Issuu on Google+


© 2010, North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Alpharetta, Georgia. All rights reserved. The North American Mission Board grants permission for reproduction of this publication for educational purposes. Alteration of this publication is strictly prohibited. This publication may not be sold for profit. All other inquiries should be addressed to: Permissions, North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Pkwy., Alpharetta, Ga. 30022-4176; or e-mail permissions@namb.net. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture marked NKJV is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Associational Guide to “Reaching Across North America”


Table of Contents Thank You from Dr. David Meacham ...............................................................................................iii An Overview of “God’s Plan for Sharing” and “Reaching Across North America”..................1 Step-by-Step Guide to Involving Churches in “Reaching Across North America”....................3 • You, the ADOM, as “Reaching Across North America” Principal Leader • Rally the Troops: Keep It Simple and Make It Theirs • Organize a GPS “Reaching Across North America“ Steering Team xx “Reaching Across North America” Team Leader xx Prayer Leader xx Materials Distribution Leader xx Evangelism Training Leader xx Evangelistic Event Leader xx Follow-Up Leader xx Media Leader Association Timeline for “Reaching Across North America”.........................................................7 Pastor/Church Timeline for Reaching “Across North America”...............................................11 Available Materials and Resources ..................................................................................................13 Other Ideas That Can Help You Succeed .......................................................................................15 You Can Do It, We’re Here to Help! ..............................................................................................17 Addendum: Pastor’s Guide to RANA ............................................................................................19

i


Thank You From Dr. David Meacham Dear Friends, We are extremely grateful for all you do to assist Southern Baptists in the advancement of the kingdom. Your contribution to “God’s Plan for Sharing” is already being felt across North America. If someone has failed to say “thank you,” then let us be the first. In preparation for “Reaching Across North America 2012,” the second of six campaigns related to GPS, we have prepared a booklet especially designed with you in mind. It may seem to be excessively detailed, but we wanted to do our best not to assume anything. GPS is an initiative, a grassroots movement. Therefore, use what is best for you in your context. This guide is not just for large associations in metropolitan areas, but it will work for town and country communities as well as rural regions. Both small membership and large membership churches will benefit by participating in “Reaching Across North America.” See the following pages as a cluster of ideas. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you lead your association in “Reaching Across North America.” Let’s remember to stay focused on:

“Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing by 2020.” As always, if you need any assistance, your Acts 1:8 partners, including those of us at NAMB, are here to help you! Know that we are praying for your great success. For His kingdom,

Dr. David Meacham Vice President Associational Strategies North American Mission Board (770) 410-6522 / dmeacham@namb.net

iii


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net An Overview of “God’s Plan for Sharing” and “Reaching Across North America” In 2006, Southern Baptists elected as their president Dr. Frank Page, then pastor of the Taylors First Baptist Church, Taylors, South Carolina. Dr. Page had a dream of gathering God’s people together to collectively and cooperatively share the gospel of Jesus Christ across North America. Working in concert with Acts 1:8 denominational leaders, a national evangelism initiative was organized and implemented in 2010, called God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS). The goal of this initiative is to see God’s people “getting out of the pews and into the streets,” sharing the good news of Christ among all people groups in North America. From these humble beginnings, God’s Plan for Sharing was begun. The rally cry is simple, yet profound—“Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing by 2020.” It has the ingredients of church people meeting lost people, with a clear presentation of the gospel given to everyone by the end of the decade. To accomplish this goal, Southern Baptists met in workgroups across the continent. It was decided that GPS would be a National Evangelism Initiative, and not a “program in a box” handed down by the denomination. In other words, GPS would be a grassroots effort, with the denomination bringing encouragement and various resources to assist in the cause. God’s Plan for Sharing would have four biblical components proven throughout history to bring effective evangelism, revival, and spiritual awakening. They are: 99 Praying: Every church praying for lost people 99 Equipping: Every believer sharing as a trained witness 99 Sowing: Every lost person receiving a witness 99 Harvesting: Every church harvesting and celebrating every salvation response It was determined that to build the momentum of Southern Baptists through utilization of these components, six campaigns would take place between 2010 and 2020. The campaigns would take

gps2020.net

1


Reaching Across North America place during the even numbered years. Each emphasis would have a definitive theme to rally God’s people to share the gospel. The two years between campaigns would be used to develop the newly learned skills, involve more members, and develop new relationships among lost people identified through the campaigns. The campaigns announced were: 99 2010 Across North America (Saturation Evangelism… mission started!) 99 2012 Reaching Across North America (Attractional evangelistic events) 99 2014 Serving Across North America (Servanthood/Ministry Evangelism) 99 2016 Sharing Across North America (Relational Evangelism) 99 2018 Start Something Across North America (Start a new ministry, small group or church) 99 2020 Celebrating Across North America (Do whatever necessary to finish the task of the Great Commission) For 2012, Southern Baptists have chosen as the theme for the second campaign “Reaching Across North America.” This will include four simple steps: 1. An eight-week media saturation campaign during March and April, 2012. 2. Participating churches hosting, planning, and implementing a community-reaching evangelistic event sometime during April, 2012. 3. Participating churches prayerwalking and distributing invitations to the event one to two weeks before the event. 4. Afterward, participating churches doing follow-up with those who attended the event.

“Reaching Across North America” Pastor / Church Timeline February 1

March 1

April 30 Media Campaign

Praying

Equipping

Sowing

Pray

Praying Across North America

Hope. Find It Here Invitation Distribution

Promotion

Prayerwalking

Sharing the Gospel

Get Ready

Equipping and Training

Harvesting

Assimilating

Community Reaching Event

Five-week Follow-up

All the churches will need to do to participate in Reaching Across North America is host, plan, and implement a coordinated, community-reaching evangelistic event. 2

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net Step-By-Step Guide to Involving Churches in “Reaching Across North America” Once again, “Reaching Across North America” is a campaign designed to enhance the GPS initiative. Below is a guideline that has been proven and tested by Southern Baptists for years.

You, the ADOM, as the “Reaching Across North America” Principal Leader As you already know, everything rises and falls with leadership. If you give “Reaching Across North America” a high priority, the pastors in your association will make it a high priority. They are looking for guidance to change their world. Ask yourself, are you: 99 Praying earnestly about how God is going to use the Association where you serve to transform lives and communities through “Reaching Across North America”? 99 Learning everything you can about “Reaching Across North America”? 99 Talking with your colleagues, gleaning from their ideas about “Reaching Across North America”? 99 Personally prayed up and prepared to lead your association into the days of “Reaching Across North America”? 99 Developing a customized strategy well in advance of the actual days of “Reaching Across North America”? Does it contain all the training and meeting times on the calendar? 99 Thinking through the long-range plan for “God’s Plan Sharing” (Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing by 2020), and how it can positively affect your association?

gps2020.net

3


Reaching Across North America One of our ADOM’s, Larry Cheek (Stone Mountain Baptist Association, East Atlanta, Georgia), makes the following suggestions to help you as the principal leader of GPS: 99 A planning retreat with key leaders is an excellent way to get the project “jump-started” and underway. 99 Ask God to help you enlist a Leadership Team from those who express interest at the retreat. Simply ask for volunteers and then enlist the rest to fill out the team. 99 Give your Leadership Team clear expectations, accountability, and a job description. 99 Schedule bi-monthly Leadership Team meetings with a clear agenda. 99 You must enlist churches individually built off strong relationships. Letters and e-mails don’t work. Relationships are the key. 99 Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! You can’t talk about it enough. Tell the story and cast the vision so much that you are tired of saying it, then say it some more! 99 Express appreciation for partners in ministry (state convention partner and the North American Mission Board). 99 Be creative with financial resources to make GPS a reality! Every church already has budgeted monies for evangelism and outreach. They just need to be asked to use them for something with such a strategic impact. 99 Remember, money follows mission! 99 Tell pastors to enlist a team in their church. One can’t do it by himself. 99 Schedule several times for prayer. You cannot underestimate the importance of calling upon heaven! In many ways, you as an Associational Director of Missions will wear many hats for “Reaching Across North America.” Most likely, you will be the: 99 Chief  Promoter. If the ADOM is not the one heralding “Reaching Across North America,” it will not be as effective as it could have been. 99 Strategic Thinker. Being a grassroots initiative, the ADOM will be the one everybody will look to for a plan. Even though this guide is filled with ideas and suggestions, you will be the one to set the course. 99 Training Coordinator. Any evangelistic event ought to be an opportunity to train people how to pray, equip others with tools to share the gospel, sow, and harvest those who have made decisions for Christ. Seize the moment to host a training event prior to “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Logistics Manager. Materials and creative ideas for evangelistic events will be coming your way. Someone will need to be the point man for passing these on to the churches. You, as the ADOM, will need to see to this, or delegate the responsibility. Following are some further ideas on how to administrate effectively “Reaching Across North America.”

4

REACHING


Reaching Across North America Rally the Troops: Keep It Simple and Make It Theirs The first campaign, “Across North America, “ found great success and synergy because the ADOM’s involved their pastors on the front end of the campaign. They engaged them with “initiative thinking.” At the end of the first meetings, the ADOMs had given out assignments to implement their plan, with most having a key pastor (often the Moderator) as the chairman of their GPS “Across North America” committee. They also had a specific timeline for the campaign. They kept things simple and diligently tried not to make it complicated. The ADOMs worked hard to make it theirs. You will want to do the same for “Reaching Across North America.”

