The Problem With Our Evangelism Is That It Worked

And it worked because it was really all about us…

Advertisers want to convince you that you can’t survive another minute unless you have what they want to sell you. They lead you to believe it is about you…your image, your body, your happiness when it is really about them…their money, their shareholders, their reputation and image. Sometimes evangelism takes a similar approach. You tell people they have a problem, sin. You tell people there is a solution to their problem: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. They are told that their biggest problem is death and that God has provided them a way to have eternal life through Christ so that we can live with God forever and so that death doesn’t have the final say. It is like we are selling them a product that and if we make it sound enough like the whole thing is about them…their issues, their problems, and their future…maybe, just maybe they will be interested. That is the way to get people interested in something, right…make them think something is about them.

Success breeds repetition. When something works we tend to do it again. Presenting the Gospel in this way “works” and so it is perpetuated. A whole generation was converted to Christ with this approach to the message and many of them had weak and shallow faith…that when what was in it for them was no longer so apparent, they jumped ship and the church is now in decline. I can’t help but wonder if our decline is directly related to how we communicated the Gospel for so many years.

I want to say, the things I said above regarding what God has done for us through Christ are all true, no doubt. I am not saying it is wrong to say those things. The Gospel is about God dealing with sin and death and bringing us life. What I am saying can get misplaced is the focus on the message. The Gospel is not primarily about us. The Gospel is primarily about God. When we sell the Gospel as the solution to our biggest problem, it is not that we are speaking untruths, it is that we aren’t emphasizing the main thing. That main thing is God. Instead, we make it about us…our problem, our needs, our life. The problem, ironically, is that approach works. So we do it again and again. In doing so, we just tap right back into that Western way of thinking that the world revolves around us. Honestly, it almost sounds like God revolves around us…God did all of that for you. Yes he did. But why? Because we are so great? No. Because he is so gracious. That is the point. All of this is to God’s glory, not ours.

Now for scripture. In John 15 Jesus says he is the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in Christ we will bear fruit but only if God, the gardener, comes and prunes us. Here is how Jesus concludes the parable in John 15:8, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” The only way we even exist is due to God’s grace. The only way we have connection with the vine, which gives life, is by God’s grace. The only way we bear fruit is through our connection with the life-giving vine, which is by God’s grace. If you step back and look at all of the grapevines and all the care and pruning and planting it took to produce such a harvest, you wouldn’t compliment the fruit that is produced for such an achievement. You would praise the gardener who planted and tended to it for so many years. Jesus says, our being in the vine, which allows us to bear fruit is all for the glory of God.

So when we reach out and evangelize, let’s make sure it is all about God otherwise we just convert them to be more self-centered than they were before they were converted.

Praying for the Lost is the Gateway to Evangelism

Not everyone is comfortable having a Bible study with a non-Christian. Everyone is able to pray for lost people. Start with what people can do and are willing to do and eventually they will be willing to try new things. If they are willing to write a note to a new person, ask them to write. If they are willing to have lunch with a visitor, ask them to do that. If they are able and willing to study with a non-Christian, take the time to line up that study. If time is a problem, have them do it in an unused room during Bible class on Sunday or Wednesday. We may not start with 100 people who are willing and able to study with non-Christians but if you can get them to start by praying for the lost and for specific lost people they know, in time they will get comfortable with more. Learning to evangelize is a process of maturation that comes only by experience.

A Minister’s Take On Church Steps Outreach (Part 3) by Jimmy Hinton

This is Jimmy Hinton’s third and final blog on how the Church Steps Outreach has been working for their congregation. I am so encouraged by this! Thanks Jimmy for passing this along. Praise God that He is up to some mighty things when it comes to reaching the lost!

In the two previous blogs, I laid down some of the guiding principles and theology behind what we do for our Church Steps Outreach.  This final blog will lay down some specifics for what a typical week looks like. I called Matt last fall to ask specific questions about how they do their steps outreach.  He did give some specifics, but told me that one size doesn’t fit all.  For example, Pennsylvania’s culture is different than Florida’s.  St. Petersburg’s population is 245,000.  Somerset’s is almost 7,000.  You get the picture.  We ended up keeping the same 5 steps that Matt laid out in previous blogs (Attract, Welcome, Relationships, Transformation, and Integrate).  We also use the same template that Matt uses at his congregation for our Wednesday nights (see link below under #2), but with minor adjustments.  For example, instead of a 20 minute devotional, we do 30 minutes, with the remaining 30 minutes working through the template.

