Election Day Ministries/Opportunities
If your congregation hosts a voter precinct:
*Take an objective/critical look at your facility and the message it sends. Think about the message placed on the outside changeable sign as well as the ‘messages’ not on sign boards.
junk piled up in the corner or on tables = un-kept
dirty windows or scuffed up walls = lack of care
6 month or older magazines or materials on display = dated
Removed/Repair anything that sends unwanted messages
*Reflect on what message you want to communicate and how you could send that message.
Warmth = fire in fireplace (if there is one in the room)
heat on in the building at the proper levels (not a time to scrimp on
provide hot coffee/chocolate, water, tea and possibly other drinks
Acceptance = pay attention to ‘barriers’ that communicate a lack of
acceptance such as having one of double doors locked making it
hard for wheelchairs to get in, or having no signage telling where
things are, or the hallways dark so that people unfamiliar would feel
insecure and have a difficult time finding their way
Relevance = have a video or poster that highlights current issues (e.g.
disasters, social issues) and what the congregation is doing to meet
the needs. In displays be sure to use pictures representing various
age groups, both sexes, different races and economic groups, etc.
Comfort = provide snacks (e.g. rolls, candy), places to sit, area for children
to be entertained (e.g. games, TV with DVD), signage to
bathroom/exits/entrances and other needed places in the building,
and possibly music playing softly.
Care = kept the building clean making the rounds several times during the
day (especially the bathrooms), be available for needs or questions.
*Offer people a way to pass the time. If it is a busy election people can be waiting for quite awhile and it is an opportunity to be helpful to them as well as to communicate with them.
*Create special displays (videos, posters, bulletin boards, etc) that capture attention and reflect what God brings to life. These must be well done, colorful, and appealing.
*Pictures of youth or children in active events (look for pictures with smiles).
These can be mission activities, games, or of people having discussions.
*Video of a special event at the church (make sure it is one that would appeal to
*Display of what special groups/classes/events the congregation offers (e.g.
different mission efforts, social groups, study groups).
*Possibly have televisions on (check with precinct officials about what can and
cannot be shown)
*Have a person who checks out mp3 players or DVD players to people while
they are waiting.
*Care for the precinct workers. Make the worker’s experience positive and good both because they need to be shown care and also because their ‘mood’/’attitude’ will greatly impact the experience of the voters and, by transference, how voters feel about ‘this place’.
If your congregation doesn’t host a precinct then you can still grab the opportunity to make a difference. Many of the above ideas can still be done but will take more coordination, since you will have to choose a place to help out and move things there. You will also need to check with the property owner prior to that day to get authorization and you will also need to make arrangements to move the materials you will be using (e.g. loading coffee pots in a van or truck and have it available in the parking lot or in an approved area of the building). Some ideas:
*check with the property owner to see if you could set up a beverage station in the
*check with the property owner to see if you could act as host(ess) or greeters. If
so identify where things are located so that you can give directions. Also bring materials to clean bathrooms, etc. if that would be needed.
*bring chairs especially if there will be people waiting outside
*have materials about the church around, don’t push them but have them noticeable
*be creative and brainstorm what things would be helpful to those at this site and with the current
November 8, 2011