Organize a GPS “Reaching Across North America” Steering Team You will want to recruit some of God’s finest in the association for the following: 99 “Reaching Across North America” Team Leader. Often this person is the Moderator of the association. That being said, it is important that you have a strong leader with good administrative skills. He will have to relate to the association at large, organize the team for various meetings, and provide direction for the initiative. He will need to work in a healthy manner alongside the ADOM. 99 Prayer Leader. This person brings oversight to leading the association to not only pray for the campaign, but to teach God’s people how to pray for the harvest of lost people. This prayer leader will be a principal trainer and organizer of the prayerwalk. 99 Material Distribution Leader. This person will work with the local churches to prepare for distributing the invitations at their evangelistic event. He will also coordinate the “Hope. Find It Here” materials, and will have them properly disbursed to the churches in a timely manner. 99 Evangelism Training Leader. The “Reaching Across North America” campaign is an opportunity to train people in evangelism. The Evangelism Training Leader will train prior to the evangelistic event, teaching God’s people how to be a witness. 99 Evangelistic Event Leader. This person will organize the churches to develop and implement an attractional evangelistic, community-reaching event. This enormous task requires someone who can get items organized and people delegated to get the job done at the local church level. 99 Follow-Up Leader. Many churches need to be trained in how to greet visitors, how to create a “welcome” environment, and how to follow up on those who have responded to the gospel invitation. In addition, your association may want to seize this initiative as a time to “start something new.” One can be very creative here, whether it be a new Sunday School, a new church, or both. The Follow-up Leader should have imaginative skills that will enable him to help everyone create a strong “follow-up” plan for both the church and the association. 99 Media Leader. With the assistance of your convention partners, you will have the opportunity to participate in a media blitz surrounding the phrase “Hope. Find It Here.” It has a brochure, commercials, bill board, banners, and so forth for use in your community. The Media Leader should be one with experience in advertising, and should be able to implement a budgeted plan that provides these resources which will support the association’s initiative. In addition, this person should be able to have a working knowledge of present Web site utilities that provide free information (e.g., Facebook, YouTube). The Media Leader will have general

gps2020.net

5


Reaching Across North America oversight in seeing to it that all points of advertising appear as one unified simultaneous effort of the association. Obviously, you as the Associational Director of Missions will be providing strong leadership to the entire effort. You will also be a liaison with other resources available through your denominational partners. Remember, it is a team effort. You, at the helm, with careful and prayerful leadership, will assure success to this venture.

6

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net Association Timeline for “Reaching Across North America “ As the Associational Director of Missions, we would like to encourage you to start early with a timeline for “Reaching Across North America.” Here are some suggestions for your planning: January - February 2011: Cast the vision with the Association Leadership Team. 99 Whatever structure you have to lead your association, share with these people your heart and plan for “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Hand out all the materials you will use during the event. 99 Help them to see not only the advantages to the churches of the association, but the collaboration that will take place in 2012 with Southern Baptist churches. 99 Get all approvals necessary to proceed. March 2011: Organize your “Reaching Across North America” Leadership Team. 99 If appropriate to your context, recruit every leader mentioned in the preceding section and make clear their written job description from that section. 99 Do your best to communicate one phrase again and again to your team about “Reaching Across North America”—“KEEP IT SIMPLE!” 99 Meet together with this team regularly until the end of “Reaching Across North America.” April - August 2011: Cast the vision of “Reaching Across North America” with the pastors and staff. Here are some ideas for the vision-casting: 99 Have a banquet or lunch gathering. 99 Have an inspirational speaker, visualizing those who will come to Christ through “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Make sure you have given them all the material you presented in previous meetings. 99 Introduce your Leadership Team.

gps2020.net

7


Reaching Across North America 99 Help them visualize how “Reaching Across North America” will bless their church, the association, and the kingdom of Christ. 99 Begin signing churches up for “Reaching Across North America.” (Remember to sign up through the entire campaign). 99 Encourage pastors who will have revivals to schedule their evangelists now. September - November 2011: Compare notes with your colleagues. 99 At the state convention, speak with your colleagues about what they are doing with “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Compare notes and strengthen your cause. 99 Meet with your Leadership Team. 99 Order all of your materials for “Reaching Across North America” from your state partner. 99 Secure warehouse to store materials. December 2011: Have I forgotten something? 99 Use this time to pray and ask God to show you anything that may be missing in your preparation of “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Invite Leadership Team to the warehouse, and use this time to pray for the coming materials and work, once again casting the vision of “Reaching Across North America.” January 2012: Have a pastors and staff luncheon or retreat. 99 Review the “Reaching Across North America” materials with them in detail. 99 Utilize an inspirational speaker or speakers to encourage and motivate these leaders. 99 Use this time for each of your Leadership Team to speak about their responsibility, and form any subcommittees necessary. 99 Spend some time sharing your heart for the association, and lead in a season of prayer for how God will use “Reaching Across North America” to impact your part of North America. 99 Have all materials for “Reaching Across North America” stored in area warehouse. February 2012: Have a training time for the entire association. 99 Remember, any evangelistic event is an opportunity to train. As ADOM, seize the moment during this season to help the churches learn better how to share their faith. 99 You might want to include seminars like: “Prayerwalking 101,” “CROSS Evangelism Training,” “Making Your Church Attractive for Guests,” “Using High Impact Events to Grow Your Church,” and “Now That They’ve Come, What Are We Going To Do with Them?” 99 Your state partner (as well as NAMB) can assist you with this training. March 2012: Begin “Reaching Across North America” (see Pastor and Church Timeline). 99 As Associational Missionary, continue to beat the drum, highlighting in your newsletter stories and principles around “Reaching Across North America.” 99 Meet with your Leadership Team, making sure all details have been completed for the full impact of “Reaching Across North America.”

8

REACHING


Reaching Across North America April 2012: You are in the red zone … Pray! 99 Constantly be checking in with the pastors. Any needs? Any more assistance? How can you help? 99 Be the champion for prayer. Every home, every person in your community is worth it. May 2012: Celebrate what God has done! 99 Have an associational party. Worship the Lord with thanksgiving for all that has transpired. 99 Look for ways to thank your Leadership Team. Everyone needs encouragement. 99 Debrief with all “Reaching Across North America” groups. Learn from the debriefing. Pass on to NAMB anything that might help us with the next emphasis.

gps2020.net

9


Reaching Across North America

10

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net Pastor/Church Timeline for “Reaching Across North America” February 1

March 1

April 30 Media Campaign

Praying

Equipping

Sowing

Pray

Praying Across North America

Hope. Find It Here Invitation Distribution

Promotion

Prayerwalking

Sharing the Gospel

Get Ready

Equipping and Training

Harvesting

Assimilating

Community Reaching Event

Five-week Follow-up

You, as the Associational Leader, should schedule a time for the entire association to come together and celebrate the results of this spring initiative. It could be built around a meal. You may want to include a time of testimonies. Perhaps you can use the meeting as a catalyst to ask the question, “What now?” However you choose to organize, thank God for what He has done, and for those who are now a part of God’s kingdom because His people were faithful to the Great Commission.

gps2020.net

11


Reaching Across North America

12

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net Available Materials and Resources for “Reaching Across North America” To effectively do “Reaching Across North America” you will want to make sure you have the following: 99 Plenty of pastor/church guides for “Reaching Across North America” 99 Materials for the “Hope. Find It Here” invitation distribution (The “Hope. Find It Here” materials are in multiple languages) 99 Attractive brochures produced by the churches of your association to advertise their evangelistic event 99 Any other training materials your state convention can give you 99 Media materials or computer files from your state partner 99 Are you missing anything?

gps2020.net

13


Reaching Across North America

14

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net Other Ideas That Can Help You Succeed Between April 2010 and April 2012 are two years which can be used effectively to develop church health and the expansion of God’s kingdom. Here are eight suggested activities for this time frame that will undoubtedly impact your community. 99 Use this time frame to identify unreached people groups. Learn how to better reach and congregationalize the groups in your community. The North American Mission Board can be of great assistance to you in assisting with the identification of these groups, as well as equipping the people in your association to engage their cultures. Contact peopleteams@namb.net for more information. 99 Utilize your state convention’s church planting team to help you congregationalize newly identified people groups for which there are no culturally appropriate churches. 99 Form together clusters of other associations, asking the consistent question, “What are you doing with ‘Reaching Across North America?’” Iron sharpens iron. Benefit from the ideas of other associational leaders. 99 Utilize NAMB’s Evangelism Response Center (ERC) to train the churches in advance as telephone encouragers, and become covenant churches (www.erconline.net). 99 Keep a journal of “God stories.” You will be amazed how these stories will mount up through the process. Keeping a record from the beginning of “Reaching Across North America” will be a tremendous keepsake for the archives of your association. 99 Share your prayer needs with the larger Southern Baptist family. Go to www.namb.net/mcpr and leave your “Reaching Across North America” prayer needs. They will be shared with the larger SBC network of prayer warriors. 99 Keep checking www.GPS2020.net for additional resources and ideas. Let the Internet be a constant companion in this “Reaching Across North America” journey. 99 Let NAMB know of other ideas you may have during the campaign. We would like to share those with others.

gps2020.net

15


Reaching Across North America

16

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

You Can Do It , We’re Here to Help! The North American Mission Board stands ready to assist you. In addition, your state partner wants to help you. We desire the very best for your association, and ultimately the kingdom. Attached is an Addendum containing the “Pastor’s Guide to Reaching Across North America.” It will give you even more details on the campaign. Let us know how we can help. We are here to serve you. Associational Strategies North American Mission Board, SBC Hugh Townsend, htownsend@namb.net (770) 410-6524 Evangelization Group North American Mission Board, SBC Jerry Pipes, jpipes@namb.net (770) 410-6316 Church Planting Group North American Mission Board, SBC Les Dobbins, ldobbins@namb.net (770) 410-6248

gps2020.net

17


Reaching Across North America

18

REACHING


gps2020.net

Addendum

gps2020.net

19


Reaching Across North America

20

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net

21


© 2010, North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Alpharetta, Georgia. All rights reserved. The North American Mission Board grants permission for reproduction of this publication for educational purposes. Alteration of this publication is strictly prohibited. This publication may not be sold for profit. All other inquiries should be addressed to: Permissions, North American Mission Board, 4200 North Point Pkwy., Alpharetta, Ga. 30022-4176; or e-mail permissions@namb.net. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Scripture marked NKJV is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Hope. Find It Here Reaching Across North America Pastor/Church Preparation Guide


Table of Contents Vision .........................................................................................................................................................1 What is an Attractional, Evangelistic Event .......................................................................................3 Why Do Attractional Events .................................................................................................................5 Creative Ideas from the Frontlines ......................................................................................................9 How to Participate in Reaching Across North America ..................................................................11 Reaching Across North America Timeline .....................................................................................11 1. Local Church Revival 2. Friend Day 3. Area Crusade 4. Evangelistic Block Party 5. Felt Needs Conference 6. Ministry/Servanthood Evangelism Project 7. An Event Highlighting the Arts 8. Sporting Event GPS Event Planning Activities ...........................................................................................................25 Prayer Guide ..........................................................................................................................................27 Getting Your Church Ready for Company ........................................................................................29 Register Your Event ..............................................................................................................................33 Appendices .............................................................................................................................................35