Because we are a rural church, Wednesday attendance has always suffered.  Before beginning Steps, our average Sunday attendance was just over 70 and our Wednesday attendance hovered around 20.  Since 20 people were present on Wednesdays, we began with all of them.  I took adequate time to explain what each of the 5 steps were, then had everyone sign up to minister in one group.  Several asked me where I felt they would serve best.  I emphasized that people should pray about it and only sign up for a group where they would best be using their gifts.  In other words, they shouldn’t sign up for a group just because it looked like that group needed more warm bodies.  We all worked together to organize us 20 into the best group possible for each of us.

 Wednesday Nights:

1. 30 minute devotional—The devotional is always rooted in scriptures about evangelism and the church’s response to new converts.  We began with 1 Corinthians 12-14 and are now going through Acts.  This is really helping us all develop a healthy theology of evangelism and the examples laid out in Acts are giving us courage and confidence to model the behavior of the first Christians.

2. 30 minute template—Don’t let the word template scare you.  I probably prefer the word “structure” over template but either way, the point is that you are consistent each week.  You can see a copy of Matt’s template here: https://mattdabbs.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/churchstepsclasstemplate.pdf  We do everything the same except the times have been adjusted.  In 3 months, the only thing we have changed at this point are the time adjustments.  This structure is so important because it allows everyone to communicate and celebrate what blessings have been going on throughout the week, where new visitors are in their journey, and who has/has not been contacted throughout the week.

3.  How do we keep it all together?–Communication, communication, communication.  As I mentioned before, e-mails are a lifeline for us.  I’ve created distribution lists for each of the 5 groups in my e-mail contacts.  They are always kept current as we add people to each group.  I remind each of the 5 groups almost weekly how important each of their ministries are and offer them encouragement (usually through a mass e-mail to all 5 groups at once).  I took a lot of time this week and, for the first time, e-mailed each of the 5 groups a separate e-mail with some reflections and suggestions to fine-tune their specific ministry.  Then I emphasized the need for each of the 5 groups to have weekly contact within their own group so that they know who (of the new people) they are responsible for.  We have tried to not let one week go without having some sort of contact with our new people.  Until they are fully integrated into the church, they will need very consistent contact with their new church family.

4.  Not just a way to get new people—Everything we do is deeply, I mean deeply, rooted in God’s commission for us to reach a lost and dying world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  If people are doing this to pad their numbers at church, new people will see through them immediately and run.  We are all being driven by a love for God and a love of neighbor.  We reach people because we love them and care about them, not because we want to grow the church.  Though there is a structure in place, we must never lose sight that we are doing this because we genuinely love people, want them to join our family, and want to spend eternity with them.  We reach everyone the same regardless of social-economic status.  We have no target demographic.  We have no agenda.  We simply call others to join us in blessing people, teaching them, and joining together as the body of Christ in response, to further grow, equip, and mature.

A Minister’s Take On Church Steps Outreach (Part 2) by Jimmy Hinton

More from Jimmy Hinton on how they have implemented Church Steps Outreach in Pennsylvania!

Hopefully my previous blog brought some encouragement to ministers of small congregations who may feel stuck in a rut or who are just trying to be more evangelistic.  Just to share a little more background—I’ve always believed (and still do!) what 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches, namely that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  But I have learned that there is far more than just preaching scripture, and it demands real action from everyone in the church.  Sermons alone don’t cut it.  Let’s be real.  How many ministers put every ounce of energy, prayer, and time into sermons, wake up early Sunday morning to pray over their notes, spend time in prayer specifically asking God to prepare hearts, then they deliver the Word with every ounce of raw energy they have left, hoping that the sermon will finally be the holy grail of all sermons?  You know, the one that kick starts your anemic congregation into spiritual fruit-producing action?  The sermon resonates.  You can see it on their faces.  Finally!  A breakthrough!  You get the high fives as people exit the building.  Wheels are turning and ideas are renewed.  Then next Sunday the same tired eyes look toward you longing for another zinger to get them through the week.  You soon realize that you are tired, your elders and deacons (if you have any) are tired, and even the pew potatoes are tired.  What inevitably happens when people are tired, bored, and frustrated?  That’s right. . . church fight!!

