What Outreach Methods Are Most Effective?
We have discovered that the most effective and consistent manner to reach souls is the basic plan of prayer, fasting, and door knocking. Recently we promoted Project Contact 5000, a program in which for a particular period of time we contacted 5,000 people and invited them to our church. Each saint would contact so many per week, turning in the total number of contacts each week. The excitement kept building as new souls were added to the church. As a result of this, our congregation increased by 15-20 new people. God will honor your work and sacrifice.
Pastor Steve Wilson
Bethlehem Church of the Lord Jesus Christ • Potts Camp, Mississippi us ministry has been the most successful method of outreach used by Faith Tabernacle. I credit our success to the extensive efforts and heartfelt burden of an outreach team, which uses this ministry as a catalyst to reach not only the children, but also the whole family unit. Week after week our team contacts each family, sometimes multiple times, attempting to establish and maintain a sincere, personal relationship with the home. When Sunday morning comes around, each child is met with a warm breakfast burrito and an awesome smiling Sunday school staff.
This, joined with the powerful presence of God, keeps them coming back’ Remarkably, we have won entire families that are now faithful members of our church as a specific result of the tried and proven bus ministry. Bus Ministry has been the most effective tool in our hands, but it is only a part of our total battle plan to reach the lost souls of Lubbock.
J Pastor Dale Bostic Faith Tabernacle • Lubbock, Texas t is apparent to us that the areas of outreach that impact the Pentecostals of Anderson the most are those that do not benefit the church directly. We currently have five areas of focus for outreach.
1) Blitzing – This consists of our team going into the community and distributing literature and offering home Bible studies. We have achieved some success in this area, having some to attend church and others to receive Bible studies.
2) Special Occasions – We take advantage of special occasions to honor people in our community. We recently gave away four scholarships to some young people in our community and were able to attract their families to service. We plan to honor teachers and public officials, once again providing exposure to the community.
3) Nursing Home Ministry – We currently are serving seven facilities in our area. On almost every occasion we are having opportunity to minister to family members as well as staff. We must not forget that the elderly need this message as well.
4) Prison and Jail Ministry – We currently go to the state prison as well as the county jail and the work release facility. We have had a revival in the state prison with men being haptized in Jesus’ name and receiving the Holy Ghost. We have had men, upon their release, to come and worship with us. We also are seeing men and women in our county facilities being touched by the Truth of the Word of God. Once again, we arc endeavoring cake ourselves and our church visible in the community.
5) Community Involvement- We participate in community activities, such as the 4th of July parade at which our worship team sings on a trailer in the parade, and the Martin Luther King birthday celebration at which some of our choir members sang in a community choir. We have a food pantry from which we have distributed more than 60,000 pounds of food since May of last year. We provided food for 1,306 families. That breaks down as follows: 1,136 families that heard about us from the newspaper or social service agencies; 153 families that were referred from someone in our church; and 17 families from our church. We also host tailgates, in which the community drives through our church parking lot, and we distribute food and church literature. Those generally average about 157 families being served, which represents 628 men, women, and children.
I recently heard a man of God say, “If we will reach for those that no one wants, God will give us those that everyone wants.” I believe the key to our Apostolic revival is to reach to those who can offer nothing in return, and Cod will send us the help that we need to perpetuate that revival.
J Pastor Danny St.Clair First Pentecostal Church • Anderson, Indiana t might he surprising to some, but I attribute a lot of our
church buildup to effective Sunday school contests. In the 60s and 70s we placed a lot of emphasis on these contests. They tended to foster more growth than two weeks of revival. We would end our contest on Easter Sunday and have a big push for Easter. A lot of our growth was due to these events. I was Sunday school superintendent before I became pastor, and I always said if I pastored I also wanted to be superintendent because it is a position, if worked correctly, that can help a church have continual growth.
Bishop Nelson Pamer • Apostolic Church • Barberton, Ohio
One of the greatest challenges of a progressive Apostolic Church is to constantly evaluate, update, and augment its methods and modes of outreach. Simply stated, God has blessed us with exciting new means of communicating the Apostolic message to the lost. In addition, He has anointed talented, Holy Ghost-filled technicians to provide the needed skills to use these new medias to their maximum capabilities. We must take advantage of these tools for outreach.
