Wednesday, May 26, 2010


    I stumbled upon a mention today about a guy who bought his own gumball machine and set it up in a public place as a way to challenge folks who walked by:  

    Jake Bronstein recently bought a toy vending machine off the Internet. He filled the toy capsules with ideas of fun things to do and started placing the machine in various spots around New York. For 50 cents you get the original toy, an idea, and a map to guide you to the location for your idea. Each capsule also contains a quarter, refunding half of your purchase price (the machine wouldn’t let him charge less than 50 cents.)
    So what if you adapted this idea for your youth ministry? I checked ebay and, sure enough, you can get your own gumball vending machine for under $100.  Why not get one and fill it with words of wisdom, verses from scripture, small pieces of art, suggestions for random acts of kindness or ways to engage in mini-moments of mission?  Set it up in a public place and see what happens and how people react.  Take it to the local outdoor theater event or the July 4th fireworks display.  Get permission to put it out in front of the places where your youth hang out -- coffee shops, fast food eateries, comic book stores, and so on.  Use the funds you raise to go toward a mission project. 

    So, any one up for a race to see who can put this idea into motion first?

    UPDATE: Someone actually tried this idea. See our follow-up post here



    Jon said...

    This is a brilliant idea...

    Anonymous said...

    You could include questions specific to items found in worship at various churches around town, you could place dewey decimal codes for good books at the local library, you could include websites to various ministries or ways to volunteer locally. I love this idea and I say the race is on.

    Allison said...

    We purchased one this week and have plans to put it up in our Gathering Area filled with ideas for random acts of kindness and mission/outreach opportunities. I'm currently collecting ideas for it and can't wait to see how our church responds. Sometimes, we just need ideas to jumpstart us into action!

    Brian said...

    Jason, great thoughts! It's almost a limitless sort of project, isn't it.

    Allison, so great to see you beat us all to the punch! I hope you'll come back and post a comment later and let us know how it works out.