I’ve seen fights break out in small churches that, when investigated, began out of sheer boredom.  Kids do this all the time.  Lock 2 or 3 kids in a room with no toys for an hour, tell them to sit still, and see what happens.  A lot of church sickness is rooted in unfocused leadership combined with boredom and ending in frustration.  Unfocused leadership usually results from a failure of us ministers to properly equip, teach, and train the saints, and boredom because, more often than not, ministers at small churches either don’t show others how to help or leaders don’t allow them to.  I’ve seen a lot of burned out ministers of small churches claim that they do most of the work and that many of their members are lazy.  I don’t believe this to be the case at all.  How many Christians show up to church and say, “Let’s see how little I can contribute to these chumps!”?  I’ve found that the majority of people are begging leaders to let them serve and the leaders don’t know how (or seem to have the time to) show them how to serve.  So. . . what have I learned in the last few years that are guiding principles which can help a church become evangelistic?

1.  Structure is vital—Most small churches I’ve been to are warm and genuinely welcome and care for visitors.  But once a visitor has come in the door a few times, the regular members are usually not attentive to their needs anymore and let them slip through the cracks.  Through our Steps Outreach, we have given members specific ministries that are all tied in to directing, guiding, teaching, and discipling our visitors.  No longer do visitors come in and 3 months down the road wonder if anyone even still notices them.  We are now working on a plan to assimilate our new people into the church and give each one of them a clear purpose.

2.  Community is vital—Paul tells us that the church is Christ’s body and that every single member is valued and must work in conjunction with every other member.  Luke tells us that the church “had everything in common.”  Both Paul and Jesus offer warnings against idle members.  If we read it in the Bible, why don’t we practice it?  We must genuinely believe in every single member, faults and all, and believe that they are capable of (and should be) working just the same as the next person beside them.

3.  Communication is vital—In the last 3 months e-mail has become a lifeline, and so has our discussion time on Wednesday evenings.  With almost 30 new visitors, we have a lot to keep track of.  We try to know what the needs of our visitors are—what works for them, what doesn’t, who’s ready for Bible studies, and who isn’t.  As communication breaks down, so does the ministry.

4.  The biblical cycle of Blessing-Gospel message-Church response-Further blessing is vital—Acts 3 & 4 are this cycle in action!  Peter and John heal a crippled man at the Temple (blessing).  That man publicly rejoices in the Lord.  Peter preaches the Gospel to the attentive crowd and 5,000 men believe as a result.  Peter and John are arrested and released.  They return to their church and pray.  The church responds by being one in mind and sharing possessions.  And so the cycle repeats: “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33 NIV).  Interestingly, our new people have taken the lead in attracting others to Jesus and inviting them to church!  We are there to bless them and reach them with the Gospel message.  The church is responding in healthy ways, which further blesses others.

5.  Peace is Vital—Believe me when I say that not all agree on method.  We don’t argue about this, we celebrate it.  To be honest, I was quite nervous even suggesting that we change the structure of Wednesday evenings.  We are pretty traditional and have never, to my knowledge, changed the structure of Wednesday evenings in our 113 year history until February of this year.  We communicated it well and let people know that if they disagreed with the way we do something, they needed to offer suggestions rather than attacks.  Peace has been a welcomed friend and has allowed us to grow and mature.

More tomorrow on what this all looks like in action.

From Matt:

This is so encouraging to me to learn from Jimmy’s structure here. I love innovation and transformation. In sharing this, Jimmy is helping me refine our process too! One of the things we are considering is making this a regular part of our small group ministry (1 Sunday night each month, all groups would work through this process). Thanks Jimmy for taking the lead, bringing about change and dealing with people in loving ways. Praise God for the results He is bringing to your congregation!

A Minister’s Take On Church Steps Outreach (Part 1) by Jimmy Hinton

JimmyHintonI minister at the Somerset Church of Christ in Somerset, PA.  The question was brought to me around Thanksgiving 2012—“Could you teach a class on evangelism?”  This was a great topic to teach because in 2012 I preached the entire year on the Great Commission.  Yet, despite the polite pats on my shoulder week after week and the frequent “What a powerful and motivating sermon,” the numbers were beyond troubling—not one single new person was added to our small church in 2012.  Either God had abandoned his church of 75 or we had fallen in love with the idea of evangelism but didn’t know how to actually evangelize (myself included).  Something needed to change or we were one generation away from joining the ranks of the numerous Churches of Christ in the Northeast who are closing their doors for good.