Research – Utilizing Events in an Evangelism Strategy

Counseling and Follow-up

Evangelism Response Center (ERC) Information

Giving an Effective Invitation

Suggested Resources i


gps2020.net Vision God is at work in North America. He is at work in the hearts of those who know Him and those who are yet to know Him through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The vision of God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS) is to fulfill the Great Commission in North America through Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing by 2020. GPS is designed as a two-part process. 1. Churches intentionally aligning their evangelism ministry according to the biblical components of: a. Praying – Every church praying for every lost person b. Equipping – Equipping every believer to share as a trained witness c. Sowing – Every lost person receiving a witness d. Harvesting – Every church harvesting and celebrating every salvation response 2. Churches participating in bi-annual evangelism campaigns (every even year) that will result in Every Believer Sharing and Every Person Hearing by 2020. The campaign for 2012 is called Reaching Across North America and involves planning and implementing coordinated, attractional evangelistic events during the months of March and April. This manual will help you prepare for Reaching Across North America by providing a simple, strategic plan for resourcing and implementing an attrational, evangelistic event. Be sure to regularly visit www.gps2020.net for more ideas and resources to assist you in implementing GPS and Reaching Across North America. This Web site is provided to you through the partnership of the North American Mission Board, your state convention, and funds provided through the Cooperative Program. Also know that your Acts 1:8 partners (your association, state convention, and the North American Mission Board) are ready to assist you with additional training and consultation as you have need.

gps2020.net

1


Reaching Across North America

2

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net What is an Attractional, Evangelistic Event? Think of an evangelistic event as a relational door to your community that provides a great opportunity to reach lost people for Christ. A well-planned event will draw two groups of people: 1. Those who are ready to begin a personal relationship with Christ. This is why an intentional, well-planned, and biblically-based gospel presentation is necessary at an event. Not only should the gospel be presented, but also each believer in attendance should be equipped to share Christ in a one-on-one situation. 2. Those who are not ready to begin a personal relationship with Christ. For these people, hearing the good news simply sows the gospel seed in their hearts to sprout and grow later. However, if properly implemented, this event builds relationships between believers and unbelievers. When these believers are properly equipped, the relationships then lead to people receiving Jesus Christ later on. Notice the simple process and evangelistic outcome: • A well-planned, attractional event draws lost people. • The church captures, via registration, the vital data on all who attend. • The gospel is shared at the event, leading to some immediate decisions for Christ. • New relationships are built with lost people. • All new believers are assimilated into the church for spiritual (and thus numerical) growth. No matter how you look at it, well-planned evangelistic events lead to growth, both in the kingdom and in the church! Intentionality is a huge factor in effective evangelistic events. All events must be planned with evangelism in mind. Therefore, the keys to effective evangelistic events are: 1. A basic understanding of how people often begin a relationship with Christ. 2. Great preparation. Prepare for the event and prepare to share the gospel!

gps2020.net

3


Reaching Across North America

4

REACHING


gps2020.net Why Do Attractional Events? By Jerry Pipes

I am a surfing fanatic! Over the years from Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico to the Gold Coast of Australia and on to the beaches of Hawaii, I have gleaned one universal truth about surfing— surfers never create waves, they just catch them. Likewise, we don’t create the waves of God’s Spirit, we just catch them. Is God still sending the waves of His Spirit through harvest events? If you have attended church growth conferences in the past ten years and have bought into what you have heard, then your answer would be no—you would say event evangelism is a thing of the past! Revivals and crusades don’t work anymore. The problem with this conclusion is that harvest events are biblical, and overwhelmingly, growing churches that are reaching and baptizing a large number of lost people (not swapping sheep) are riding the wave of harvest events. (See research results in the Appendices.) 1. Attractional events are biblical In the early chapters of the book of Acts, Luke provides a strategy for reaching people that is as applicable today as it was in the first century. He records how the early church obeyed the Great Commission by leaving the prayer room and intentionally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost. Additionally, they took advantage of the supernatural attraction God provided when the 120 spoke in languages they had not learned by having Peter compellingly share the claims of Christ with the whole city. The event concept in Acts 1 and 2 is as simple as A-B-C: • A is for attraction. The Holy Spirit comes. There is the supernatural voice of God, a violent wind, a fireworks show (tongues of fire), and the speaking of foreign languages—from mouths that could not previously speak them. What a spectacle! The people in the community heard about it and came running. Just imagine 120 uneducated Galileans speaking the languages of the world—the event captured the attention of the city. They wanted to know what was going on.

gps2020.net

5


Reaching Across North America • B  is for bridges. The vertical bridge is the great prayer movement of the early church (see Acts 1:14), while the horizontal bridge is people reaching people—the 120 went out into the city and obediently shared. The process is simple—people reach people. • C  is for clearly communicating the gospel. Peter seized the moment and communicated clearly, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and 3,000 began relationships with Christ and were baptized! Why did 3,000 respond? Was it because Peter was such an awesome preacher? No. Was it the ten-day prayer meeting? That had something to do with it, but no. They obeyed God’s plan. The disciples prayed and waited for the Holy Spirit’s power, and then they went into the city sharing what they knew about Jesus. On every street corner, they saturated Jerusalem with the gospel by mobilizing the church. When Peter communicated the message, tens of thousands of prayed for people had already heard the individual stories of the 120. The result—harvest! Dr. David Wheeler, Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Liberty Seminary, says he is consistently asked why a church should do events. His response sheds light on the genius of the Acts 1 and 2 process for reaching people. I tell them it’s because events fit all three areas of strategic evangelism: plowing through prayer, planting through personal evangelism, and harvesting through the event. Effective events lead to people beginning a relationship with Christ, which is the first part of making disciples. It’s what we’re called to do! 2. Attractional events are effective! Churches that are reaching and baptizing a large number of lost people are using the same Acts 1 and 2 strategy. They touch heaven in prayer, mobilize their people to build sharing relationships with lost family, friends, and coworkers, and then they dot their calendars with attractional, evangelistic events (invest and invite opportunities). Though these churches may vary in their methods of prayer, personal evangelism, and events, they are all similar in that they clearly communicate the claims of Christ. Larry Wynn has used countless events as a cornerstone strategy in building Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Georgia, from 100 in Sunday School to more than 4,300 in approximately 30 years. During that time the church has baptized more than 9,000 people. Wynn states, Creative, cutting-edge harvest events have been a key to the growth of Hebron Church and the impact the church has had on the community. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn’t stop me and tell me they came to Christ and were baptized because of a church-sponsored event. “Creative, cutting-edge harvest events are making a dynamic difference in having an impact on the community with the gospel of Christ,” says Dr. Thom Rainer, a past researcher of effective churches and current president of LifeWay Christian Resources. “These events are not one-time shots with little or no lasting impact. Indeed, communities are changed for the better before the events begin and long after they are over.”

6

REACHING


Reaching Across North America Seeing past the surface of intentionally evangelistic events is Dr. Jim Coldiron, Consultant for Crusade and Revival evangelism for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Coldiron states, Event evangelism is like an iceberg, you see is just about 10 percent of the equation. A successful evangelistic event is about 45 percent preparation, 10 percent proclamation, and 45 percent preservation. In the local churches, the ones that don’t prepare are the ones saying event evangelism doesn’t work. The ones that prayerfully prepare are saying it works because they are reaping a harvest. One of my favorite activities is asking decision counselors at harvest events if this was their first time to help someone receive Christ. Are you ready? Ninety-five percent of the time it was, and they are so pumped!! Recently one man said, “Actually, last night was my first time, and it was my 9 year old daughter. Tonight I helped two teenagers come to Christ—I will never stop doing this!” A pastor said recently, “What an exciting experience it was to see someone share his love for the Lord with another person for the first time. My father-in- law had the chance to lead four teenage boys to Christ at the same time! WOW, how often do you see that?” May we, as evangelical pastors and leaders, start catching the waves of God’s Spirit through doing harvest events. May we follow the biblical model of plowing the soil of our communities through prayer, planting the seeds of the gospel through personal evangelism, and providing attractional events where the gospel is presented clearly. Last, a compelling invitation should always be given by someone with the gift of the evangelist. Then and only then—just like Acts 2 when Peter extended the invitation—can we expect the harvest!

gps2020.net

7


Reaching Across North America

8

REACHING


gps2020.net Creative Ideas from the Frontlines Shadow Hills Baptist Church, Las Vegas, Nevada… At least three times a year, Pastor Mike Rochelle personally hosts the following attractional evangelistic events. Pastor’s Masters is a golf tournament. Churchmen will be linked with lost friends during the 18 hole tournament. During the trophy hour, a strong testimony with a gospel invitation is given. Pastor’s Blasters is a trap shooting contest on a rifle range with 14 teams. The same strategy would be used, with a strong testimony and invitation given. Pastor’s Casters is a fly fishing clinic. Done with smaller groups (reservation required), Shadow Hills will take them to a special Rocky Mountain location. Trainers from the church family would work one-on-one with those in the clinic. During their stay, fly fishing trophies would be handed out, a strong testimony given, as well as an invitation to trust Christ. Learn more by contacting the church via www.shadowhills.org. Simultaneous Revivals, Scioto Valley Baptist Association, Ohio… The Bible says, “a cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Eccl. 4:12 HCSB). Bill Wellman, ADOM, knows this well. In 2010, his association decided to have a simultaneous revival campaign in conjunction with the distribution of “Across North America “ materials. Many of the churches that participated had few to no baptisms in the previous years, thus qualifying for Southern Baptist’s Baptism Assistance Program (BAP, www. baptismassistance.org). Fourteen churches from this association committed to the task and planned a revival for the week before Easter. In addition, the churches worked hand in hand with the evangelists (many of the churches utilized vocational evangelists, www.sbcevangelist.org). The results were a huge harvest for the kingdom and numerous churches revived. Learn more by contacting ADOM Bill Wellman at www.svbaohio.org. First Baptist Church, Altamonte Springs, Florida… Pastor Todd Lamphire and his church family decided to implement a campaign called, “50 Days of Fitness.” This campaign began by inviting the community to a fitness event. This holistic effort had nutritional seminars, a devotional guide, fitness coaches, financial counselors, and medical assistance, all helping an individual to develop a wellness strategy. The leaders were believers from the First Baptist family. A special invitation was given to the school system and the city of Altamonte Springs to join them. This attractional event has produced many decisions for Christ. Learn more by contacting the church via www.firstaltamonte.org.

