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Ideas for 1st Year of Church Plant (4 of 4)

Free New Testaments.

Find out if you can give free New Testaments or John&Romans to schools, placing a tract in each one of them. Take people from your church (even if not saved or very faithful) to help you. It’s a good teaching point to help those with you and gives you more helping hands while at the school. You can do the same at police stations, fire stations, hospitals and work places/companies. Take some free snacks and/or water bottles will make it to be very well received and gives you a good relationship with the local authorities.

 

Everything has a Purpose. 

Remember that everything has a purpose —  for both evangelism (getting new contacts, sharing Gospel and making the church presence known) as well as discipleship (using the activities to help and teach your people and let them be involved in the work). VBS, kids carnival or any kind of special event can grow both your contacts and your church. Know your purpose for having the special event and make the most of it.

 

Gather Messages. 

Try to collect as many messages as possible so that you can work more on fishing for new people than you do studying for a message. Of course you need to study, but it would be better to have a lot of people and preach a halfway prepared message than to have only a few people and a preach a super prepared message.

 

Teach your people the 3-minute “rule”. 

Before speaking to people you know after service, spend the first 3-minutes greeting visitors. It is natural to talk to those that you know, but teach the church people to be friendly to visitors.

 

Touch Base Weekly. 

Touch base with your church people every Saturday (or day before a service) or at least once a week. The natural thought is that people should be mature enough and you shouldn’t have to coddle or remind them to come to church, but remember that they are baby Christians. For probably the first year or more that we were in Argentina, we would text or call most everyone who attended our church to encourage them to be at church on Sunday. Instead of hoping someone will be at church, give them a little nudge to be at church.

 

Scripture Verses.

Put Bible verses on the walls of your church and front of your building. After someone looks so many times, they have the verse memorized, but a verse can also emphasize the purpose of your church.

 

Cover a Large Area with Tracts & Flyers.

Find out from the mail system how to pay to place tracts or invitations in every house and business in a five mile/km (or whatever distance) radius. Even if the city does not have a mail system, there are businesses that will deliver flyers. And if there is no business that does this to your knowledge, there are always people looking for various jobs… if you have the money and plan, they have the time and need for the work and money.

 

Signage. 

Get big signs, banners, posters or any kind of signage and pay to have them put up all over the city. For a small amount, in Argentina we use to put up banners that go across a road. Even though it may be ripped down in a month or two, it was worth paying to have the people see it. I have noticed in almost every country, there are signage for political agendas, big concerts, plays, religious and communal events.

 

Plan a Big Evangelistic Conference. 

Rent a tent, arena or banquet hall and go big with an evangelistic effort. Promote it! Drawing a crowd is a great way to get the Gospel out as well as let them know your church presence.

 

Series. 

Plan and promote a series on interesting and needed topics. Offer what people need, capture their attention. Be a wise fisherman. Subjects such as family, creation, marriage, kids, finances, learn to pray, how to be successful, etc. catch people’s attention and are very needed.

 

Get Small Ads in the Newspaper. 

One about your church and another maybe about starting a small series that will interest people.

 

Use Outside Advertisement. 

Put your church website, times and info on the windows or walls outside of your building. Put a big sign that lights up at night with the church name and info on it.

 

Nursery Workers.

Make sure to get nursery workers right away. You can use volunteers and teach your people immediately. You can even pay outsiders to watch the kids, but make sure you have nursery workers at the beginning.

 

Bike Parking.

Put a bike rack bolted to the cement outside of the church. This will make it inviting for people who come on bicycles or motorcycles.

 

Transportation Routes. 

Find out which buses or transportation comes by your church and put that information on your tracts, website and everywhere else so people know how to get to your church.

 

Preaching Points & Bible Studies.

Start preaching points and Bible studies throughout the city. It gives you an opportunity to know people and then invite them to church. It gives you an opportunity to take any young man you’re training and gives them opportunities to be involved in ministry.  Church families can invite their friends to their house and let you go share the Gospel or a discipleship lesson for one hour.

 

Blitz. 

Plan an evangelism blitz, saturating an entire area, once a quarter or a couple times a year. You can pay people (many countries and people deliver restaurant flyers, sometimes there are companies that dedicate only to this) or do it with your church and volunteers. It is a great time to sow the Gospel as well as make people aware of the church.

 

Movie Nights. 

Plan a service in which you invite people specifically to watch an evangelistic movie (there are several good Christian movies you can use). Make flyers, prepare popcorn, or some snack, and then give a short challenge after or even during the movie (stop it at some point and explain). Give out the Gospel clearly and send every visitor home with a guest packet (tract, bulletin, pen and a thank you letter from pastor).

 

Thank You Letters. 

Every time someone visits the church, get their address and follow up within a week by sending  or personally taking a letter thanking them for visiting the church. This is a extra touch and almost guaranteed to get the visitors to return at least one more time. One of the men in Argentina said that he was so impressed we gave him a personal letter that he returned back for another service… and now he is pastoring! Most countries do not send personal letters (outside of a bill), so this follow-up letter is a very effective.

 

Hospital Visits/Evangelism. 

Go to the local hospitals and pass out a small gift bag with a tract, water bottle, a pack of gum or mints. It is very effective and thoughtful since most people do not receive free gifts. My wife has walked through the newborn section of the hospital passing out diapers with a church invitation. It was very well received.

 

Christian Tracts & Literature in Your Country. 

Find the Bible society, Baptist Union, Christian bookstore or any other Christian presence in your country (online or physical location). You do not have to agree with what they believe, but many will offer some tracts and other good material you can use. Before translating your own tracts (or other materials) find out what they have available, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can borrow the work of others. You can get a cheap rubber stamp made with your church address and info on it so you can easily place it on your tracts or whatever you purchase or print.

 

 

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