First Apostolic Church of Knoxville has long been involved in the electronic media, i.e., radio and television. For well over 40 years in radio, and nearly 30 years in television, we have been privileged to carry the Apostolic message to our community. We have seen soul after soul, family after family, won to the Lord through these ministries.
In August of 2004, we embarked on a new outreach venture in the electronic communication age. We began broadcasting streaming audio and video of all our services on the Internet via the World Wide Web. Now, Sunday morning Bible class and worship service, Sunday night evangelistic service, and Wednesday night Bible study are all available live to anyone online at www.facknoxville.org. As of January, we have had more than 72,000 visitors to our web, site. Our web master tells us that we have many who now consistently view and listen to our entire services online. Contacts to our online guest book have included Apostolic missionaries and saints in Norway, Russia, Germany, and Kosovo. We are contacted constantly from Apostolic saints all around the United States and Canada. The website also offers a 24-hour Internet, all Gospel, radio station that plays primarily Apostolic artists for those who want to listen while working online. It even has a request line.
A great reward of this media has been those who have visited First Apostolic Church as a result of finding our church on the web. We have also been contacted on our prayer request line by souls in need of salvation and healing. We have received many wonderful praise reports about the blessings God has given through the prayers of the saints concerning these requests.
There is much evil and darkness in the world of electronic commmunications. It is our sincere prayer that we at First Apostolic Church be a beacon of light in the darkness found on radio, television, and the Internet. We are unapologetically Pentecostal in our worship and message. We refuse to let the denominal and nondenominal media outlets define who we are to this world. The lost can tune us in and see for themselves a true Apostolic church. They can see and hear us baptize in Jesus’ name. They can hear and see for themselves holiness preached and practiced.
Pastor Mark McCool First Apostolic Church • Knoxville, Tennessee Our approach to outreach has been a mixture of several different strategies, including the more traditional tools such as placing a full-page insert in our local newspaper, using mass mailings of church activities to each household in our community, and using outreach teams to go out into the community to place door hangers.
However, after Denver Stanford came to our church and taught a three-day seminar entitled “I Am a Soul Winner,” which emphasized personal evangelism, we realized a personal approach needed to be employed. This strategy has proven to be very effective. We began by clearing the church calendar of many of the events that focused on “inreach” and refocused our efforts and time to personal outreach. We have mailed to every household in our community a “Sunday Ticket” which is a personal invitation to be a guest in out services.
Also, we have implemented a program called Project Contact 5000 that has been embraced by the church body. This program is very simple but has proven to a very effective personal outreach effort. At the end of Sunday evening service, each person is given five church business cards which have our service information along with a map to our church, and a Contact 5000 form to record the names of their five contacts for the week. The following Sunday the completed cards are return and totaled. Our goal is to make 5,000 personal contacts this year.
As we get new people attending our services as a result of these efforts, we have established a plan called KEEP, which contains several personal strategies to be used as ameans of encouragement. In addition, we have set four special Sundays on our calendar that are intended to work in concert with our personal outreach efforts. These special days include Family Day, Easter Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, and Friend Day.
In each service we are seeing results. As we plant and water, God is giving the increase!
Pastor Tim Hammond
New Life Apostolic Church • Watkinsville, Georgia Without a doubt the most effect is c method of outreach for Christian Life Center in its most simplis tic form is our people And with that being said, I also recognize that as we endeavor to reach our community we must use every toot and technique available. But no matter how many Sunday school drives, billboards, commercials, and marketing ministries you may have and I’m for all of them -, we must never forget that the greatest potential for effective outreach is most likely sitting on your pew.
Quite possibly the church would be more effective if we trained and educated our people to realize the tremendous role they play in our church. Jesus took 12 and invested His vision, passion, and commitment to reach the world with the gospel. We should take His example as pastors and pour ourselves into our people and realize ultimately they are our greatest commodity for effective outreach.
Pastor James Kirk • Christian Life Center • Heath, Ohio
Our most successful form of outreach is the van ministry. Since
its inception, it has helped our church attendance increase 30-60 peo
ple each service, depending on the service. Also, it is a powerful way to connect to the neighborhood of your harvest field. We also allow the community to use our facilities to host events such as substance abuse treatment, housing authority community meetings, etc. This is another way to connect with your harvest field and gain name recognition.
We also still sponsor our inner-city basketball team, which reaches at-risk children along with their parents and friends (see September 2004 issue of the Apostolic Witness).
