Will they find it here?
Churches and associations all across Kentucky are excited about “Find It Here.” This effort has involved prayer walking (or driving if you are out in the country), and delivering 1.5 million bags that contain a Gospel tract, information about local Baptist churches, and a special invitation to Easter Sunday worship on April 4.
The energy for this project has been amazing…associational rallies, witness training events, prayer walking, and lots of other opportunities that have enhanced this massive effort. In my humble estimate, this effort has already been successful because it has us all thinking outside the walls! How easy it is for churches (that’s us) to forget that we are on mission for Christ. That mission is focused outside of the four walls of our buildings and on the “fields of people” in our community that need Jesus.
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matt 9:37-38
How plentiful is the harvest in America? 258 million of our 340 million population are lost. That’s 76%! This figure holds true for Kentucky too.
Are you ready for the “harvest” of new guests that the Lord is going to bring to our churches in April or at any time for that matter? Every guest that visits your church is a gift from God. How we relate and follow up with that guest shows if we truly have a heart for un-churched people.
Will these guests “find it here” or decide to just “leave it there” after they visit? Will their experience drive them away or bring them back the next week? Let me answer that question with a “yes” they can “find it here” if they discover some of the following components in our churches…
- Smiles– People are greeted with the love of Christ. Immediately these guests sense that this is a place of love and acceptance. They may be a little scared but in the first few minutes as they drive on the parking lot they are made to feel welcomed.
- Hospitality– They are made to feel comfortable as they come in the building with handshakes, maybe a cup of coffee or a donut (I prefer Krispie Kreme, but that’s for another blog), and more important than the donuts or food…engaging these guests with loving conversations that show we genuinely care. What about a reception for guests after worship or a lunch prepared at the church for all guests?
- Keep it real– Don’t overdo it where everything comes off phony and so well rehearsed that it feels as if people are just going through the motions. Let folks see your church in a good light but not a false picture of what it really looks like. People want to see the real deal.
- Worship– Led in such a way that those unfamiliar with our style or order are not made to feel awkward. As an example, if you want to get them to fill out a guest or information card so you can follow up, have everyone filling out the same card at the same time. Members could update their addresses or write a prayer request on the card. Make sure in worship that a clear presentation of the Gospel is included. What about a testimony from a new believer?
- Follow Up– This is key! We must have a plan that follows up immediately in a loving way. Don’t think in terms of just one follow up touch but dozens of touches through visits, e-mails, phone calls, letters, or special ministries based on their specific need. Let them know that you really care about them. On April 18 many churches are promoting a high attendance day in Sunday School. Make sure all the guests that attend are invited to be a part of a loving small group class in your church. Relationships are what make people stick.
- Pray-Get your members praying by name for all those who have attended as guests. Pray for their salvation if they are lost and pray for their specific needs. Pray that they would find a church home.
May the Lord bless our churches over the next few weeks as we prepare for the harvest on Easter Sunday and “Find It Here.”
Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, I found it! Now I want others to find Him too.