Booth at a local community day is a great way to share the gospel with your local community. This is an outreach that you will be asked to return each year. You can have hundreds of conversations with people in your neighborhood and invite them to a bible study or church after the booth. We have had lines of people waiting to take the good person test. This is a great community outreach. You can plan a weekly Bible Study to start the week after your booth and after you take people through the good person test sign them up for the Bible Study or invite people to your church.
Things that are needed
- Look on the internet for local community days. Search on Google for community days or go to the website of each of the local communities and see what festivals they have. In the Pittsburgh area they are called Community Days.
- Call the community and find out how to get a booth. Ask for details like will they provide the booth and the size the booth is allowed to be. How early can you get there to start setting up and any rules that they may have? After you have done one you will want to do many of them so you will want to obey the rules so you get asked back to them.
- Some booths you have to pay for and some you can get for free since you are a non-profit. Sometimes you can work at the event and get to have the booth for free.
- You may have to raise money for the booth.
- Ask the head of the moms (MOPS, Women’s Bible Studies,…) to ask women to donate the unwanted stuffed animals that they have that are in good shape. I have done 2 years worth of booths based on donations of unwanted stuffed animals. Tell them that you will always be in need and to tell all the women that they know. Call all the churches in the area and tell them the same thing. You will end up needing a place to store the stuffed animals. I give away about 4-6 garbage bags full of stuffed animals each time. That is with one of the bags being full of beanie babies.
- You might need to buy a canopy. I have been at festivals that provide a canopy and I have been at ones that you bring your own. A 12X12 Canopy is the best since you will have more room to talk to people in the booth. You can buy these at Lowes or Home Depot. It will cost from $100 to $200. I have a 10×10 but I have used a 12×12 and it is much better for people to come in and talk.
- It is nice to have at least 4 people to run the booth for the day.
- The booth normally takes about 2 hours to set up the first time you do it.
- You will need 1 table that is 8-10 feet long. You can buy these at Walmart. You will want one that folds up. It will cost about $60
- You might want a table 2X4feet on the side. I drill two holes on the side of the tabletop and attach our CCN banner to the side of this table with 2 sheet metal screws.
- You will want to buy a large banner the same size as your 8-10 foot table that you can screw into your table. The Banner will be white with the words the same color as your canopy saying “FREE GOOD PERSON TEST” although mine just says “GOOD PERSON TEST” I had mine made at Sign-A-Rama for $150. You could probably make one out of paper and paint it on but it would only last you for one booth and you would have to make a new one each time.
- You will take a drill and drill holes on the table in the 3 places on the table where the grommets are on the Good Person Test sign and then you use ½ inch sheet metal screws to screw it to the table. I put the sign on and off at the Booth location each time. This way I can protect the banner. I also store the vinal banners under my bed so they do not get used to being rolled up. I transport them rolled up though.
- Duck Tape, Cable Ties, scissors and Carabineers are things you always want to bring with you.
- Holders for stuffed animals or Hats(local big teams – aka Steelers, Mets, Giants…)
- For across the front of the canopy you can use a Laundry rope, You can buy this at Walmart, You will also want to buy large clips that are normally used to hold 25-50 pieces of paper, zip ties Then you put about 30 of those clips through the rope and then you can put little stuffed animals on the clips before you get to the booth on the day you set up and you try the rope to the top fronts of the canopy and then every 10 clips you put zip ties on the rope and use that to tie it up to the canopy so that the rope does not hand to low in the middle.
- Holder for large stuffed animals – go to Lowes and buy large black containers in the pond section that is supposed to be for creating a small little pond. They are about 20 inches wide. Buy 2 of them. They are about $20. They are black plastic. These you will sit in front of the canopy in the front . You put one on each side.
- You could use large baskets for this as well.
- Buy 2 more laundry drying ropes from Walmart. The softer rope is better for tying the loops either cotton or nylon. Feel the rope and if it does not feel soft you have the wrong stuff and the tying of the loops will be hard. The rope that feels like plastic does not work well.