This was going to be our ticket, a class on evangelism!  Then I came across Matt Dabbs’ blog series on their Steps Outreach Ministry.  One line struck me, (paraphrasing) “Isn’t Bible study our answer to everything?”  Instead of teaching about evangelism, Matt had a vision for doing evangelism.  This was my “aha” moment.  A lifetime of “survival mode” church mentality flashed before my very eyes.  I’ve been part of small churches my whole life.  In my 33 years, I can only recall witnessing roughly 40 baptisms and I know of several of those who have left the church.  How did we get to this point?  80% of the Churches of Christ are 100 members or less, yet we ministers are failing to equip the saints to evangelize a lost and dying world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have a deep love for small rural churches and am quite familiar with them—familiar enough to know that most of the ones I’ve visited or have ministered at are wrestling with their own survival.  Many small churches have leaders who are worn out and members (including leaders) who simply do not know how to reach the lost.  It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they’ve never been taught by example.

Something had to change.  I presented the idea of Steps Outreach to our tiny, tired Wednesday night group.  We fleshed it out for a couple of months and in February of this year, decided to implement it.  In 3 months, we more than doubled our Wednesday attendance, we’ve had close to 30 new local visitors with the majority of those having made us their church home, we had 4 baptisms this week, we have more demand for Bible studies than we have people to lead them, we have 4 new people who don’t read or write and who have never before found a church to accept them (one of those 4 was baptized last night!), and our boost in Sunday attendance has given worship a more meaningful direction and purpose for everyone who assembles.

There will be a follow up blog or two about how we actually do Wednesday nights.  At the advice of my friend Matt, it is quite simple.  Boiled down, we simply share our faith in Jesus with others.  We love them.  We welcome them.  We teach them.  And we make disciples of Jesus.  That means everyone who comes in is intentionally cared for and assimilated into the Lord’s church.  They all have a purpose.  This takes time, but we are working to equip our new people just the same as our regular members.  God can and will transform the small rural church if we allow Him to.  To the frustrated minister and the worn out leaders of our small churches, I offer you this message: there is hope through Jesus Christ.  Be willing to re-examine the way you do ministry and listen to God’s calling for you.  Cast the Bible’s vision to reach a lost and dying world on your congregation and invite them to join you.  Offer clear structure, direction and guidance, be flexible, and allow yourselves to be taught by members of the church as well as your new people.  As in the case of our dear sister who was immersed on Wednesday, they have a lot to offer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhWz4e6Zf5I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EZ61jePRTU

A note about Jimmy
I am proud to call Jimmy Hinton my friend. He and I first met at Harding University and again in graduate school at Harding School of Theology. Several months ago Jimmy and I were able to catch up and have a conversation about evangelism that was so encouraging to me. Since then, Jimmy has sent me several updates that have been a joy to me to read as God is bringing the increase in their congregation! Thanks Jimmy for writing such a powerful article on the way God is able to use us if we just make ourselves available!

Tomorrow Morning’s Post is One You Will Want to Read

JimmyHintonA friend of mine is doing two guest posts. One will be posted in the morning and I have to tell you that I was moved by what he has to say. His name is Jimmy Hinton. Jimmy is a minister at a small church in Pennsylvania. Over the last several months Jimmy got inspired to start a movement in his congregation toward reaching the lost. God has been working through that congregation to reach lost people. I really wanted to post it today. Instead, I will get you ready to read what he wrote. His post sprang out of a few outreach ideas we have been implementing here in St. Pete (Church Steps), so I passed his post on to our members who are a part of that ministry, thinking it would encourage them in their work. One dear sister wrote me back saying she read it with tears in her eyes because of God’s faithfulness. So I am looking forward to posting Jimmy’s post in the morning and look forward to hearing any thoughts or reactions you guys might have about what God is doing there.

Thanks to these new followers of the blog

The citizen of fashion
Deacon Jason
Gene
Archangel Travels
Colonel of Corn
Everyday Power Blog
Jason Stover
Jack
Amazon Shop
The Fogg
God’s Chick
Michael Armstrong
Robert Robinson
Jordan Latour
Salty Dawg
Conditionally Mature

No Greater Joy: Paula Harrington

I was born and raised in the church. As a preacher’s kid, grandkid, niece, and sister I knew all about the Christ of the Bible but for years I was detached from the love, grace, and salvation that infuses and maintains his beautiful story.