gps2020.net

9


Reaching Across North America Birchman Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas… You have heard it said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Like a picture, using a theme helps to communicate your evangelistic event to the church and community. Pastor Bob Pearle, along with his assistant, Philip Griffin, have learned the value of doing just that. They have used such themes such as “Festival of Faith,” “Find Us Faithful,” “Carry the Light,” and “There Is a Remedy.” It has motivated the congregation to action and drawn the community in through curiosity. Learn more by contacting the church via www.birchman.org. McGehee Road Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama… Auto racing and car shows are the most attended sporting events in North America. What if you sponsored a Car Show, inviting the community to come to your parking lot? Pastor Greg Murks and the McGehee Road Church family decided to give it a try. With the assistance of church members Johnny and Christy Daughty (car enthusiasts), they recruited Mustang and sports car clubs to participate in a Saturday event. Their focus was twofold…outreach to the car owners and outreach to the community. Working hand in hand with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, this 100-member, senior-populated church distributed car show guidelines and even a tract using the acrostic C.A.R.S. The daylong festival was filled with people who heard the gospel. Learn more by contacting the church via www.visitmrbc.org. Chillicothe Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Ohio… Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, and October’s fall festivals are four events on most every church calendar. The Chillicothe Baptist Church in Scioto Valley, under the leadership of Pastor John Burris and his associate, Bill James, have done a superb job in capitalizing on these four main “crowd-drawers.” At Christmas, they have a dynamic musical, bringing people by the busload to their church during the holiday season. At Easter, the church puts on a special pageant with the same effect in the community. For Chillicothe, the 4th of July doesn’t pass without baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and the church’s fireworks show. Chillicothe Baptist also has a “Judgment House” each Halloween, inviting scores of young people for a dramatic portrayal of the gospel. The church decided long ago to do four things well. The community has stamped “amen” on their professional performances, with large crowds attending each night from around the region. At all four evangelistic events, the gospel was presented, many received Christ, the church was strengthened, and the community blessed. Recently, they also began a ministry called “River of Life” Amphitheater. At this event, they have hosted southern gospel, worship, and Christian rock concerts at the local park. Learn more by contacting the church via www.chillicothebaptist.org.

10

REACHING


gps2020.net How to Participate in Reaching Across North America Reaching Across North America involves four simple steps: 1. An eight-week media saturation campaign during March and April, 2012* 2. Participating churches hosting, planning, and implementing a community-reaching event sometime during March or April, 2012 3. Participating churches prayerwalking and distributing invitations* to the event one to two weeks beforehand 4. Afterward, participating churches doing follow-up with those who attended the event *Caution: Be sure to follow all local rules, regulations, and laws in placing promotional materials (i.e., Homeowners Associations, private property, and mailboxes)

Reaching Across North America Timeline February 1

March 1

April 30 Media Campaign

Praying Pray

Equipping

Sowing

Harvesting

Assimilating

Community Reaching Event

Five-week Follow-up

Hope. Find It Here Praying Across North Invitation Distribution America

Promotion

Prayerwalking

Get Ready

Equipping and Training

Sharing the Gospel

gps2020.net

11


Reaching Across North America All you need to do to participate in Reaching Across North America is host, plan, and implement a coordinated, community-reaching event. To clarify the terminology, “coordinated,” means conducting these events during the same time frame. To multiply the spiritual impact of thousands of Southern Baptist churches conducting attractional, evangelistic events, it is recommended that you plan and implement your event during March and April of 2012. To support this coordinated effort, a media saturation campaign will occur during these months. Though March and April are recommended, feel free to use the time that best suits your area and season of the year. “Community-reaching” describes an event that is saturated in prayer, well-prepared, attractional, and evangelistic.

12

REACHING


gps2020.net Attractional, Evangelistic Events You Could Host The Across North America Pastor Manual can be found on the Reaching Across North America page on the GPS2020.net web site. Each of the steps listed below will link to the appropriate section of the manual. You have the choice of using this hard copy or you can choose to use the online version.

1. Local Church Revival Creative Themes - Festival of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event*

Celebration of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* The Power of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* Revival of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* *In the blank, specify the length of the event (1-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day, etc.) This event is a local church campaign involving a series of consecutive services. It provides a great opportunity to attract lost people and introduce them to Christ. When properly planned and implemented, a revival serves as the platform for God to work in the lives of believers and nonbelievers alike. The following are general steps necessary to plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The page numbers listed refer to specific content in the Revival Preparation Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior – Recruit an event planning committee (pp. 15-21, 31-35), meet with planning committee (consider: theme, budget, revival team, prayer, hospitality, promotion, special activities/nights, food, supplies needed, evangelism, counseling/follow-up, and childcare) (pp. 37-43), and secure a revival team (pp. 23-26, 27-30) • 4-6 months prior - Recruit event staff (consider: choir/music and special activities/nights) (pp. 47-82)

gps2020.net

13


Reaching Across North America • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: inviting revival team to participate in training, choir rehearsal, evangelism, special activities/nights, counseling/follow-up, hosting revival team, food preparation, childcare, and promotion) (pp. 23-26, 47-82) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event inside the church and outside in the community ( pp. 51-56, 99-102) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 47-50, 77-93) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather any necessary food and materials (consider: giveaways for special activities/nights, evangelism materials, and follow-up materials) (pp. 45-82, Also see suggested resources in this manual.) • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact revival team, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, set up counseling room, finalize details, do a quick run-through (pp. 107-108, 109-112) • After the event – Counseling and follow-up

1. Evangelistic Block Party Creative Themes – Festival of Hope: Find It Here Streets of Hope: Find It Here The evangelistic block party is an intimate, highly effective attractional evangelism event enhanced by a personal evangelism thrust. Fellowship, entertainment, fun, food, and specific ministries provide numerous opportunities for sharing Christ in a non-threatening setting. The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The steps listed refer to specific content in the Block Party Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) See suggested resource section of this manual to order or download a copy. • 6-12 months prior – Recruit an event planning committee, meet with planning committee (consider: budget, special guests/personalities, prayer, promotion, equipment needed, food, supplies needed, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up), secure any special conference personalities, find a location, and secure necessary permissions and/or permits • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: event responsibilities, food, hosting of event personalities, registration, promotion, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event (inside the church and outside in the community) and mobilize the church to pray • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather any necessary food and materials • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact special invited personalities, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, set up, do a quick run-through • After the event – Counseling and follow-up

14

REACHING


Reaching Across North America 2. Area Crusade Creative Themes – Festival of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event*

The Power of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* Celebration of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* Crusade of Hope: Find It Here – A ___ Day Event* *In the blank, specify the length of the event (1-Day, 2-Day, 3-Day, etc) An area crusade is a coordinated effort of churches in a specific area working together to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The area may be a city, part of a city, an association, or a county/township. The following are general steps necessary to plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The page numbers listed refer to specific content in the Area Crusade Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior – Meet with other area churches to discuss the idea of a crusade, recruit an event planning committee (recruit from all participating churches) (pp. 1:1-1:2), meet with planning committee (consider: theme, budget, crusade team, prayer, hospitality, promotion, special activities/nights, food, supplies needed, evangelism, counseling/follow-up, and childcare) (pp. 1:3-2:8, 5:1-5:6, 6:1-6:51), secure a crusade team and event facility (pp. 1:3—1:4, 3:1), recruit an event staff from all participating churches (consider: choir/music and special activities/nights), and mobilize the churches to pray (pp. 2:1-2:8) • 4-6 months prior – Order printed materials and any giveaway items needed (Refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) • 2-4 months prior - Train event staff (consider: inviting crusade team to participate, choir rehearsals, evangelism materials, special activities/nights, and counseling/follow-up materials) (pp. 6:1-6:51, also refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event (inside the churches and outside in the communities) (pp. 6:37-6:39) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather any necessary food and materials • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact the crusade team, review any last minute-details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event (pp. 4:1-4:2, 6:37-39) • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, do a quick runthrough • After the crusade – Counseling and follow-up (pp. 6:16-6:25)

3. Friend Day Creative Themes – Day of Hope: Find It Here – A One-Day Event

The Power of Hope: Find It Here – A One-Day Event Celebration of Hope: Find It Here – A One-Day Event A Friend Day is a one-day event where church members are encouraged to bring a lost friend with them to church. It can be treated as a one-day revival. The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (This event would be planned as a one-day revival. The page numbers listed refer to specific content in the Revival Preparation Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.)

gps2020.net

15


Reaching Across North America • 6-12 months prior – Recruit an event planning committee (pp. 15-21, 31-35), meet with planning committee (consider: budget, special guests/personalities, prayer, promotion, equipment needed, food, supplies needed, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up) (pp. 37-43), and secure special conference personalities/leaders (pp. 23-26, 27-30) • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff (pp. 47-82) • 2-4 months prior – Train the event staff (consider: inviting special event personalities to participate in training, choir rehearsal, evangelism, special activities/nights, counseling/ follow-up, hosting revival team, food preparation, childcare, and promotion) (pp. 23-26, 47-82) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event (inside the church and outside in the community (pp. 51-56, 99-102) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 47-50, 77-93) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather any necessary food, materials, giveaways, counseling, and follow up resources. (pp. 45-82, Also see suggested resources in this manual.) • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact special invited personalities, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, set up counseling room, and do a quick run-through (pp. 107-108, 109-112) • After the event – Counseling and follow-up

1. Felt Needs Conference Creative Themes – Hope for the Family: Find It Here

Hope for Tomorrow: Find It Here Events such as a marriage enrichment seminar, financial planning/debt reduction, career planning, job fairs, or family issue seminars provide an open relational door to your community, as well as, an opportunity to share the gospel. The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The steps listed refer to specific content in the High Impact Event Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior – Recruit an event planning committee, meet with planning committee (consider: community assessment to determine the event, budget, special guests/personalities to conduct the event, logistics, prayer, supplies needed, evangelism, and counseling/followup), secure conference leader(s), find a location, and secure necessary permissions and/or permits (pp. 16-39) • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff (pp. 18–39, 75) • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: event responsibilities, refreshments, hosting of event personalities, registration, promotion, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up) (pp. 18–39, 75) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event (inside the church and outside in the community) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 18-19, 30–33) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather any necessary food and materials (pp. 34-35, 75, also refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact invited personalities, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event (pp. 20-21, 75)

16

REACHING


Reaching Across North America 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, set up counseling room, do a quick run-through (p. 75) • After the event – Counseling and follow-up (pp. 22-27)

2. Ministry/Servanthood Evangelism Project Creative Themes – Project Hope: Find It Here

Hope In Action Serving the people who live in your community is the simplest, most transferable, and most fun approach for moving believers closer to a biblical lifestyle marked by consistent witnessing. Christ first exemplified this lifestyle by reaching out to an unsaved world. Servanthood projects may include a single mom’s car care event, giving away water at a community event, washing windows, or changing batteries in smoke alarms/carbon monoxide monitors. This list is only meant to begin your thinking about possibilities. To discover more about servanthood evangelism project get the Servanthood Evangelism Manual (see the Suggested Resources section of this manual). The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list of everything associated with planning a community-reaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The page numbers provided refer to locations in the High Impact Events Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior - Recruit an event planning committee, meet with planning committee (consider: community needs to determine the actual event, budget, logistics, registration, materials needed, prayer, promotion, refreshments, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up), find location, and secure necessary permissions and/or permits (pp. 16-39) • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff (pp. 18-39, 69) • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: event responsibilities, create a registration form, train for evangelism, counseling and follow-up, etc.) (pp. 18-39, 69) • 1-2 months prior - Begin promoting event (inside the church and outside in the community) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 18-19, 30-33) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather the necessary food and materials (pp. 34-35, 69, also refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) • 1-2 weeks prior – Review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event (pp, 20-21, 69) • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, do a quick runthrough (p. 69) • After the event – Counseling and follow-up (pp. 22-27)

3. An Event Highlighting the Arts Creative Themes – An Evening of Hope: Find It Here

Day of Hope: Find It Here Festival of Hope: Find It Here In most communities there are groups who regularly participate in cultural arts. Consider hosting one of these events: a dinner theater, a concert, an exhibit featuring local artists, an arts festival, or a music/art class. The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list everything associated with planning a communityreaching event. Adjust this list as necessary.

gps2020.net

17


Reaching Across North America Planning the Event (The page numbers listed refer to specific content in the High Impact Events

Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior – Recruit an event planning committee, meet with planning committee (consider: type of event, budget, promotion, special guests/personalities, prayer, supplies needed, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up), secure special conference personalities, find a location, secure necessary permissions and/or permits (pp. 16-39) • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff (pp. 18-39, 74) • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: event responsibilities, refreshments, hosting of event personalities, registration, promotion, evangelism, and counseling/follow-up) (pp. 1839, 74) • 1-2 months prior – Begin promoting the event (inside the church and outside in the community) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 18-19, 30-33, 74) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather the necessary food and materials (pp. 34-35, 74, also refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) • 1-2 weeks prior – Contact invited personalities, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event (pp. 20-21, 74) • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, set up counseling area, do a quick run-through (p. 74) • After the event – Counseling and follow-up (pp. 22-27)

1. Sporting Event Creative Themes – Aiming at Hope

Catching Hope People of all ages love sports. A springtime sporting event could be hunting or fishing, a sportsman’s dinner, a golf tournament, a fun run, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, or a sports camp for children and youth. The following are general steps to help you plan this event. They should only be considered a guide and not a comprehensive list everything associated with planning a communityreaching event. Adjust this list as necessary. Planning the Event (The page numbers listed refer to specific content in the High Impact Events Manual where more in-depth planning information is available.) • 6-12 months prior - Recruit an event planning committee, meet with planning committee (consider: type of event, budget, logistics, registration, equipment needs, prayer, promotion, refreshments, evangelism, special guests, and counseling/follow-up), secure sports personalities, find location, and secure necessary permissions and/or permits (pp. 16-39) • 4-6 months prior – Recruit event staff (pp. 18-39, 55-62) • 2-4 months prior – Train event staff (consider: event responsibilities, create a registration form, train for evangelism, counseling and follow-up, etc.) (pp. 18-39, 55-62) • 1-2 months prior - Begin promoting event (consider: how registration forms will be submitted and fees, if any, are processed) and mobilize the church to pray (pp. 18-19, 30-33, 55-62) • 2-4 weeks prior – Gather necessary sporting equipment, gather any necessary food and materials (sports drinks, water, plates, napkins, forks, snacks, etc.) (pp. 34-35, 55-62, also refer to the Suggested Resources section of this manual) 18

REACHING


Reaching Across North America 1 -2 weeks prior – Contact invited sports personalities, review any last-minute details, prayerwalk the community and, if applicable, distribute invitations to the event (pp. 20-21, 55-62) • 1 day prior – Meet with planning committee and event staff, finalize details, set up counseling area, and do a quick run-through • After the event – Counseling and follow-up (pp. 22-27)

gps2020.net

19


Reaching Across North America

20

REACHING


gps2020.net

Event Tasks

gps2020.net

21


Reaching Across North America Event Tasks

Time Prior Event Local Church Revival Festival of Hope: Find It Here Celebration of Hope: Find It Here The Power of Hope: Find It Here Revival of Hope: Find It Here

Friend Day Day of Hope: Find It Here The Power of Hope: find It Here Celebration of Hope: Find It Here

Area Crusade Festival of Hope: Find It Here The Power of Hope: Find It Here Celebration of Hope: Find It Here Crusade of Hope: Find It Here

Evangelistic Block Party Festival of Hope: Find It Here Streets of Hope: Find It Here

Felt Needs Conference Hope for the Family: Find It Here Hope for Tomorrow: Find It Here

Ministry/Servanthood Evangelism Project Project Hope: Find It Here Hope In Action

Event Highlighting the Arts An Evening of Hope: Find It Here Day of Hope: Find It Here Festival of Hope: Find It Here

Sporting Event Aiming at Hope Catching Hope

22

6-12 Months

4-6 Months

2-4 Months

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure a revival team

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure special conference personalities

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Meet with other area churches Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure a crusade team and event facility Recruit event staff from all participating churches Mobilize the churches to pray

Order printed materials and any giveaways needed

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure conference personalities Find a location Secure permissions and/or permits

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure conference leader(s) and event location Secure permissions and/or permits

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Find a location Secure permissions and/or permits

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure special conference personalities Find a location Secure permissions and/or permits

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

Recruit an event planning committee Meet with planning committee Secure sports personalities Find a location Secure permissions and/or permits

Recruit event staff

Train event staff

REACHING


Reaching Across North America Event Tasks

1-2 Months

2-4 Weeks

1-2 Weeks

1 Day

After the Event

Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact revival team Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Set up counseling room Finalize details Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact invited personalities Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Set-up counseling room Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact crusade team Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact invited personalities Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Set-up Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact invited personalities Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Set-up counseling room Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Gather the necessary food and materials

Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Gather the necessary food and materials

Contact invited personalities Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Set-up counseling area Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Gather the necessary sporting equipment Gather any necessary food and materials

Contact invited personalities Review any last minute details Prayerwalk the community and distribute invitations to the event

Meet with planning committee and event staff Finalize details Set-up counseling area Do a quick run-through

Counseling Follow-up

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

Begin promoting the event

Begin promoting the event Mobilize the church to pray

gps2020.net

23


Reaching Across North America

24

REACHING


gps2020.net GPS Event Planning Activities The following are some activities and resources associated with the GPS biblical markers, that may help you better plan and implement Reaching Across North America: 1. Praying - Each aspect of the event, everyone involved, and the people of your community should be saturated in prayer. Here are a few ideas to get you started praying: a. Prayerwalk your community b. Plan for 40 days of prayer c. Plan a 24-hour prayer vigil d. 3:16 cards e. Discover and pray for lost people in your community f. Develop Countdown Calendars 2. Equipping - Plan an “invest and invite” event that meets a felt need and is of interest to your community. Next, you should equip your church to implement the event, as well as share the gospel. In other words, your church should be well prepared to host this evangelistic event. Here are a few ideas to help you equip your congregation to host an event: a. Use the Plan-It feature on www.gps2020.net to select and plan your event b. Refer to the Revival Preparation Manual, Area Crusade Manual, and the High Impact Events Manual at www.gps2020.net for help in planning for an event. c. Select counselors and train them properly d. Use Operation Andrew Cards e. Use multiple personal evangelism approaches for the training (CWT, NET, FAITH, witnessing booklets, Connect, etc.) f. Plan for follow-up 3. Sowing –Much effort must be given to mobilize your congregation to get the word out into the community about this event. Here are a few ideas to get you started sowing: a. Distribute tickets promoting the event b. Promote special services (Family Night, Student Night, Children’s Night, etc.) c. Plan a servanthood evangelism project or season of service

gps2020.net

25


Reaching Across North America a. Distribute a gospel drop-in piece with an invitation to an attractional event b. Publicize with posters, signs, printed ads, and radio and/or TV spots 4. Harvesting – This event must be intentionally evangelistic. Plan to share the gospel at this event and provide opportunities for your congregation to share with individuals. Also make plans for follow-up and assimilation of new believers into the church. Here are some ideas for harvesting and celebrating God’s work: a. Plan times and people to present the gospel during the event and give an invitation b. Plan a baptism celebration for new believers c. Do spontaneous baptisms (be sure you have parental permission for children) d. Plan counseling and follow-up for seekers and new believers e. Start something new (class, ministry, or church)

26

REACHING


gps2020.net Prayer Guide If Reaching Across North America is to be effective, then God’s people must pray. This prayer guide is provided to encourage you and your congregation to begin diligently praying for the salvation of lost people in your community and for those sharing the gospel. Here are some simple ideas to help you mobilize your church to pray: 1. Enlist a Prayer Coordinator. Seek out someone who already prays consistently to fill this position and organize this effort. 2. Determine dates to prayerwalk your community prior to the event you are hosting. Select alternate dates also in case of inclement weather. 3. Enlist prayerwalkers within your church. Have a sign-up sheet for people to commit to prayerwalk your community prior to your event. Encourage members of all ages and stages of life to participate. For those unable to travel throughout the community, enlist them to pray at their home or church. Gather the following information from those participating: a. Name and contact information b. Do they plan to walk alone, with a group, or at home/church? c. Do they have a location whey they would commit to prayerwalk (such as neighborhoods, schools, public places, etc.)? Remind them they can walk, run, or even drive as they pray. 4. Create prayerwalk routes based on the number registered. These will be distributed when you meet with your prayerwalkers. 5. Gather the necessary material and resources. a. Contact your local association for available prayer resources. b. Visit www.gps2020.net for available prayer resources. There are many located here that can be downloaded for free. c. View the Suggested Resources section of this guide for available prayer resources d. Consider using the HEART acrostic as a guide for praying for lost people as your travel throughout your community:

gps2020.net

27


Reaching Across North America H – Pray for receptive Hearts (Luke 8:5,12). E – Pray that their Eyes will be opened (Matt. 13:15). A – Pray for their Attitude adjustment (John 16:8) R – Pray for them to be Released to believe (2 Tim. 2:25-26) T – Pray for their Transformation (Rom 12:1-2) 6. Organize people who would like to prayerwalk in groups. Keep the groups small in size, between two to four people. 7. Plan a meeting with the prayerwalkers to conduct a brief training, assign groups, and distribute prayerwalk routes. Those who stay behind to pray can pray for a location, street, or even those traveling throughout the neighborhoods. 8. Prayerwalk your community on the assigned day(s). Be sure to view the Suggested Resources section of the manual for resources and ideas for praying for your community. Also, regularly visit the GPS web site www.gps2020.net for up-to-date resources and ideas for praying for each lost person in your community.

