Archive for Evangelism – Page 2

The Ask (Asking A Guest to Join the Group)

Mark 1:17 reads, “Follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fish for people.” (HCSB)

Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus asking people to follow Him. Jesus wanted people to join Him on His mission to seek and save the lost, but to accomplish this mission Jesus made the habit of asking people to join Him.

Yet many Sunday School classes and small groups often forget to ask a guest participating in their group if they would like to join it!

People will rarely enroll in a group unless they are asked. An informal survey of people joining the church’s small groups or Sunday School are often people that are joining the church and are simply taking the next required step of membership. Asking someone to join your group is so simple…

Ask them!!

Here are a few helpful ideas…

  • Make sure enrollment cards are available at every meeting. That also includes a writing utensil that works.
  • Combine the guest and enrollment cards. Simply add a checkbox to the guest card that states: “I would like to join this group.”
  • Whoever is responsible for taking roll in the group should ask every guest to fill out the guest card, and be sure to ask them if they would like to join the group.
  • If possible, the person responsible should offer to fill out the guest card for the guest. Not only does this lead to asking the above question, but it also means that someone can read the handwriting on the card!
  • Use the proper verbiage and attitude. “Would you like to join our wonderful group?” sounds so much better than, “You wouldn’t want to join our group… would’ya?”
  • And… a guest does not have to be a church member or attend three consecutive times to join or enroll in the group!

All it takes is “the ask.”

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Bob Mayfield is the Sunday School/Discipleship specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Bob also has his own blog at bobmayfield.com.
Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobmayfield and on Facebook at facebook.com/thebobmayfield

Forged With Food: Why Group Socials are Valuable

Sometimes we find ourselves attending a group but for some reason connection points are difficult to achieve.  Your group might have a great ongoing study, but never underestimate the value of socials.  A meal attached to “social” is an invaluable tool in the Sunday School toolbox.

Socials are an incredible part of our groups and in some new groups it might take as much as 50% of our group time.  How could this be you say?!  It is the nature of people to desire a connection with others and have friends.  In the beginning words of the Bible it is clear we are not to be alone.  We are social beings.

  • Group Socials provide a place for us to get to know one another.
    Sometimes 10 minutes of “hello” is not enough.
  • Groups Socials provide a place to make friends.
    Many times ice breakers help to achieve a new comfort level because we are getting to know the people in our group through a simple game.
  • Group Socials provide us a place to be accepted.
    Sharing a meal with someone is a very disarming event.  We see it many times in the text and is great way to begin conversations with others.
  • Group Socials can eliminate loneliness in people’s lives.
    We have no idea how lonely people can be in a crowd.  Many people go months, years in fact with sharing a simple meal with friends.

Never underestimate the power of group socials.  I would encourage some type of gathering at least once a quarter.  This one action could galvanize your group and push them to invite friends to the groups as well.  Sharing a meal with someone is a wonderful way to bring together and grow your group.

Jonathan Jordan is the State Missionary at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Connecting Your Group and Guests on Facebook

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (I Corinthians 9:22-23 NIV)      

Have you ever considered how Facebook can help your class reach new people and share Good News? Here are some ways you can do so:

  1. Advertise a Sunday School page for your church. The Millennials will find you on technology before they come to your church or class. Have a page that highlights every class with pictures, what you enjoy doing together, and what you are studying. They will feel more comfortable coming to your class if they see faces, and know more about the class.
  2. Advertise special fellowship and outreach events. Did you know that you can target groups on Facebook for $5-$10 in your area? I have a church in a small town that used Facebook for advertising a children’s event and gathered between 300-400 people. You can target age groups, affinity groups and more.
  3. Use Facebook to follow up your lesson that week. I have used posts starting Sunday evening through Wednesday to follow up a lesson with more questions, video links and stories so learners will keep reflecting on how the passage applies to life. An added bonus was when they responded. It goes to their news post as well. Of course, this means all of their friends including unchurched get to read them. (Please keep them positive and focused on Scripture!)

If we are to be all things to all people so we might win some, Facebook can be a tool to do just that!