- Holder for stuffed animals up and down the front of the canopy along the sides
- Each one should be about 12 feet long so that you can fold them in half and hang them from the canopy corner with a few zip ties.
- Large clips and or smaller clips. I have both on the line.
- Put the clips on the rope
- Tie loops in the ropes every 3 inches around a large clips
- Do not cut the rope until after you have tied all the loops. The loops take up a lot of rope.
- Attach rope folded in half using zip ties to the canopy.
- Attach stuffed animals the night before to the ropes so that it will not take as much time the day of the booth.
- I always lay the ropes across the back seat of my truck so that I do not have to untangle them when I get to the boot setup.
- Aprons – Having matching Aprons is good so that people know who is with the booth. It is also nice so you can have pens and paper and tracts and Bibles on your person. If you want I would think that matching shirt would be great too. I have an apron for each person that is helping with the booth.
How to make the Apron
- Buy a plain white apron for each person with at least 2 pockets from Bed Bath and Beyond. They are about $14 each. You can go to a print shop and see if they can put the words on the apron. you can get Iron-on letters and iron them on. Buy fabric paint the same color as the canopy and hopefully the same color as the Good Person Test words on your banner.
- Need a plastic bowl or paint pallet or Styrofoam plate.
- Buy stencils with capital letters about 2 inches in size.
- Tape together the Capital letters to say “Good Person Test”
- Buy ¾ inch round paintbrush and put rubber band around brush to make it stiff or stencil painting brush
- Line up the new stencil on the apron and tape it to the apron
- Squeeze fabric paint onto plastic disposable bowl
- Put paint onto brush and tap up and down on the stencil to paint the apron
- Buy vinyl signs for the good person test. Go to livingwaters.com to download them. I took that to Sign-A-Rama and bought 2 the first time. Each one cost me $42 to print out in 3’x2’. You might want to have them printed out 2 ½ foot long instead of 3foot and then you could use another PVC stand as you created above and drill holes in the PVC to attach the clip chart vinyl signs to the stand with 2 inches 3/8 bolts and butterfly nuts.
- I bought a clipboard stand from Office Depot for about $70. I have a 2inch x 1-inch 36-inch long piece of wood. I drilled holes in the wood for the pegs in the top of the paper holder. Then I drilled holes at the end of the wood where the grommets on the vinyl signs are. I bought 2-inch bolts with butterfly nuts to hold them on the wood. You might be able to use a Yard Stick for this purpose. I would use 2 of them. 1 for the outside and 1 for the inside and maybe paint the yardstick on the front side. You would have to drill the holes in both yardsticks. This yardstick would help you when flipping the vinyl signs on the clipboard stand.
- You will want to use a carabineer to attach a backpack full of tracts or to something so when the wind blows it does not fall over.
- Create a board with IQ tests- Take the scotty_jen_flipchart.ppt to UPS store and have them print out 6 of the IQ slides as 11×17. Tell them you want them to print them so they fill up the entire 11×18. It may take them a few prints to get it correct. You tape those to one of those 3-way folding display boards that you buy from Walmart. I hang it up with Velcro to a PVC stand that I made.
- You will want to strap this to something since the wind really takes ahold of this. I normally use cable ties to connect it to the booth so it does not fly away.
- Tape a card to the back of the 3 fold display board with the answers to the IQ test on it. This will help when you are nervous or for other people helping you with the booth that does not know the answers. Anyone that is new will want to come early so that you can go over the IQ tests ahead of time since this is a huge draw to the booth. You could also do a board with pictures of famous people and say Who is This on top.
- To create the stand you buy 5 pieces of ¾ inch PVC pipe. This will come in a bundle this way. You buy 6 of the pieces you see in the picture below. 6 ¾ elbows and 6 ¾ T connectors. It is cheaper to buy them in the packets of several so you might buy 8 but it is normally cheaper that way.
- Then you cut each of the PVC pipes in half and 2 of those halves you cut in half again. Then you can put velcro on 1 side of 4 of the T connectors. Then you put it together like this
- Hold up the tri-fold display board and put the other side of the Velcro on there. The Velcro you buy at Lowes in big strips and it is very sticky like tape on the other side of each side of Velcro.
- This stand costs about $15 to create and I put it in a fold-up chair bag so that it is easy to carry.
- Buy table cloths for tables that match the canopy. You can buy those cheap plastic ones from Walmart or the Dollar Store in the party section.
- I have many different kinds of tracts spread across the smaller table
- I have Bibles and tracts and booklets on the bigger table.
- On days that it is windy I use the booklets to lay on the corners or part of the tracts.
- People like to browse the different kids of tracts. I have ones from the example packs so there is a nice variety or you might have many from this or that time you went out that is not the same as others.
- To help with the wind buy 4 buckets and fill them with concrete and put hooks sticking out of the top. Bring them to tie down your canopy if the wind picks up. I have had days where everyone working the booth was holding onto a side to keep the booth from flying away.
How to run the booth.
Rules that everyone must agree to:
- If a team member is talking to a person do not interrupt unless the person asks you to help out in the witnessing.
2. No discussing the nonessentials at the booth. If you want to talk about those then go to lunch with that person on another day to talk about them.
3. Before anyone leaves the booth they have to tell you.
4. No one should be at the booth that you have not gone out witnessing with or have agreed that Biblical Evangelism is correct. You do not want to fighting during the booth.
5. Everyone has to agree that Way of the Master is an acceptable way to witness.
6. Tell them that if you tap them on the shoulder 2 times that means that they have to walk away from the conversation. This is so if there are arguments you can step in and stop them. You might think this will never happen but it does so be prepared.
7. Have a church in the area that you have a booth in so you have a place to send people that you witness to.
8. Have copies of the CD Hells best kept secret and True and False conversions. Hand these to people that are Christians that have issues with what you are doing. You write your email address on the cd and say email me after you have listened to this because now is not the time to discuss this. Say thank you and goodbye. Tell the CD to explain everything.
Running the Booth
- It is good to have a person stand out in front of the booth and hand out tracts and ask people if they want to take the good person test. As people start talking to others this person will normally and naturally just change around.
- Under the IQ test sign I like to have a small table or bin or stool that has the tracts that look just like the IQ tests so that people and take them home to show others.
- If people are looking at the IQ Test then I go over and talk them all through the IQ tests and they normally have lots of fun with that then I ask would you like to take a good person test for a price it is free. I tend to do all of this a little loud and it normally ends up being a small open air. This is not a full-on open-air voice but pretty loud.
- Having all the stuffed animals will attract kids and I have found that if you do not want to have issues then you should not witness to kids under the age of 12. If kids younger than that come to your table I ask them to go get their parents to take the good person test and then if the parent lets the kids take the test then that is fine.
- We found that we like to have a good person test table in the back of the booth so that people can come into the booth to talk. And browse.
- We have also found that if you have the stuffed animals hanging across the front of the booth you will want to leave a part open that a person can walk in.
- Ask people would you like to take the good person test? It is free and if you pass the test or fail you will a prize either way. You take the person through the test and then give the prize as a gift and explain that the prize was not earned but it resembles grace. You can not earn it and you don’t deserve it but it is a gift.
- We always try to have everyone walk away with a stuffed animal and at least a tract if not a Bible and a booklet too.
- ]The evolution signs and celebrity “guess who this is?” are also wonderful. I normally have good person magnet tests at the table and people love to play with them. The table is always filled with tons of different kinds of tracts.
Bring these things just in case:
- Cement blocks to tie the canopy to so when the wind blows
- Clear plastic that you get in the painting section to put over your table if it rains and to put over your stuffed animals.
- Bins – I put all the booth stuff in bins and then store the bins under the tables that way the bins are always ready and packed and can be put away easily.
- A dolly to get everything to the location is always a good thing.
- Cooler full of pop and water
- A chair or two for when you take a break.
- A snack for when you are hungry and cannot get away from the booth.
- Duck tape – it is good for so many things
- Balloons – I put up balloons on the canopy to make it festive