Ahead of church Sunday afternoon I posted invitations on a couple of local facebook pages. One of them is mainly composed of foreign people in Tainan who share information about jobs, try to sell motorcycles, and stuff like that. I used a very light touch in what I wrote. The other post went to an international students’ group at the big national university in town. It was pretty much the same ad as the first pitch.
When church started it seemed that the ads had had no effect at all. The numbers were the same as usual, about 15. (We put out 20 chairs in 2 rows, and there were a few empties). But as time passed those empties filled up, and more people kept arriving and grabbing other chairs. We had a third row! I was getting excited about how well my “outreach” had gone. It was a great ego boost.
Then during the time when people share prayer requests before the intercessions one guy mentioned that it was one young woman’s birthday. I included that in the prayers and thought nothing more of it, until after worship when the birthday party began. More and more people began to show up, demonstrating clearly that the day’s attendance increase had nothing to do with anything I’d posted online. People hadn’t come to experience a little bit of church or anything like that. They came to be part of an Indonesian birthday party.
Ego properly massaged back down to size, I had a piece of cake.