Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Roadside Bible/Book of Mormon giveaway.

In December 2014 I tried a new contacting method with our ward's full-time missionaries. I made up a couple signs. One said "FREE BIBLES AHEAD" and the other "FREE BIBLES HERE."

We put on cheap Santa hats, and stood along the street during afternoon rush hour in front of a parking lot.  I had the "AHEAD" sign and stood about 3/4ths block "upstream" of traffic, to give people a few seconds to decide if they wanted to pull in.

There was a right-turn-only lane into the parking lot, so people slowing down to turn did not hamper traffic flow.  And we "aimed" our signs at only the near-side traffic, on our side of the street, going away from town.  We did not want to cause traffic congestion or accidents by people making a left turn mid-block into the parking lot we were using.

The missionaries got good results with it, including referrals and appointments.  They answered a lot of questions, and had a lot of what they call "mini discussions".

I did it several times with them, and they did it several times on their own.

In April, I did it with missionaries from the next ward over, a DL and  ZL on an exchange, and they got three appointments with folks in the ZL's actual area.

For pictures and more details, see:


At 5/21/2015 01:17:00 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Great idea! Keep up the good work.

At 5/21/2015 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Dustin said...

What kind of parking lot did you use? Did you know the owner or have to get permission beforehand? Does it take any kind of permit or permission to do this?

At 5/29/2015 09:19:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

It was a small lightly used strip mall. The parking lot was only about 20% to 25% used, and we did not interfere with traffic or with customers. We did not proselyte any customers, we only talked to those who pulled in, and who came to us specifically for a free Bible.

We did not ask for permission ahead of time. We did it 5 times over a period of 5 months before the manager of the main store (which was not the owner of the property) asked us to leave. He didn't say why. We were packing up to leave anyway, so we didn't bother to ask what the problem was.

For places like Walmart, you'd have to ask permission. Walmart does give space sometimes to communty-related organizations to set up tables or booths near their entrance.

You could do it at an LDS chapel if there is a right turn lane in front of it.

Small mom-and-pop owned businesses with their own parking lot would also be good, with permission.

At 6/30/2015 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Bruce Charlton said...

@Books - This sound like a successful scheme. I particularly like that it does not harass the uninterested but builds upon an already-expressed interest.

I have never been keen on 'cold-calling' methods of any type - they are strongly counter-productive in my case; although I must admit that my mother once befriended some Mormon missionaries who landed on our doorstep - apparently because they were well-dressed and polite, looked lost and lonely - so she felt sorry for them and saw them a few times.

Where I live, the Jehovah's witnesses have switched from door-stepping to street missionaries, who always politely wait for the public to approach them - it created a good impression to me.


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