No, he’s not quacking up.
Pastor David Evans, PhD, is seeing a fascinating reaction to an unusual faith outreach in Springfield, Tennessee.
“I’m always trying my hardest to find new ways in which we can engage our community in non-aggressive ways,” to share the message of Jesus. “For so many years, we as church folks, have done kind of a disservice – where we’ve made evangelism more about selling a product than surrendering to a Savior.”
Instead of asking church members to knock on doors and share a presentation, Pastor David considered something much different to see if it would take off. [rather listen? podcast]
Because Tennessee has a large number of Jeep owners, “In the Jeep community I learned that there is this love language with rubber ducks…when that Jeep owner comes out and they see that rubber duck (on the hood) they’re just so encouraged, they know someone is thinking about them.”
For Pastor David, that generated a question: “How can we use this to introduce people to Jesus?” He saw the cute little yellow ducks as “a very non-aggressive, that’s a key word, a very intentional way to love our community with the Gospel.”
“Well, we bought 500 rubber ducks – and we put a QR code and a url on the rubber ducks and I had them all on our stage and asked folks if they could grab some ducks.” And the instructions were, if they see a jeep, put the duck on the hood, don’t talk to anyone, and just move on.
The church’s flock of ducks caused quite a stir in Springfield. “Our community has been overwhelmingly positive. We actually have several folks that are now attending our church” as a result of the duck planting. People see Springfield Baptist as a friendly church “that just absolutely loves Jesus.”
Despite the goal of reaching only Jeep owners, a few ducks showed up on other cars and trucks as well. “I’m sure they were pretty confused about what was happening,” he laughs. But if the non-Jeep owners followed the url on the duck, they could learn what was going on.
There was one complaint from church members. “We didn’t get enough ducks. We had 500. They want more!”
In our full interview podcast just below, you’ll hear Pastor David explain he understands how Christians can be apprehensive about cold-sharing the Gospel with a total stranger. And he wants to lead his congregation to embrace “a culture of evangelism” to share their faith to bless the lives of others. And the duck project gets that off to a flying start.
He’s also concerned about people who are “de-churched,” those are often individuals who have been hurt by an unpleasant church experience and are no longer part of a body of believers. You can hear his heart on that and much more in our podcast.