We usually have more reports than we can include in these pages, but we always want more. This was sent to us and was an encouragement to all of HTH workers. Several said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every congregation could read this?” So we decided to include it:
My name is Eric Bonner. I am the minister for the McDonald Drive Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ve served here a little over six years now.
My purpose for writing is to attest to how much our congregation has benefitted from our relationship with House to House/Heart to Heart. Our partnership with the publication began a little over two years ago, and I could write volumes about how supportive and encouraging the publishing staff has been from the very beginning.
What I really want to speak to, however, is how we have gotten literal responses from the mailers that have been distributed in our congregation’s name. I actually come from a mass media background, and I immediately identified the House to House concept as being analogous, in principle, to what is referred to in the secular world as “cooperative advertising.”
In short, co-op ads give local businesses the backing of larger corporate infrastructure, enabling the small enterprise to function (as least in regard to their ad campaigns) on a much larger scale. In other words, House to House gives congregations our size the opportunity to do something we otherwise could never do on our own.
The presentation is so impressive and professional-looking and is a source of pride for our members that we are associated with something that looks so fresh and nice.
Beyond that, however, (and of ultimate importance) is the most vital issue of effectiveness and bottom-line results. Otherwise stated: Does House to House reach people? Do those who receive it actually read it and respond to it? Well, obviously, I’m just one man and we’re just one congregation, so I can only speak for us . . . and our experience (and answer to those questions) is yes; a thousand times yes. And I would imagine that our results are anecdotal, and that most every other congregation that avails itself of House to House has, and has had, similar success.
I can tell you in quantifiable terms that House to House has generated between 15–20 Bible studies for us, four of which are currently ongoing. The best news is that two people have obeyed the gospel through the leads produced by House to House, and a third person was also baptized into Christ (he didn’t receive the mailer, but he is best friends with one of the aforementioned two converts who did), so I also link him to our House to House campaign, to be sure.
I will draw this to a close. I simply had to let it be known how grateful and thankful we are for this innovative ministry and the blessing it has been to us. It is so encouraging to see this degree of intentionality, and if I can be so candid, it has pushed me to be a better minister in terms of evangelism and outreach. Sometimes we tell ourselves that “the market is saturated” and that “everyone has made up their mind in regard to Christianity so that mission efforts, especially in this country, are a fruitless waste of time.” Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s just the lazy part of us trying to avoid the work, in my humble opinion. If House to House has proved nothing else to me, it has demonstrated in the strongest of terms that the fields are still ready to be harvested.