The Leesburg (IN) Grace Brethren Church is going wild.
Since the church wanted to expand its ministry to its neighborhood, former pastor Chris Hay suggested hosting a Wild Game Dinner, a ministry that Dr. JohnDavis conducts all around the country. After Davis shared the concept at a men’s prayer breakfast, the congregation got excited and began to plan the event. Led by Gordon Shuler, the church’s Director for Outreach, the Wild Game Dinner idea took off.
Held Saturday, February 25, 2006, the dinner included a large spread of wild game dishes, including venison, pheasant, and duck and a wide selection of desserts. After the filling meal, the bluegrass group “Stovepipe Holler” entertained the audience with humorous tunes and old-fashioned music. The members of Stovepipe Holler include J. D. Woods, Lowell Dobbs, and John Davis.
Dr. Davis, the former president of Grace College and Seminary and a noted outdoorsman and writer, shared a message filled with outdoor anecdotes and biblical truth. At the conclusion, he invited unbelievers to receive Christ, the great “fisher of men,” as their savior. As a response, the attendees filled out evaluation cards on which they indicated if they had accepted Christ that evening.
“We had four people indicate decisions for Christ that evening,” says Cindy Shuler, wife of Gordon and administrative assistant at the Leesburg church. “We’re following up on them. The response we received on the evaluation cards was very positive.” Davis says “It was a very successful event. Leesburg did a wonderful job of organizing and planning and it came off very well. It brought in lots of community people and even some from Ft. Wayne and Albion.”
“A lot of work went into the outreach and it was definitely a team effort,” says Cindy Shuler. People were delegated to various tasks such as publicity, decorations, door prizes, and food. About 18 people were actively involved besides those who contributed game dishes and desserts.
The church spent about $400 for the meal and entertainment, but all of the door prizes were donated by individuals from the church and local businesses, including the grand prize, a boat and trailer. The church was very pleased with the Wild Game Dinner’s success, and they are planning to sponsor another on February 24, 2007.
Wild Game Dinners are “a great outreach for areas that have lots of outdoor activity,” says Dr. Davis. If your church is interested in hosting a Wild Game Dinner, contact Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (574) 267-6033. He can provide a full set of materials to plan and execute a similar event for your church.
See related story, Meet the ‘Fisher of Men’