Dr. Tony Brooks is the Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist for the Baptist General Association of Virginia. You can see his weekly blog at: https://bgav.org/sundayschool/
Facebook- @ https://www.facebook.com/btsrdoc
Twitter- @TonyBrooks7

 

4 Critical Steps for A New Believer (Baptism, Bible Study, Prayer, Community)

Someone you know or a guest in the church has just become a new follower of Jesus Christ!!

Fantastic!!! That is wonderful…

Now what?

I doubt many people would give a person who had never driven before the keys to their new car. Someone who has just become a new believer needs some guidance as they begin their journey of faith in Jesus Christ. Here are four critical steps that you can share with a new Christian as they begin their walk with Christ.

Baptism
Yes, the first step is to be biblically baptized. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality; that this person has found new life through Jesus Christ and has made Jesus the Lord of their life. Your church may offer a baptism class, or maybe counseling to help this new Christian with his or her new faith. Encourage them to get baptized as soon as possible.

Bible Study
If the new believer does not have a Bible, help them get one! Encourage them to read the Bible daily. A daily soaking in Scripture is vital to spiritual growth. Which translation should they have? Here are two suggestions: 1) the translation that the pastor preaches from; 2) the translation that you or your Small Group uses at group meetings. The book of Ephesians is a great book for new believers because it is full of the doctrine of the church and it is only six chapters long. Afterward, help them get into a daily Bible reading plan.

Prayer
The best way to teach a new believer how to pray is to pray with them. Let them learn from you that prayer is a two-way conversation with God.

Community
A new believer needs a biblical community. Encourage them to become a member of a local church. But they will need more than membership. They need a smaller group where they will belong. A Sunday School class or a Small Group is an outstanding place for a new believer to develop new friends and mentors; to study God’s Word; and for ministry and prayer. A Small Group is really how the church is organized to be… well to be the church! Most likely, the smaller group is where a new believer is going to find people willing to walk alongside him or her, and disciple them into spiritual maturity.

__________________________

Bob Mayfield is the Sunday School/Discipleship specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Bob also has his own blog at bobmayfield.com.
Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobmayfield and on Facebook at facebook.com/thebobmayfield

How to Find Prospects for My Group

The best way to discover prospects is to ask your members. Take four weeks and emphasize family, friends, associates, and neighbors in prospect discovery.  Every week send an email/text or make a phone call to the members reminding them they we will need to have a name and vital contact information (mailing address, phone number, email, etc.) to share as a prospect.  If you don’t remind them to be prepared, you will not discover as many prospects.  As everyone enters the classroom give them an index card and ask everyone to complete it at the same time.  Remind them that they are going to share the name of a person that would fit the general age range of the class/group, is not involved in a church and/or Sunday School class, and lives within driving distance of the church.  Remember to take one category each week.

In the first week guide your people through the process of thinking about the family members that may not know the Lord or don’t attend church. Have them write the name and contact information on the card.  As an ending for the class/group time, invite everyone to place the cards in the center of the room and then conclude your group time by praying for these prospects. The following week you will do the same for the category of friends and in the third week you will work on associates.  An associate could be someone they work with, or someone in a community club with them, or another parent in their children’s PTA.  The final week will be focused on neighbors.

After the four weeks of prospect discovery, spend four weeks in prayer for those names discovered. After the four weeks of prayer, spend the next four weeks in training members in personal evangelism skills such as sharing their testimony, using a marked New Testament, sharing a Gospel tract/booklet and presenting a simple Gospel presentation.  After these four weeks, spend the last four weeks going after the prospects discovered.  Plan a class/group party and invite those you’ve been praying for.  Hang on because God will do something great in your church during these 16 weeks!

Make every effort to involve as many members as possible in the process. The more people involved, the more prospects you will discover.  If you ask for prospects make sure you do something with them!  Pray for them, go after them, share Jesus with them, love them, be their friend and watch what God will do!

Dr. Tim Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and is the Groups and Faith Development Specialist. Visit their website at gabaptistgroups.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School or Small Group. You can also connect with Dr. Smith at facebook.com/GABaptistGroups or twitter.com/GABaptistGroups.  Dr. Smith is available for conferences or other speaking opportunities and can be contacted at tsmith@gabaptist.org.