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 firstname.lastname@example.org.