Pastor Lundy Logue • Apostolic Tabernacle • Wilmington, North Carolina
Endeavoring to fulfill our obligation to a lost and dying world, I would have to say that we have tried numerous ways with some success in all of our efforts. As a pastor and having worked in a large corporation, I know the need to be prepared to give an answer to everyone that asks. I put great effort in teaching the one-on-one concept of soul winning. Being ready! The saints are the points of contact for the church wherever they are. When preparation and godly burden “marry”, it will bring forth children.
Pastor Stephen Truehsel Grace Apostolic Church Rochester Hills, Michigan
Our church has tried just about everything to effective
ly reach lost people. We have used nearly every program and method imaginable. We have always bought the latest materials from great soul winners and soul-winning churches. None of these things made a significant impact until we developed a genuine love for lost souls.
The turning point in our church was the season when God imparted to us a love for souls. This came about through several years of preaching and teaching, and prayer and fasting about the importance of winning the lost. I preached this message until people were probably tired of hearing it. I stressed over and over that winning the lost is our primary purpose and calling. A love for lost people is one of our five core values at Faith Apostolic Church. It is a central part of our mission statement. Over a period of a couple of years, God really transformed us from self-centered, inward-thinking people to a church that genuinely loves lost people. Now people witness naturally. Now people automatically think about inviting people to church every week.
It is a love for souls that has made all the difference. Without it, all the latest programs and gimmicks will not produce Icing-term results. A God-given, heart-felt love for lost people is paramount to effective outreach.
Pastor Matthew Ball • Faith Apostolic Church • Cannel, Indiana
Twenty years ago my wife and I came to Maryville as acting pastor of a three-year-old daughter work of the First Apostolic Church of Knoxville. Shortly after we started pastoring, I was introduced to Search for Truth Home Bible Studies. After learning about this awesome outreach, there was no doubt in my mind that this was a tool I could use to reach my city with the truth.
My wife and I have taught hundreds of home Bible studies. We have personally won many souls who fill the pews at First Apostolic Church today. These studies have proven to be a great soul-winning tool. If you can read and flip a chart, you can win souls with this great tool. While teaching home Bible studies, you share the Word and you develop lasting relationships. The theme of Search for Truth is, “Open your heart, when you open your Bible.” Many times when you spend time with people sharing the Word, they realize you love them, thus opening their hearts to what you have to say. While developing these relationships, you also develop loyalties that last throughout the years.
Recently, my wife and I heard a message by Brother Wayne Huntley, who was teaching about home Bible studies. He taught that the treasure is in the field. Lost souls are the treasure and the field is the world. So, let’s go to the field and get the treasure!
Pastor Kenneth Carpenter First Apostolic Church • Knoxville, Tennessee
We are deeply involved in an outreach into our local community, using many different tools to reach the lost. Reverend Nathan Roberts, our minister of music, recently began using a new tool at our church dinner drama. Brother Roberts formed our drama team, using about 20 members of our youth group. This has proven to be very effective for reaching the lost. Also, it blesses our young people and our church.
This is how our dinner drama ministry works. We print 120 free tickets to be given to lost people. These tickets get thorn in the door. We also serve a very nice free meal. As our guests finish their meal, Brother Roberts and our drama team perform for about 45 minutes. The drama team performs under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. This exposes our guests to the presence of the Almighty God. This new tool has been very effective in reaching the lost in our community.
WPastor Virgil Harris Apostolic Faith Chapel • Gilbert, Louisiana
Without doubt the most fruitful outreach efforts for the Lighthouse Tabernacle have been those times spent in old-fashioned door knocking. In our town of approximately 20,000, we have knocked every door at least three times and some sections of the city have been visited even more.
Of course, programs must he in place to take advantage of growth, such as new convert classes, A Friend in Deed (placing new converts in the care of seasoned Christians), and planned activities for fellowship, etc. Far too much “grain from the harvest” is lost because of poor planning for new convert care.
We have found that on-going intercessory prayer coupled with the one-on-one approach of visiting every neighborhood is far more productive for us. Our youth department conducts Street Reach on a regular basis. They will spend a Saturday morning in visitation and then return to the church for fellowship and refreshments. It is a wonderful way to involve the youth in the great work of soul winning.
The only prayer request that Jesus left for us was, “Pray ve
therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest” (Luke I0:2). What a wonderful thought that as we labor in any outreach project we are becoming an answer to our Lord’s prayer request! So be faithful.
Bishop L.P. Upton • Lighthouse Tabernacle • Sulphur, Louisiana
The Kingdom of God is the greatest thing on earth. We represent the great King of Kings and the great church of the Living God. We cannot forget the poor. We must go to them and let in those know they are the most – important things on earth. People are the only thing God is going to, take off this earth, and they must be brought to the greatest place on earth – the church. Thus our limousine ministry (see January 2004 issue of the Apostolic Witness). Our outreach department picks up women and children who feel totally worthless and chauffeur them in a limousine to and from church, showing them they are important and offering them a message of hope and life. Revival has erupted at New Life Apostolic Church due in part to out limousine ministry.
Pastor Jack Bat son
New Life Apostolic Church • Nashville, Tennessee
Home Bible studies are the most consistently effective
outreach tool at Apostolic Gospel Church. The Word is always the best means of. soul winning, whether it he presented in a two-day study or a study of many weeks. Not only do we teach individual studies, we have a new convert’s class that meets weekly at the church. This class serves to help them mature in the Word, gives them a chance to interact with others, creates friendships, and serves to close the “back door” of the church.
We have also received a lot of recognition due to billboard advertising and a large ad placed in our local telephone directory. Our teens did a dinner theater in June, and it was so successful the Sunday School department did the same with their Christmas play.
Five years ago the pastors of three PAW churches and Apostolic Gospel Church formed a fellowship called AMA (Apostolic Ministerial Association). We had a millennium service on December 31, 1999 with a combined choir and messages from each pastor. We have attended various programs, and periodically the pastors meet for lunch to keep in touch. But we wanted more than an association. We wanted Zanesville to know that the Apostolics are community minded.
There are several elementary schools in Zanesville, but four have a very high poverty level. We adopted those schools through a program called Sharing Love. The members of our congregations purchase coats, hats, shirts, jeans, shoes, socks, and underwear. Along with hundreds of items of clothing, the four principals of these schools are each presented a check for $1,000 to help with needs that arise during the year, such as field trips or outings that students cannot afford. The first year we hosted a luncheon for the superintendent of the Zanesville city schools, the principals, and a few students. After lunch we had an interview with the local television station and the newspaper.
The past two years the churches have met at Apostolic Gospel Church for a service featuring musical numbers from each church and comments from each of the four principals and the superintendent. We are moved to tears as we hear how our small gesture has made such a bill difference in the lives of so many children. One principal related that she had to check on the absenteeism of a brother and a sister. Their mother said she could not send the children to school because they did not have decent clothes. The principal was able to Give each child two new outfits plus shoes and coats. Each principal has shared stories of how the lives of children and their parents have been touched.
Nor only are we making a difference in the lives of children, but we have caught the attention of our community. We receive letters of thanks and have even received a donation from someone who heard of our efforts.
We have moved into the field and have been able to become better acquainted with some wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to children. 1 also believe we have made a positive impact on these leaders in our community.
The key to outreach is entering into the field.
Pastor Larry Farris • Apostolic Gospel Church • Zanesville, Ohio
I am totally convinced that every pastor and church should have an outreach ministry. A healthy church and congregation has to have a constant flow of visitors and sinners to keep the fire burning in the souls of the saints. Visitors bring excitement to the pastor in preaching, and life to the church. If there are no visitors, the church will become dull, desensitized, and out of touch with God.
There are a lot of forms of outreach today. Some outreach methods we employ are: passing our tracts, outdoor singings and street meetings, door knocking, telephone canvassing, and bus ministry. All of these are very effective ways of reaching the lost and visitors.
I believe the pastor should constantly keep the congregation sinner conscious by continually preaching a burden for souls. I believe this comes with a prayer life for the lost. These things must be present before a person picks up a Bible study chart or endeavors to he an active part of outreach.
Our most effective means of outreach is a good visitor follow-up program. It is always easier to talk to someone who has visited the local assembly than to start from scratch.
We are blessed because our churches and organizations are becoming very aware of the need for training and supplying the tools for outreach. We have won more people through home Bible studies and cell/group ministry than any other method. We must continue to use the tools available to us in reaching the lost of our communities.