-Fi and unlimited TV channels draw people in to sit and hangout whether they are washing clothes or not.
How it all got started …
I discovered this by accident one night when I was looking for a homeless woman I was trying to rescue. I went in the Laundromat because I thought it would be a perfect refuge on a cold night. I wasn’t the only one. The Laundromat was packed. I had leftover cupcakes in my car from a women’s event at my church. Being eager to prevent myself from consuming 50 cupcakes, I retrieved them and began handing them out. I was amazed at the power of a cupcake.
Now the women from my church strategically visit every Laundromat in town with cupcakes. Conversations about Jesus are easy over a cupcake.
It’s about more than cupcakes.
This idea is about finding ways to make women feel less threatened about sharing Christ. I believe women want to share Christ but fear gets in the way. If we as leaders can provide a bridge over that fear, then evangelism happens more naturally. At our church, we do not call it an evangelistic outreach event, we call it “cupcake ministry.”
See what works in your community.
Feel free to use the Laundromat idea or come up with your own that fits your area by considering these questions:
- Where are the gathering places in your area?
- What is something easy and inexpensive that can be used as a bridge to overcome the fear of evangelism?
- How can you create an environment that sparks conversations?
- How can you prepare women for conversations about Christ?
Many of the women in my church have gone through evangelism training, but I equip women for the cupcake ministry by giving them a simple conversation starter before we break into teams to go out.
Here’s what I say: When a cupcake is offered, the receiver will most often ask, “Why are you doing this?” The answer is: “I am doing this because Jesus Christ loves me so much I want to share that love with you. He loves you too!”
After we have delivered the cupcakes, we share our experiences. Often a woman will say, “I was talking with a man and I remembered what I learned in that evangelism class …” That comment becomes a teachable moment about how the Holy Spirit reminds and prompts us on what to say. As women participate, their courage increases making evangelism a more natural part of their lives.
Plan it and bathe it in prayer.
When strategizing for women’s ministry, whether it’s for a small group or a church-wide ministry, add in easy evangelistic opportunities. Evangelism does not have to be knocking on doors; it can be as simple and quick as a going to a Laundromat. The success will depend on prayer. Pray together before heading out. Have women who cannot go, pray. Prayer gives courage to women who are fearful. And don’t forget the cupcakes! I purchase cupcakes at a wholesale club (30 for less than $15!) or ask women who cannot attend to bake them.
A cupcake and Jesus make everything better!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline.