Rally day at Badger [Iowa] Lutheran Church means meeting teachers, handing out Bibles and firing up grills for a picnic after worship. And to draw attention, rally day also means themes. Not a new idea — but at Badger, they do it big.
Here are some of Badger's themes:
• Fishing for People. Members put 17 boats on the lawn and in the church entryway. Some were nice fishing boats; some canoes. "We had people who weren't even members asking if we could use their boat," says Darryl Landsverk, pastor. "There was a Viking ship, too, made by three of our members many years ago that has appeared in many, many parades."
• Badger Lutheran Gold Mine: Come Here to find the Riches of God's Word. Members decorated the entryway like a mine shaft and had a small cart with large gold, papier-mache rocks in the narthex. People received a gold nugget with a verse such as "Jesus loves you" or "God is love."
• Harvesting Souls for Christ. Rally Day is during harvesttime, so machinery was brought to the church — a hay baler, combines and grain catcher.
All the "raucous activity" does draw attention, Landsverk says, adding that the congregation has grown by about 70 to 80 people.
"If the people didn't have so much fun, we might stop with all the props, but we love the fellowship that comes out of all of it," he says. "Rally day is more than just a date on the calendar when Sunday school starts in the fall."
© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers