The teaching of an HTHSOE seminar can be overwhelming for the audience. One member who attended recently said it was like watching a July 4 fireworks display. You love to see it and try desperately to take it all in, but when it is over, it is hard to remember the specifics. You know it was something great, but it was too much to absorb. Another brother said that sitting in these classes is like a farmer showing up with a grain truck to feed one cow.

I recently spent some time with Brother Mike Benson after training the Oxford church of Christ. He said, “Rob, if I try to start all of this now, it will die. We need to take things one at a time.” I could not agree more. This is why we have the 10-step program. HTHSOE is an 18–24-month training school that takes elders/preachers and walks them through evangelism step by step. The training continues long after we leave. We are available 24/7. It is a cultural change within a congregation that takes purpose, patience, and passion.

This year, we have worked with five congregations. They are all beginning with the initial steps. They have purchased the tools, set up their evangelism tables, and are currently training the congregation how to use Back to the Bible. While these are visible steps, the elders, and preachers behind the scenes are setting up the various contact creators to provide prospects for Bible studies. This process takes a lot of time and planning, but when enacted, it should harness the power of the pews to bring the lost in their local community right to the church of Christ.

Do not let concern about the work ahead overwhelm the congregation.  Just take things one step at a time and remain focused on your mission. This is an exciting time for the church. Covid has provided so many opportunities to reach the lost. We pray this report below and the photos will motivate you to focus on the mission.

East Hill church of Christ, Pulaski, Tennessee
Jonathan Burns of the East Hill congregation sent this report:

East Hill is excited to say that we are officially kicking off our Evangelism Ministry. After careful planning and working with our members, we have built our plan of success. Right after the Evangelism Seminar, we made all the resources available in our auditorium. Since that time, we have built our Compassion Room, which included all our supplies for studies, personal growth, and all of the cards that will be used for Compassion Cards.

On Sunday, January 7, two sermons were presented to make the official kick-off of our Ministry. Sunday morning was a challenge for each person to write down ten names on the School of Evangelism “Help us reach 10 new families” list. We have encouraged each member to write down ten names and then pray for them for 30 days. On Sunday night a sermon was presented with the title, “Here am I, send me.” This addressed the objective, compassion, and reality needed in reaching out to others. We also spent time during this sermon explaining our Compassion Room and the supplies available for members.

As of now, we are working on breaking the congregation down into three groups. This will allow the compassion card system to begin working. The elders will oversee these three groups and get others involved in the leading of the groups. The New Movers and Welcome Baskets are being set up also. Several ladies are working this aspect and keeping up with the Compassion Room. Needless to say, we are excited about the future.

In His Service, Jonathan Burns