28

REACHING


gps2020.net Getting Your Church Ready for Company It’s Sunday morning. The Smith family has decided to attend church for the first time in over 12 years. They chose First Church because of an event you hosted and an invitation from some of your members. As they turn into the parking lot it is difficult to find a parking place. After driving around for several minutes, they finally park but aren’t sure where to go. The first door they come to is locked and there is no one in sight to help them. Mr. Smith notices a couple walking toward the front of the church so they quickly turn and follow them. Once inside, a bulletin is shoved in their hands, and they are told to find a seat quickly because the service is about to begin. After stepping over three families who would not move down the pew, they are finally seated as the music begins and everyone is told to stand. After the service, the Smith family left without anyone speaking to them, inviting them to Bible study or expressing any interest. However, the Smiths did make a decision that day—they decided never to go back to First Church again. It was not because they did not like the sermon or the music. It was because First Church was just not ready for company. Reaching Across North America is quickly approaching. Plans are being finalized to make sure those in your community receive an invitation to attend your event and your church. However, a question remains to be asked. With all this work you are doing to invite people, is your church ready for company? Each service cannot be “business as usual.” There must be a plan to make sure each guest feels welcomed, loved, and wanted. Many of the people who will be visiting your event and service may have never attended church. Their attendance might be revealing a new receptivity to spiritual things or a personal search for answers to life issues. If your church is not ready for company, it could mean they will never return or respond to the gospel.

gps2020.net

29


Reaching Across North America Some might think that too much attention is being given to guests. Let’s take a look at what Jesus says on this issue. In Matthew 25:35 Jesus said, “…I was a stranger and you invited me in” (NIV). It sounds like Jesus wants us to be hospitable to strangers. Another passage is Hebrews 13:1-2 where we read, “Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers…” (NKJV). “Brotherly love” should not stop with the brothers. It should continue beyond the borders of those we know. The word “entertain” means hospitality. God’s Word commands us to show love to everyone, even strangers. So what should our church do to get ready for company? In the pages that follow are several easy yet essential steps every church can take to make certain they are prepared. Some churches might feel what they offer is simply okay. It might not be the best, but it is good enough. What is an acceptable level of quality performance? Is it 50 percent of your guests feeling welcomed? Seventy-five percent of your guests feeling loved? Ninety percent of your guests feeling wanted? Well, if 99.9 percent is an acceptable goal for your church, how would this goal impact other areas of life? • 12 babies would be given to the wrong parents each day in America. • 200,000 drug prescriptions would be filled incorrectly in the next 12 months. • 107 incorrect medical procedures would be performed each day. Since 99.9 percent is not good enough for parents, pharmacists, and doctors, it should not be good enough for churches. We have one chance to make a good first impression.

Outside the Church A. Your church campus must: • Have directional signs in parking areas and outside of buildings • Be well landscaped • Be clean and well maintained • Be inviting Everyone has heard of body language. There is building language as well. Your building communicates how much the members of your church value their church facility and the ministries offered. B. Parking Areas • Adequate number of guest parking areas • Guest parking must be easy to locate and identify • Guest parking must be your best parking spaces • Guest parking must have greeters outside Why do we need guest parking spaces? Researchers have discovered that church guests decide whether or not to return to the church they are visiting in the first 10-12 minutes upon entering the church campus. Greeters can ensure the first ten minutes for your guest are the best. If you do not have guest parking with greeters, you cannot be certain their first ten minutes will be a positive experience.

30

REACHING


Reaching Across North America C. Guest Parking Greeters • Should be your friendliest people • Must wear name tags • Need to understand the value of this ministry This time is critically important and should be used to discover useful information about the guest(s) such as their names, where they are from, how long they have lived in the area, information about their family, interests, and possible needs. D. Transitioning Your Guests to the Inside Guest parking greeters should escort all guests from the parking lot to the Welcome/Information Center and introduce them to the Welcome Center staff.

Inside the Church Why should our church have a Welcome/Information Center? Most families do not visit a church when things are going well. Usually, they attend during a crisis or time of need. They might be looking for help, friendship, or fulfillment in life. If your church does not have a Welcome/ Information Center, how will a guest find out about your youth ministry, parenting classes, marriage retreat, women’s Bible study, or any of the other wonderful ministries, and activities your church offers? At the Welcome/Information Center, guests can discover many of the benefits your church offers those who attend. You may unknowingly discuss how your church can meet one of their most critical needs. They probably will not receive this information during a worship service and certainly will not have the opportunity to ask questions. At the Welcome/Information Center, guests are informed and encouraged to get involved in the life of your church. A. Welcome/Information Center • Should have very friendly greeters • Should have well–informed greeters who know all about the church ministries • Should have greeters who can provide up-to-date information on ➣➣ Upcoming events for all ages ➣➣ Recreational leagues and opportunities ➣➣ Discipleship classes/small groups ➣➣ Church staff and ministry directors ➣➣ All age-graded and affinity ministries ➣➣ Contact information ➣➣ Campus map After visiting the Welcome/Information Center, the greeter should escort the guest to the appropriate area, such as nursery, children’s church, youth ministry, discipleship classes, or worship center. The greeter should introduce the guest to the ministry staff or leader and make sure they are accommodated.

gps2020.net

31


Reaching Across North America B. Nursery area must be: • Clean • Safe • Secure • Organized Some guests may not be ready to leave their newborn in your church’s nursery. To assist visiting parents with this emotional dilemma, it might help to encourage them to tour the nursery area and make their own decision. If they still do not feel comfortable leaving their baby, you can suggest they sit in the back of the worship center to allow easy access to the foyer. C. Acknowledging Guests During a Worship Service • Most guests prefer anonymity while visiting a church. They do not want to raise their hand, stand up, or stay seated while everyone else stands. They want to do what everyone else is doing and feel as comfortable as possible. • It is important for someone to acknowledge them in a way that makes them feel welcomed and wanted. Since they will be blending into the crowd, church leaders must teach their members to value their guests and speak to those seated around them with a kind word and inviting smile. • It is critical for church leaders to gather the contact information of their guests to follow up with them. Guest cards may be placed in pew racks or in bulletins. Whoever acknowledges the guests should politely encourage them to fill out a guest card and place it in the offering plate or preferred areas. • Some churches have a guest reception following each worship service to give them an opportunity to meet the pastor and staff. Most churches consider themselves very friendly. The truth is they are, but usually only to each other. It is important for your church to do its best to make sure every guest feels loved and welcomed. As you incorporate these ideas and your own into the life and ministry of your church, you will be well on your way to “Getting Your Church Ready For Company!”

32

REACHING


gps2020.net Register Your Event The media campaign for Reaching Across North America will direct the lost and unchurched people of your community to the evangelistic web site www.FindItHere.com. On this site people will be able to interact with a gospel presentation, locate a Southern Baptist church, and find an evangelistic event to attend in March and April. To make these events available for viewing on this site, we need all participating churches to register their events. All registered events will populate under the “Find An Event” button located on the Find It Here web site. In order to make your event known to your community, we need you to make it a part of this database by registering your event as soon as possible! To register your event, go to www.gps2020. net and click on the “Reaching Across North America” button. From there, click on the “Register Your Event” button and simply follow the instructions. Once completed, your event will be added to the master list and be available when people search for events your area.

gps2020.net

33


Reaching Across North America

34

REACHING


gps2020.net Appendices

1. Research: Utilizing Events in an Evangelism Strategy 2. Counseling and Follow-up 3. Evangelism Response Center (ERC) Information 4. How to Give an Effective Invitation

gps2020.net

35


Reaching Across North America

36

REACHING


gps2020.net Research Utilizing Events in an Evangelism Strategy In 2009, the Spiritual Awakening and Mass Evangelism Team of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) commissioned Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Roy Fish Chair of Evangelism and Missions to do a comprehensive study on evangelistic events in Southern Baptist churches across the country. Five hundred of the most effective evangelistic churches in the SBC* and 500 comparison churches were asked this question, “Other than VBS, does your church utilize attractional, evangelistic events?” For this study, attractional, evangelistic events were defined as special events that: • Intentionally drew lost people through relationships and attraction • Presented the gospel • Provided an opportunity for those in attendance to respond The primary sample consisted of 519 of The Most Highly Effective Evangelistic Churches* (A-Churches) from a larger pool of 3196 churches that met the criteria mentioned below. The secondary sample consisted of 519 Less Effective Evangelistic Churches* (B-Churches) from a larger pool of 4060 churches which met the criteria mentioned below. Both samples are composed of churches in the top 45 percent of all Southern Baptist churches in total baptisms (2007 ACP), and both enjoy precise proportional representation from each state convention. Churches of varying sizes are represented, though not proportionally, in both samples, and both samples were limited to churches with a total membership of 50 or more (2007 ACP). The reliability of the study: • Interviewed 1 in 6 churches that met the criteria for highly evangelistic churches • The margin of error was less than .1% • Proportional representation from every state convention and significant representation from churches of all sizes • Academic peer review

gps2020.net

37


Reaching Across North America Key findings (for a more detailed report, please go to www.gps2020.net ): • Over 92% of the “A” pool churches utilized attractional, evangelistic events • “A” pool churches did over 40% more events than “B” pool churches • “A” pool churches did a significantly better job in preparing for their events • Over 70% of “A” pool churches utilized multiple ongoing personal evangelism training processes to equip their members • Bottom line – the most highly effective, evangelistic churches in the SBC were missional and attractional *Based on criteria established by the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

38

REACHING


gps2020.net Counseling and Follow-up God has not called us to make “decisions” but to make “disciples.” Additionally, follow-up and assimilation is the key to the long-term impact of the event. Churches that do these well will baptize 70 percent of those who receive Christ in the six months following their event.

Follow up is not an after-thought—it is part of the preparation process

A key thing to remember: the event is not over when the event is over! Indeed, the spiritual growth of those whom God has brought into the kingdom is just the beginning. And the continued nurturing of those drawn closer to the kingdom must continue. Follow-up must be prompt, especially with those who responded to the invitation to become followers of Christ or sought any form of counsel. The first 48 hours is critical! Decision counselors should be in the home of those they have counseled within this time frame to lead these new believers to biblical assurance. Can you imagine bringing a baby home from the hospital and asking it to take care of itself for the first 48 hours? Of course not, and these new believers are babes in Christ. Also, the enemy—Satan—is not happy with their decision. He will plant doubt, discouragement and create as much confusion as possible. It is vital that someone strong in their faith walk alongside the new believer, either staying the course with him or her or transitioning him or her to a body or small group of other believers for nurturing.

Tips on the process

Begin recruiting decision counselors 60 days in advance and train them 30 days prior to the event. Ask yourself this question: “How many people do I envision receiving Christ at the event?” Whatever the number, train a counselor for every two decisions, and equip your counselors to do four things: 1. Help a person pray to receive Christ during the decision time at the event. 2. Lead the new believer to biblical assurance and how to use the follow-up material. 3. Follow-up for four weeks with the new believer using Beginning Steps for New Believers or Living in Christ (don’t forget, this should begin within 48 hours).

gps2020.net

39


Reaching Across North America 1. Ask them to invest and invite. Give them 5 witnessing booklets. Ask them to identify 5 friends who need Christ, pray for them every day, share the booklet with them and do everything possible to bring them to the event.

Tips for finding counselors

• Enlist counselors from past evangelistic events. • Enlist counselors you regularly use at the invitation time of your regular services. • Enlist Sunday School and small group Bible study leaders. • Enlist others your staff or top lay leaders recommend. • Choose counselors of a wide age range, including late teens and college students, to use with those of similar age.

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Decision Counseling

Counseling someone about such a vital decision as a relationship with Christ can seem daunting. The great news is that the Holy Spirit—the ultimate Counselor—is in the meeting (see John 14:15-26)! A speaker shares the message and makes the claims of Christ clear, but the Holy Spirit is the one who has to give the invitation. As you speak with someone about spiritual matters, be aware of the Spirit’s presence and, in your mind, invite Him to guide.

God Story

Here is an example of what happens when pastors use this simple process. One pastor who followed this process trained 167 decision counselors 30 days in advance. Before the event even occurred four weeks later, he had already baptized 40 adults. They did not even wait till the event to receive Christ! He saw over 250 more respond to the gospel at the celebration. Remember Acts 1 and 2—people reach people.

40

REACHING


gps2020.net Evangelism Response Center (ERC) Information Would you like a way to train more people in evangelism, especially those who might be timid in sharing their faith by traditional means? Would you like to have a continued list of prospects for your visitation file? Would you want a telephone number and Web site you can publish in your bulletin or webpage, with confidence that a trained believer is there 24/7 to point people to Jesus Christ? The North American Mission Board’s Evangelism Response Center (ERC) is an ideal evangelism tool for you and your church (all complements of the Cooperative Program). This Southern Baptist ministry is your solution for all of the above questions and more! Here are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

1. How Does the Evangelism Response Center (ERC) Operate? The Evangelism Response Center (ERC) works through caring encouragers and innovative technology. This ministry provides a network of believers in North America trained to communicate the message of our Lord Jesus Christ to people through the telephone and the Internet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These seekers contact the ERC through a toll-free telephone number and Internet addresses that are shown through various media venues. Through the ERC technical systems, these contacts are routed directly and anonymously to the homes of Encouragers who log on to receive calls or Internet contacts.

2. How Does the ERC Follow Up on Decisions? The work of the Evangelism Response Center is not complete when a person prays to receive Christ. Many callers leave their name and address, desiring to be put in contact with a local church. Immediately, the ERC sends follow-up materials, along with a free Holman Bible to every person making a salvation decision. In addition, the ERC includes a network of Southern Baptist follow-up churches called “Covenant Churches,” who follow up on each decision within three hours to three days of receiving the name and address of the respondent.

gps2020.net

41


Reaching Across North America 3. How Will My Church Benefit by Being Involved with the ERC? Encouragers from your church will be trained in evangelism. In addition, you will be able to publish the 1-888-JESUS20 (1-888-537-8720) number and/or the Web site (www.thegoodnews.org ) on any promotional or evangelistic materials your church distributes (including your Web site), thus increasing the potential for contacts in your area.

4. How Easy Is It to Become a “Covenant Church” for the ERC? It’s as simple as 1-2-3. First, contact the ERC office (number below) expressing your desire to be a Covenant Church. Second, complete the Covenant Church registration that you will receive and return it to the ERC office. Third, once registered, you will receive contact information about those who respond to Christ through the ERC in your community. Follow up as you normally do at your church.

5. How Can I Get Started with the ERC? Interested in being a Telephone or Internet Encourager? Ready for your church to be a Covenant Church? Want to host an Encourager Training seminar? Increase your GPS capacity by contacting:

42

erc@namb.net / 770-410-6383 / www.erconline.net

REACHING


gps2020.net Giving an Effective Invitation While today’s gospel invitation is taking on a variety of forms, it still remains the unique opportunity for every Christian to invite individuals to come to faith in Jesus Christ, or to recommit to a holy lifestyle as His disciples. Regardless of the style or approach, the invitation is the responsibility of believers in their interaction with unbelievers. Our Great Commission task is to be faithful in proclaiming the gospel and asking lost people to respond to Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit’s role to bring in the harvest.

Types of Evangelistic Invitations

Dr. Roy Fish, Chair of Evangelism Emeritus, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, describes a variety of invitations that help people respond to the call of the gospel: • Invitation to come forward to openly confess Christ. In many evangelistic churches, the standard invitation is one to come to the altar and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This kind of invitation involves counsel and prayer with the pastor or decision counselor. This is the most commonly used invitation. • Invitation to go to an inquiry room for further counsel. A second type of invitation, which has many advantages, is an invitation involving counselors and a counseling room. In this approach, people are invited to come forward and either stand at the altar or leave the area with a counselor during the invitation. • Invitation  to sign a card. A third option is an invitation for interested people to fill out a card. On the card is a statement of acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior, a request for more information on how to become a Christian, and a request for a personal visit from a staff member, decision counselor, or member of the congregation, along with their personal data (i.e. name, address, email, phone, other contact information). • Invitation to raise one’s hand, look up or stand. This approach is generally used during a time when the music is playing and the congregation has closed their eyes in prayer. This provides a sense of privacy for the individual who does not want to be singled out in a room full of strangers. Counselors should be alert and nearby to discreetly talk individually with those responding, gathering important data for follow up.

gps2020.net

43


Reaching Across North America • Invitation to pray at one’s seat. A fifth option calls for those who want to pray for repentance, but don’t know the words to use in their prayers. In this approach, the extender of the invitation asks the new believer to repeat his words as he leads him in a sinner’s prayer. This person should also point to counselors in the room for personal prayer, data gathering and follow up. A sample prayer is: Dear God, I know that Jesus is your Son and that He died on the cross and was raised from the dead. Because I have sinned and need forgiveness, I ask Jesus to come into my life. I am willing to change direction by acknowledging Him as my Lord and Savior, and by turning away from my sins. Thank you for giving me forgiveness, eternal life, and hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Adapted from Revival Preparation Manual, NAMB, 2009 Creating the Right Atmosphere for Invitations Dr. Ron Herrod, President of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE), shares ten pointers for creating the right atmosphere: 99 The invitation should be given prayerfully. Long before the evangelistic event, believers should be recruited to pray for the decisions that will be made. They should pray for the event, for the invitation giver, for lost people, for the decision counselors, for the Lord to have His way in people’s hearts, and for Satan to be removed from that place of worship. 99 The  purpose of the invitation should always be very clear. Rehearse in advance exactly what you want to say on behalf of your Savior. “Drawing the net” should be concise, biblical, brief, communicated in the language of the audience, and unmistakably about Jesus Christ. Don’t be a distraction to this holy moment. Take them to the cross! 99 Adequate counseling should always be available for those making decisions. These decision counselors should be trained, prepared, and organized to gather data. Pray and follow up with a person about his or her decision, regardless of the type of invitation you choose. 99 The  length of the invitation should be determined with sensitivity and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Be prepared with a strong invitation strategy, worked out in advance with the music team and counselors. Have soft music playing in the background. Be prepared to extend the invitation as God works in the lives of those in your audience. 99 Never forget that many of your hearers have religion without a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Be an Andrew. Focus on taking them to the Master. 99 The invitation is not designed to create doubt about a previous genuine decision. Do not be manipulative, abusive, or demanding. Be polite and positive. Exhibit tenderness, humility, kindness, and love in your extension of God’s amazing grace at the cross. 99 Give  the invitation in a personal way. In a concise, brief manner, tell them how you came to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. 99 Be  persuasive in your delivery. We may never have their attention again. Never refer to another chance. Lovingly remind them this could be their only opportunity. Warn them about procrastination. Jesus always called for immediate action. Tell them to make this decision now! 99 Give  the invitation publicly. There is no such thing as a secret disciple. Be bold in calling for a decision. Do not give the impression that you are worried about embarrassing them by calling the person to publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ.

44

REACHING


Reaching Across North America 99 Plan  to preserve the invitation. Make much of each decision, make each decision very personal and approach it with enthusiasm and excitement. Make sure you have enough trained decision counselors to talk with and follow up on each person. Remember, your goal is not decisions, but disciples. Adapted from Article in the “Voice of the Evangelist” by Dr. Ron Herrod, COSBE.

Tips on giving an Effective Invitation

Here are three possible ways to give an invitation:

1. Large Group Setting - Ask people to come forward to make a public decision

After a concise presentation of the gospel, ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes and say, “With no one looking around, I want to ask you this question, ‘If you were to die right now, are you 100% certain that you would go to heaven?’ I’m not trying to frighten you, but do you know for sure that you know Christ? With no one looking around, if you are not 100% sure, I want you to raise your hand. “ Acknowledge those who have lifted their hands by saying, “Thank you for being honest; God bless you. Are there others who would say, ‘I don’t know, but I want to know how to get to heaven today.’ Just lift your hands. Thank you, any one else? God bless you.” Say a brief prayer for those who have their hands raised and any others who wanted to lift their hands but didn’t. Ask God to give them courage to stand for Him. After the prayer, say to those with their hands raised, “Now I want to ask if you will open your eyes and look right into mine, if you raised your hand or if you didn’t but wanted to. As soon as we stand to sing, I want to ask you to do what we ask thousands of people around the world to do. I’m going to ask you as you stand to keep moving and come forward. You might be thinking, ‘why should I come publicly?’ That’s a great question. I’m going to ask you to come forward for two reasons. The first is because Jesus said to. He said ‘if you’re ashamed of me before men, I’d be ashamed of you before my Father.’ And in the Bible, if you check it out, every person he ever called, he called publicly. Whether there were three people or three thousand, he asked them to step out in front of their friends. He never allowed anyone to make a private commitment. When you come, you’re not coming to be a Baptist. You’re not coming to be baptized; you’re not coming to join a church. You’re coming to say ‘I’m not sure I know Christ and I want to settle that right now.’ Second, there are practical reasons to come forward. We’re going to pray with you, help you to begin that relationship with Christ. Just think, you’re going to leave and know that Christ is in your life; that you’re forgiven and your eternity is secure. We’ll help you make that decision, give you some material and allow you to go back and join your friends. If you want to be a part

gps2020.net

45


Reaching Across North America of this great church, we will help you do that later, but that’s not why you’re coming. You’re coming to begin a relationship with Christ. We ask you to come forward in just a minute when we stand and sing.” Continue by saying, “Some of you know Christ. Maybe you prayed to receive Christ in a previous service or maybe at camp or maybe a friend led you to Christ at the office. You’ve received Christ but you’ve never made it public. Today’s your day as we stand and sing; we’ll meet you right down front. Maybe you’ve been visiting this great church, and God would say ‘It’s time to stop visiting and be a part of the family.’ And as we stand and sing, I ask that you would come. Maybe you just need to come to the altar and talk something out with God or speak with a friend. We’re going to stand; we’re going to sing. We’ll meet you right down here.”

2. Large or Small Group Setting – Ask people to fill out a response card.

Response cards should be available throughout the event location or distributed to everyone through a registration packet. Feel free to use the response card provided in this section if necessary. Also, decide beforehand how you want people to return the cards to you. Do you want boxes distributed throughout the location for people to fill? Do you want people to pass them down their rows? Do you want to assign individuals to collect the cards and then direct them? Be sure to have a plan before giving the invitation. After a concise presentation of the gospel, ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes and say, “With no one looking around, I want to ask you this question, ‘If you were to die right now, are you 100% certain that you would go to heaven?’ I’m not trying to frighten you, but do you know that you know Christ? With no one looking around, if you are not 100% certain that if you died right now you’d go to heaven, I want you to pray this prayer along with me or one similar to it. If this is truly the desire of your heart then pray, ‘Dear God, I know that Jesus is Your Son and that He died on the cross and was raised from the dead. Because I have sinned and need forgiveness, I ask Jesus to come into my life. I am willing to change the direction of my life by acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and by turning away from my sins. Thank You for giving me forgiveness, eternal life, and hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.’ Continue by saying, “If you prayed that prayer, please tell us about it. We want to know about your decision today so we can provide you with some more information about growing in your relationship with Christ. Please take the response card and fill it out completely. Everyone please take a moment and look at the card. Notice that there is a place for your name, address, phone number, and email. We also have several boxes there for you to check. Please check the one that describes your decision today. After you have completed the card please return it to us by _______” (give specific instructions here on how you want to collect the cards). Say a brief prayer and then allow attendees time to complete and return the cards. It is critical that each person who filled out a card is contacted. Be sure to have a good follow-up plan after the event. Refer to the Counseling and Follow-up section of this manual for assistance in immediate follow-up.

46

REACHING


Reaching Across North America Response Card We hope that your life was changed by this event and the message about Jesus. Please take the time to let us know about your decision today. ___ I prayed to receive Christ today ___ I recommitted my life to Christ today ___ I am already a follower of Christ ___ I would like more information about _________________ Church ___ I have more questions about God and would like someone to contact me ___ Other ____________________________________________________________________________________ Name: _______________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ City: ________________________________________________ State: _________ ZIP: ___________________ Phone: _______________________________________________________________________________________ Email: _______________________________________________________________________________________

3. One-on-One – Personally invite someone to accept Christ.

This method usually involves some type of witnessing booklet or item (such as an EvangeCube or witnessing bracelet) and is used in events such as a block party or a ministry/servanthood evangelism project. Refer to the Suggested Resources section for materials to assist in presenting the gospel one-on-one. Present the gospel and ask “Does this make sense to you?” If the answer is “Yes,” then continue by asking, “Would you like to ask God to forgive you of your sins and invite Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior?” Again, if the answer is “Yes,” then continue by saying, “If you truly want to do this then you can make this request directly to God through prayer. The Bible says, ‘If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved’ (Rom. 10:9) and ‘Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Rom. 10:13). If this is what you want, then just pray this prayer or something similar to God, ‘Dear God, I know that Jesus is Your Son and that He died on the cross and was raised from the dead. Because I have sinned and need forgiveness, I ask Jesus to come into my life. I am willing to change the direction of my life by acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and by turning away from my sins. Thank You for giving me forgiveness, eternal life, and hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.’ Did you pray that prayer and mean it with all your heart?” If the answer is “Yes” then say, “Congratulations, you are now a part of God’s family! “ Say a brief prayer for this individual and spend a few minutes discussing the decision

gps2020.net

47


Reaching Across North America and what God expects next. Here are a few items to discuss during this time: assurance of salvation, regular Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and baptism. A good resource to us is the Personal Commitment Guide. Refer to the Suggested Resources section for ordering information.

48

REACHING


gps2020.net Suggested Resources Here are a few resources that will help you implement Reaching Across North America. There are many more described and available at www.gps2020.net. Also visit this Web site to recommend an evangelistic event resource. • Witnessing Booklets {{ Eternal Life – Available in 16 languages (NAMB) {{ Your Life: A New Beginning (NAMB) {{ The NET: Your Story, How Will It Turn Out? (NAMB) {{ One Hour/One Day Witnessing Card (NAMB) {{ Steps to Peace with God (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - BGEA) {{ God’s Special Plan for Children (NAMB) {{ An Important Question for An Important Person (NAMB) {{ Show & Tell Bookmarks (NAMB) {{ Show & Tell Witnessing Tattoos (NAMB) {{ Why? (NAMB) {{ EvangeCube – A creative witnessing tool for all ages. (e3 Resources – For more information visit www.e3resources.org) {{ 316 Prayer Card – A great tool to remind people to pray for their lost friends and family members. (NAMB) • Online Gospel Presentations {{ www.FindItHere.com {{ www.TheKristo.com {{ www.TheGoodNews.org {{ www.Kidzplace.org • Follow-up Materials {{ Personal Commitment Guide— A counseling booklet. (NAMB) {{ Beginning Steps for New Believers— A study guide for new believers. (NAMB) {{ World’s Greatest Adventure—Beginning steps for children. (NAMB)

gps2020.net

49


Reaching Across North America {{ L  iving in Christ—Student/adult immediate follow-up tool. It includes: decision card, the Gospel of John, and a four-week introduction to the Christian life. (BGEA) {{ Jesus Loves Me—Children’s version of the above. (BGEA) {{ My Commitment—A counseling booklet. (BGEA) {{ At some events, utilizing the Evangelistic Response Center (1.888.Jesus20 and www.thegoodnews.org) might be wise. Consider putting this data on registration cards and follow-up letters/e-mail. • Evangelism Training {{ The NET – Equips believers to share the gospel using their personal testimony (NAMB) {{ RELAY – Equips believers to share the gospel through relationships (NAMB – for more information visit www.ShareAsYouGo.com) {{ CROSS Evangelism Training – Equips believers to share the gospel using the acrostic CROSS (NAMB – for more information visit www.ShareAsYouGo.com) {{ FAITH – Equips believers to share the gospel using the acrostic FAITH (LifeWay Christian Resources) {{ One-Day and One-Hour Witnessing Workshops – Equips believers to share the gospel using witnessing booklets or their personal testimony (NAMB) {{ Praying Your Friends to Christ – Guides believers in praying evangelistically for their lost friends, family members, and acquaintances. (NAMB) {{ Taking Prayer to the Streets – Equips believers to pray for and share Christ with the people of their communities. (NAMB) {{ Share Jesus Without Fear – Using a relational approach to evangelism, this material equips believers to share the gospel with confidence and without fear. (LifeWay Christian Resources) {{ Sharing God’s Special Plan with Children – Equips believers to share Christ with children. (NAMB) • Event Planning {{ Revival  Preparation Manual – A detailed manual that provides practical suggestions for planning an evangelistic local church revival. (NAMB) {{ Area Crusade Manual – A detailed manual to help a group of local churches prepare and conduct an evangelistic area crusade. (NAMB) {{ Block  Party Manual – A detailed manual to help a local church prepare for and conduct an effective block party. (NAMB) {{ High Impact Events – A manual that describes over 25 easy-to–do local church, evangelistic events and tips for planning each one. (NAMB) {{ Evangelism Planner – Free software to help local church leaders plan an effective yearlong evangelism strategy. A free online version called Plan-it is also available at www.gps2020.net. (NAMB) {{ Servanthood Evangelism Manual – A guidebook that offers a detailed explanation of servanthood evangelism, practical applications for your church or small groups, and project instructions, as well as follow up ideas. (NAMB)

50

REACHING


Reaching Across North America How to order these materials: • NAMB – Visit www.nambstore.com, www.gps2020.net, or call 1 866 407-6262 • LifeWay Christian Resources – Visit www.lifewaystores.com or call 1 800 448-8032 • Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – Visit www.bgea.org or call 1 877 247-2426 or 704-401-2432

gps2020.net

51


Reaching Across North America

52

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net

53


Reaching Across North America

54

REACHING


Reaching Across North America

gps2020.net

55


4200 North Point Parkway Alpharetta, Georgia 30022

A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering速 For general information, call (770) 410-6000 or visit www.namb.net. To order materials, call Customer Service Center, 1 866 407-NAMB (6262), fax, (770) 442-9742, or visit www.nambstore.com. 1004043/07/10


RANA Assoc Prep Guide | 2012