I love bringing back a “tried and true” promotional idea.
In 1985 I was NMI president at a small church in the Texas Panhandle. Looking over the records, I noted the Thanksgiving Offering had been meager at best, often less than US$50! I introduced the “salt shaker” idea.
Each family received a salt shaker like the one pictured on this page.* Inside was a wrapper for quarters. The amount of quarters stacked in the shaker equal exactly US$10.00. We made bands to go around the salt shakers with names of countries where the Church of the Nazarene has a presence and, where known, the names of missionaries who served there. At the same time, I drew circles on a world map of those countries’ locations.
Each family selected a world area, took the corresponding salt shaker home, placed it on their kitchen table, and prayed for the world area and missionaries there as a way to prepare for the offering. Family members contributed to the project by emptying their pockets and purses nightly and putting the quarters in the shaker.
Around the tables, families shared stories of bypassing soda machines or foregoing coffee to save money for the Thanksgiving Offering. The big day arrived! Each family came to the front and placed its shaker on a map in the country they had prayed for while collecting quarters. Some placed the full salt shaker, as well as three or four full wrappers!
A few, who had not taken a shaker home, picked one up and inserted a check! The offering was more than US$750 (outstanding in 1985)! Since then, I have used the salt shaker in other ways, filling it for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries projects, Food for Families, and postage for Crisis Care Kits and School Packs, just to name a few. I have used the salt shaker idea in various cities on several districts. Always, the offering far exceeds the expectation! Try it—it has proven true!
Grand Prairie, Texas
* The shaker can be purchased in bulk at a restaurant supply company.