How to Attract New People to Your Church Right Away
- Friday, January 08, 2010
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Nelson Searcy & Jennifer Dykes Henson's new book, Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church, (Baker Books, 2009).
Are unbelievers regularly visiting your church and coming to Christ as a result? God wants to use your church as a powerful tool to draw others into relationships with Him. But, for that to happen, you need to make your church a place that focuses outward and does servant evangelism in the community every day.
When your church consistently offers hope to the people in your local area, you'll see right away that new people are attracted to your church.
Here's how you can attract new people to your church right away:
Place your confidence in God. Remember that God wants lost people found even more than you do. You can count on Him to help you every step of the way as you reach out to the people in your community. Don't let fear stop you from answering God's call to evangelize the people in your local area.
Plan several "big days" throughout each year. A big day is: "an all-out push toward a single Sunday for the purpose of breaking the next growth barrier and setting an attendance record in order to reach as many people as possible for Jesus." Strategic dates for big days occur at various times throughout each year when people are especially open to growing spiritually. These times include Easter Sunday, a day in the fall about one month after school begins when people are thinking about new pursuits, and a day in February because most people aren't very busy then.
Cover each big day (and the entire process leading up to it) in prayer. Set a specific goal that reflects how many visitors you hope will attend your church's worship service on that day. Ask God to show you what His goal for the day is, and pray for Him to accomplish that goal as only He can when the day arrives.
Take your church's evangelistic temperature. Figure out how on fire the people in your church are about pursuing evangelism. Is their interest hot, lukewarm, or cold? Ask: "How many people are accepting Jesus as their Savior?", "How many baptisms are you doing?", "How many of your people are bringing their friends to church?", "How many first-time guests do you have?", "How many evangelistic outreaches do you have scheduled?", and "How often are you praying for the unchurched?".
Have your pastor lead evangelism efforts. It's up to your pastor to lead everyone else in your church by keeping them focused on reaching others for Jesus. The pastor must guide the evangelism strategy and incorporate it into your church's culture. Use sermons, challenges, announcements, and vision casting to raise the church's spiritual temperature. Have the pastor and others tell stories about when they've recently shared their faith or invited someone to church. Encourage church members to share their personal testimonies during church services. Teach about evangelism through sermon series scheduled at different times throughout the year.
Immediately after your church presents a message about evangelism, give people opportunities to practice what they've just learned. Hand each person several cards printed with information about your church and ask them to use them to invite others to an upcoming worship service or event.
Hold church staff accountable to consistently make evangelism a high priority. Make sure that they: serve in evangelistic activities, pray for unchurched friends, pray and fast for the church's big days, and invite friends to church regularly.
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