Just recently I had the opportunity to visit several missionary friends in Asia. One of my friends started a church a few months ago and is doing a phenomenal job. While there, my mind began to race to the days God allowed my family and I to start churches in Argentina. I wrote down several ideas that I did or learned during the first couple of years in a church plant. These ideas were not written to appear I knew something but to create momentum in the mind of my friends who are currently church planting. They are tiny seeds of ideas that can be grown into much bigger and better ideas. So, here’s part #1…
Gospel Tracts Always Available.
Carry tracts and have them available at all times. Carry them on your person to give out in taxis, stores or wherever you go and also place them in a visible and easily accessible spot at the church.
Have music playing outside the church along with someone from your country giving out Gospel tracts and inviting people to church. If it’s not illegal, it sure wouldn’t hurt to try.
Use Facebook ads to invite people.
Make a webpage. You can run it yourself or pay a local guy to run it, but definitely get one. Place your address, church times, contact info, testimonies of others, tracts, articles to read, your archived sermons and anything that could be a help to others.
Music Before & After.
Have recorded music going on in the building 30 minutes prior and after each service, offer free tea and have someone at the door to welcome people.
Get on radio.
- Have someone do a 10-30 second commercial in the language inviting people to church. Maybe a question that says “have you ever wondered what happens after this life, have you ever wanted to have a successful family, have you ever considered what God is the real God,… visit us at blank Baptist church to find out the answers”. Have this commercial loop five or 10 times a day every day of the week.
- Maybe start a 5 or 10 minute Bible study when you get better in the language – there’s no competition in almost every country when it comes to Bible teaching and preaching. People are hungry to hear about the Truth even if they are lost.
- Here is a short article I wrote about why to have a radio ministry:
Have you Tried the Radio Ministry?!
Around March 2009, the Lord opened up the doors for a radio ministry here in La Plata, Argentina. It goes Monday-Friday from 8:00 – 9:00am, giving me the opportunity to preach to a possible crowd of close to one million people! In this city of La Plata and surroundings of over 1 million people, the Lord has opened the doors to preach on a radio station that reaches this entire city and extending outwards. I must say that at first I was very excited, but never imagined all the work it takes to prepare a one hour a day message. It is one thing preaching while looking at people but another when you are talking only to a microphone. Let me give you a few reasons I believe every missionary and church should take advantage of getting on & using radio:
- Whereas you may pass out hundreds of tracts, the radio allows you to get into thousands of homes that may never receive a Gospel tract.
- Whereas a church may never grow to one thousand in attendance, using radio can reach people with the Gospel and let them know about your church in a way much bigger than a sign, tract, or invitation.
- The Gospel can be easily heard by people that otherwise would have to take 2 or 3 buses to get to your church. The city I worked in was large, making many areas a long distance to visit, but the radio was accessible immediately inside their house, car or handheld device!
- Christians that are sick, disabled or elderly can hear the radio and use it as a discipleship course to grow more in their spiritual life.
- People that are away from the Lord can hear the sound doctrine and hear about a Bible preaching church where they can get on their feet and begin to go forward for the Lord.
- Both you and your local church realizes the radio is a means in reaching the city and doing what they were made to do, fulfill the Great Commission!
- It helps you as a preacher realize that God can do bigger things than you can imagine!
Find out what the leaders in your country wear and follow suit. If they wear ties, a special shirt, a special hat, copy it. Every country has a way to show who the important people are and I would find out that way. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is or what the normal people on the street do; find out how the leaders dress and imitate.
Get the Name of the Church Out.
- We bought plastic grocery bags with the church’s name on it and gave them out free to little stores. Give something out free that people like or need to get your name all over. They will keep it and remember the church.
- Set up a booth downtown and offer free waters, tea or coffee.
- Offer English classes, music lessons, free marriage counsel, etc. Anything that will draw people.
- Make some cheap t-shirts, bracelets, free calendars, New Testaments, notebooks for schools, pens, market bags, etc.
Put up maps and study the city/area, not only for you to think stragically but also of your church people. Pray to reach the entire city and beyond and plan for churches in the future. Don’t settle on just reaching your neighborhood, but the entire city and continue from there.