Let’s Find Home Bible Study Prospects
One of the biggest problems that all soul-winning churches face is that of finding sufficient home Bible study prospects to set up a Bible study with. This is especially true in a small town or rural area, but this problem can be alleviated.
The pastor should constantly be after his people to turn in Home Bible study prospects. Unsaved people are like fish. They run in schools. When you get a man converted he knows many, many others who could be reached with the Gospel. Perhaps our best method of obtaining home Bible study prospects has been to constantly keep before our people the importance of turning names into us that they feel could be reached for Jesus. These are never what we call “Cold trails.” These are people who are being prayed for and will have been bathed in prayer before our visit. Again and again it should be emphasized to the people to turn in Home Bible study prospects to the pastor or the church office.
Those who visit the services. The week after a visitor attends a service he should be called upon by a member of the church staff, preferably by the pastor. This is urgent and should not be overlooked. These are people who know your church and will be your best Home Bible study prospects. They are people who have been in the service; they have felt the breath of Heaven and the presence of the Holy Spirit. They know about the church service and have been blessed by it. These by all means should be visited immediately after their visit.
New-Move List. A new-move list may be obtained in most towns from the Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Merchants Association or utility companies. Very definitely these people should be visited. We have made it a practice through the years to get this list, to send a letter to all the new people in town, inviting them to the church and sending a brochure concerning the advantages the church offers. This should be followed up very shortly by a visit from the church.
Employ a church visitation director. This could be a volunteer worker but, if possible, it should be a full-time job. Why not employ a poised, likeable person to be constantly taking a census in the neighborhood; constantly visiting the new people who move to town; getting information concerning their status spiritually, their church preference, etc. From this visit prospect cards can be made and given to the teachers for a visit later. Smaller churches could employ a combination secretary-visitor. Perhaps a lady would work in the church office in the mornings and visit in the afternoons.
Home Bible Study Census. Of course, the census is the most used and best way to obtain Home Bible study prospects. This method is simply getting the members together and going from house-to-house canvassing a certain neighborhood for Home Bible study prospects, making prospect cards of each person who is unchurched and giving it to the teacher to visit. The Quest Survey works very well for this purpose.
An inside census. We have found this very profitable in rural areas and areas where Home Bible study prospects are limited. An inside church census is simply taking a census of every house where the church members live. Many of the people who attend our churches have unsaved loved ones, unsaved tenants, unsaved landlords, etc. The inside church census is simply a census of all the families in the church and everyone who lives under their roof. You would be surprised how many Home Bible study prospects can be found in this type of census.
Years ago when I was pastor in the country we took a HBS census and found only seven home Bible study prospects. Then we took an inside church census and found over a hundred. From these hundred Home Bible study prospects, over forty were saved in a ten-day revival campaign.
This article “Let’s Find Home Bible Study Prospects” by Jack Hyles was excerpted from: Chapter 2 from Dr. Hyle’s book, Let’s Build an Evangelistic Church. April 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.