When I finally got serious about God, I resorted to what I knew as a child. Being a Christian meant stressing over how well my children were dressed, warming a pew a few times a week, and making sure that we were there every time the doors were open. We participated in church camps, youth rallies, Gospel meetings, and lectureships. We also attended Bible classes and VBS’s and not just our own. We supported sister congregations, as well.

Being a Christian equaled being accounted for in the assembly, not in the community tending to the hurt, not feeding the hungry, not preaching the Healer to the broken, and definitely not praying with the imprisoned but present in the assembly.

That was church. That was Christianity and I was good at it. I had it down to a science. Seeking out the lost, getting involved in their lives, and leading them to Jesus, not so much. My role as a Christian was safe, comfortable, and convenient. The Sunday morning worship service was the culmination of my Christianity so I should have expected the confusion and a sense of disenchantment about who I was, but that was what I knew.

But one of the greatest Kingdom realizations for any Christian, whether male or female, is when it finally sinks in that church isn’t a place where you go. It’s who you are. That’s when your role in this family comes into focus. That’s when you’re joyfully empowered to minister to others.

Your purpose isn’t to show up to a building a couple times a week but to tell others about the Christ, to bring them in to his family, and to change their lives because he changed yours.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. The assembly is vital to the Christian family but it’s a small part of who we are and what we do. We must be a Christ-first people. We are called to teach Jesus and if we love him properly then we will love his church deeply. Sadly, you can have a church service without the Christ but you certainly cannot have the Christ without his church. It’s impossible.

Something that we, especially the women in the church, need to be made aware of and take to heart is the fact that Matthew 28:19 wasn’t written to the men only and it sure doesn’t say, “Go into all the world and go to church.”  

As students of the Word, we could waste a lot of time critiquing, analyzing, and dissecting verses such as Acts 21:9, I Corinthians 11:5, I Corinthians 14:34-35, Galatians 3:28, and I Timothy 2:11-12, or we could get busy making disciples. There are those in our communities dying in their sins while we argue over Scripture. It’s time to get serious about our mission.

What is your role as a daughter of the Most High? First, you need to realize that you were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). You are treasured, chosen, beloved, holy, and responsible for declaring the praises of him who called you out of darkness (I Peter 2:9).

But before you begin asserting your rights and freedom, remember that there is no honor in wounding the body or trashing the Kingdom. Followers of Christ are known by their love not by their soapboxes and definitely not by the destruction they can leave in their path. 

Quit feeling like you don’t belong in this family, there is no place you belong more.Discover your talents and use them for the good of the Kingdom.
Take the time to walk with others on their journey and make every opportunity to tell them about your Savior.Refuse to bow before the misconception that you need a podium to be a preacher or a passport to be a missionary. It’s a dangerous belief that is keeping too many in our family in a neutral, dead condition. Realize that every child of God is preaching something to someone. Make sure you’re preaching Jesus but be certain that you’re doing it in love and with grace. Make a covenant with those whom you worship with and refuse to let the Devil divide.Agree that you may not agree on every issue. Be easy to love and hard to offend. Remember that all you need to fulfill this wonderful mission is a passion for the risen Lord.

Whatever you do, do it for his glory and never forget that there is no greater joy than being a son or a daughter of our Heavenly Father.

About Paula Harrington:
Paula Harrington is author and compiler of the books Once Upon a Bible Class, A Common Bond, and A Sunday Afternoon with the Preachers’ Wives. A columnist for Forthright.net, her work has appeared in Christian Woman magazine, the Christian Chronicle newspaper, and various other sites and webzines, including New Wineskins. She occasionally speaks at lectureships and ladies events. She blogs at Thinking Jesus (www.paulaharrington71.blogspot.com) and can be reached at harringtonseven@yahoo.com.

National Day of Prayer Neighborhood Outreach Idea

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday May 2nd. Typically at Northwest, we dedicate the Wednesday night before to a prayer service. We gather prayer requests and then people pray over the request cards in the pews, prayer room, classrooms, or wherever they feel comfortable to pray. This year we are going to do something a little different. We are going to take some prayer cards into our neighborhood around the building. We will tell them that we want to do a better job praying for our neighbors and want to know if they have anything they would like us to pray for during the national day of prayer Wednesday night service. We have prayer cards we will hand them and just let them write whatever they want to write. No commitment, no strings, no big sales pitch. Just prayer requests.

Here is the prayer request card. If you would like to try this idea and want your information on it just let me know and I will adjust it and send it to you in a pdf.

PrayerCard

Paradigm Shift: The Problem With Books on Evangelism

I probably have a dozen books on how to do evangelism on the shelf. About five years ago I tried to teach a class on evangelism from some of these books and what we ended up with was a whole lot of information without much visible action or change. Some of them have hundreds of principles on hundreds of pages. We got a lot of facts, strategies and styles in people’s head but we couldn’t tell that they were doing any more outreach than when we started. Looking back I can’t help but think that was because we were teaching “About” evangelism and not actually doing it. We taught principles and how to have a conversation and what things to say or not to say or how to tell when it was time to leave someone alone but at the end of it all what it lacked was a real pairing of people who want to outreach with people who need reached out to.

I have already talked Church Steps here until I am blue in the face but what I am most thankful for is that we aren’t teaching about anymore. We are equipping and sending people. Guess what? They will figure out most of what they need on how to do it when they do it and when the process what happened. Think about this

We can spend 13 weeks filling up someone’s head with what could happen or we can send them and then
teach them through processing what they actually experienced. Which do you think
is a more effective teaching and learning strategy?

Developing Christians to Evangelize and Disciple

I have already posted a bunch of posts on our the outreach program we have been working on at Northwest called Church Steps (please check out that page if you don’t know what this ministry is but want more info on equipping and facilitating outreach in the congregation). The goal has been to engage our members in reaching out to others. To make a long story short, we laid out 5 steps that help us identify where people are at in their walk so that we can help get them to the next step:

Step 1 – Attract: Those we have invited but who haven’t come to anything yet where any of our people are – small group, worship, class, event, etc
Step 2 – Welcome: Those who have come to something. They made the move to show up…I know, very attractional but you have to start somewhere and it is working!
Step 3 – Relationships: Once they come we want them to connect with others
Step 4 – Transform: at some point, someone has to sit down and teach them about Jesus. It doesn’t just happen
Step 5 – Integrate: once they are baptized, they need to get involved

So we have had this class meeting every Wednesday night since last May (get the template here, template explained here). In this class we talk about who we know who we want to invite to church, study with, coordinate contact with those who have stopped attending, encourage our shutins, etc. We take our visitor information and get people to contact our visitors and invite them to small group, class, lunch, celebrate any victories from the past week and spend time studying and equipping. It has had a tremendous impact. Our people are on the lookout for visitors. Our visitors are finding the people who wrote them on Sunday and thanking them. Connections are being made but it has to get deeper.

This mirrors Jesus’ ministry
As I was thinking over the last 11 months of doing this something hit me between the eyes. I realized that if you look at Jesus’ ministry, the five steps is actually descriptive of what Jesus did. He invited people to follow him, formed a relationship with them, taught them and then sent them. What is more, people are at first most comfortable starting where Jesus started – inviting people. It is less threatening to invite someone via card or call than it is to study with someone. But what has happened is, the more we have gotten people doing steps 1-2 work, the more they realize the need to get deeper with these people (steps 3-5). So now they are asking for ways to take it beyond cards, calls, etc. What they are asking for is a way to move their ministry toward the more difficult steps. I don’t want it to sound like we haven’t had any movement on steps 3-5, we just haven’t been as intentional about it until now. I am very excited about this development.

Next move – So here is what we have to do. We have to get new people in, another group who will start where they are comfortable (working steps 1-2) and get those who have been doing it for 11 months working on those in steps 3-5. It is such a natural progression and now, after nearly a year it has finally clicked, not because I told them it needed to but because they now have the desire to go deeper with people. We are going to provide a regular fellowship event for the visitors we are contacting and may start providing funds for Sunday lunches with visitors. We are also going to start setting up Bible studies with those who are in Step 4 during Sunday morning Bible class using Jesus 101.

Please, contact me – I really want to encourage you guys…if you want to get your people moving on actually reaching out to their friends, connecting with your visitors and actually doing Bible studies with non-Christians please email me and let me send you all the resources. All free, all in pdf…easy to set up and facilitate – matthewdabbs@hotmail.com