REACHING THE LOST – STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
By Rob Whitacre
When HTHSOE pulls out of the parking lot, there is much excitement at the local congregations. Elders and preachers are ready to take the challenge and begin organizing and training. Members are ready to learn and get to work. Time is of the essence. The onsite evangelism seminar is like the July Fourth fireworks show in that it creates instant energy, but in like manner, it can dissipate just as quickly. You must engage the congregation immediately to take advantage of the momentum.
Joe Palmer is the preacher for the Niceville church of Christ in Niceville, Florida. He has much life experience in addition to his years of pulpit preaching. Shortly after the HTHSOE seminar ended, he contacted me requesting a post-seminar survey. We did not have one, so he asked if he could develop one. The survey provided the leadership information on how they could best use the member’s talents. Members were able to provide their thoughts on what they learned. Engaging members helps them put a little skin in the game!
Joe Palmer sent the following observations about the survey that you may want to consider:
- The survey helped identify leaders who wanted to work on a specific area we might have yet to consider. I always feel that putting a person in a work they want to do is better than getting them to do it simply because they are committed to the church.
- The survey lets us know we had the support of the church financially. When you left, the elders looked at work outside the budget. They were worried. In our survey, everyone who filled out the survey said yes, they felt like we should invest in local evangelism, and they would give more to the work. This let the elders know the congregation was behind the expense, and as we approach this year’s budget, we can ask them to give toward it. One member is buying the visitor bag items out of her pocket.
- The survey lets you know where you need to recruit workers. We immediately turned the survey answers into a list. From that survey, we knew where we needed to recruit workers.
- The survey will help you recruit leaders. Getting someone to lead an area is easier if they know they already have several people who want to help in that work. As the leader, you can go to your prospective leader, ask them to lead and say, “A dozen people have already said they want to help in this work.”
- The survey helps the leader lead because he knows who his workers are. You can give that list to the person you ask to lead an area of this ministry. Most people struggle to recruit workers, and you have given them a head start. Immediately, they know they have helpers and who they are. You can also privately pinpoint the Frowny Freds who need to be doing something different.
Our curriculum combines successful tools and strategies from churches of Christ all over the world. We claim no originality and do not desire recognition. If it works, we want to use it. We contacted brother Palmer for permission to use his survey as part of our post-seminar suggestions. He has provided it; now, it is part of our HTHSOE curriculum under the Introduction tab as a download. If you are enrolled in the school, your leadership can access it at www.hthsoe.com. You can also click on the link we are providing to download now.
We continue working hard daily to produce the best evangelistic resources possible. We always enjoy hearing from soul winners in the field and receiving advice on being more effective. Just like brother Palmer, contact us; we will also be glad to learn from you.