Three Keys to Success
Written by Rob Whitacre

In June 2018, we officially launched the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. It was a trial balloon with no history and no road map for the future. From the beginning, HTHSOE has been data-driven; we test, model, and tweak processes to make New Testament evangelism operational for churches of Christ today. As with any work, there have been growing pains, but the results have far exceeded our highest expectations. We have noticed three key components of success in examining the 225+ congregations enrolled in HTHSOE and the 3,000 baptisms reported. Here we share what we have learned in fulfilling the mission objective “to seek and save the lost.”

Leadership: Successful congregations all have solid leadership. Elders must approve, organize, and invest their time and energy into soul winning. Preachers must lead the effort by their words from the pulpit and in their daily lives. An overall coordinator must provide the daily spark to keep the congregation focused and driven. Congregations that lack these components see diminished results and fatigue in those who are giving their all to reach the lost. “Lead and they will follow” is a biblical principle for shepherds and sheep.

Prospect List: Churches never hit a target unless they aim at it. If there are no targets for the congregation to focus on, the work becomes pointless. A prospect list gives the congregation direction; they pray for, love, and teach specific people, not just “all the lost.” We have yet to find a congregation successfully using a digital list, as it always leaves some members in the dark. Printing a weekly list works. You can call it your Compassion/Love list to ensure everyone understands its importance. Regardless of title, an actionable prospect list is essential for engaging every Christian in the congregational work of soul-winning.

Correct Use of Compassion Cards: Love and compassion are the heartbeat of evangelism. If people do not see something they are missing or want in you, they will not want to be like you. Creating windows for the community to see these traits is difficult. Compassion cards are a tool every member can use, and cards can be used in almost every situation. HTHSOE has a successful process for effectively using this tool. Sending cards to faithful Christians is not “seeking the lost.” Mailing one card with multiple signatures will not overwhelm the prospect with “compassion.” The data is clear: if you send multiple cards daily for three to four weeks before your visit, you will get better results. Trust the process!

As we continue to grow and learn from you, HTHSOE will add additional processes, tweak current processes, and update the congregational curriculum every month. If you are struggling to reach the lost, ask for help. Our staff is growing, and we are ready and willing to meet with you personally or physically to diagnose any problems. Every member in your local congregation can contribute to reaching the lost in your community.

If you need more information on the three booklet study series or the new training/evangelistic video, please contact me at: