It is time to START! You have been through the “Ready” phase of prayer and information. You have done the “Set” phase of enlisting and equipping both new group leaders and existing group leaders. You have also taught the Bible study about new groups in your adult classes. You are almost ready for a great fall season. It is time to START!
Fine tune your leaders by bringing them to a START Regional Clinic
We are offering at least four START Regional Clinics in August (Elk City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton). We will undoubtedly add more but we are trying to cover different regions of the state. Your leaders will receive some great training and inspiration at a Regional Clinic. In addition, we will also go over the START Campaign with them while they are at these clinics. Your folks will be better prepared Sunday School leaders as a result.
Start a New Group Day (September 7)
The anticipation for this day has been growing for several weeks, if not months. It is time to start one or more new groups on this day. September 7 is the first day of the new literature quarter at LifeWay. It is also after Labor Day, so your new groups are going to have several weeks to start right without interruption.
Soulwinning Commitment Day (October 5)
On October 5, we are encouraging churches to do two specific things.
- Teach the Gospel-Presentation lesson in Sunday School or small group. This lesson will be available for download or by print copy on April 1. The lesson includes both a leader and a participant guide. We want everyone to be soulwinners, right? So teach the people in your church how to lead someone to Christ.
- During worship, distribute the “Pray for a Friend” commitment card to the people attending worship. On this card, ask them to write down the names of three lost friends that they will pray for evangelistically. If you get the card from us, it is perforated. We recommend that during the invitation that you have your church members bring one piece of the perforated card to the front and place it on the altar.
Connection Day (November 2)
On Connection Day, ask your church members to invite their three lost friends to church with them. They have been praying for them for a month. Now let’s put some action behind those prayers! Be sure that your group leaders enlist two people to share their testimony (faith story). In coed classes, be sure that you enlist both and man and a woman. We want the guests in your class to hear that God changes lives! I do not even need to mention that the pastor is going to preach a good, solid evangelistic message during corporate worship.
10 Week Outreach Burst (September 7 – November 8)
Your church needs to do some outreach. At the very least, follow up on the people that have been guests in your worship services or small groups. You probably have guests at your church’s VBS to contact. It is time to follow up. You are going to hear some people tell you that an organized outreach ministry doesn’t work in the 21st century. It is simply not true. Last fall, I served a church as their interim education minister and we essentially piloted the START Campaign. We did 10 weeks of outreach and during that 10 weeks, nobody slammed a door in our face or sent their Rottweiler after us. Not once. During the 10 week outreach burst, we did the following:
- Had about 8% of our adult small group attendance participate in outreach;
- Learned a Gospel presentation (CROSS);
- Visited in 349 homes;
- Led 4 people to faith in Christ;
- Handed out invitations in at a grocery store parking lot;
- Handed out water and shared the Gospel at the soccer fields of a nearby university;
- Saw our worship and group attendance increase;
- Ministered to several families who were in need;
- By the end of the 10 weeks, we had been to the home of every guest to our church since August 1.
Next week I am going to go into detail about the START Campaign, beginning with starting new groups on Monday and ending with the 10 week Outreach Burst on Thursday.
Leave me a comment if you have questions or want to share more.
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