Archive for prospects

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 for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School or Small Group. You can also connect with Dr. Smith at or  Dr. Smith is available for conferences or other speaking opportunities and can be contacted at

Not Just for Church Members

welcomebricksWHY THIS IS IMPORTANT? Do first time guests show up for Sunday School? Maybe they don’t know they’re invited?  Do your church website, Facebook page, and other publicity unintentionally imply that Sunday School is for “Members Only?”  Sunday School and adult groups are for everyone, but if you’re a new believer or didn’t grow up in church this might not be known or understood.

Sunday School, Life Groups, or whatever you call them, are the place where discipleship begins.  The setting should be an open group (anyone is invited to join at any time) with a stand-alone lesson every week.  This is different than an accountability group or a deeper learning discipleship class where one larger topic is explored often over the course of 8-12 weeks or more.

WHAT DO I DO? Because Sunday School has this format, people need to know that you don’t have to be a member to join.  Even if that is obvious by your church sign, website and other publicity, make sure that your group members know to communicate that to their friends and neighbors.

It’s been said many times, people aren’t looking for a friendly church, they are looking for friends!  What better place to find friends than in the Sunday School groups!  Make sure your class is a place where people who are looking for friends can find them, even before they become a member.

Invite and expect friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors. Greet them warmly. Connect with them in and beyond group time. Add them to the group care list.

12 Monthly Fellowship Ideas

kiteWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Josh Hunt wrote in How to Double Your Class in Two Years or Less: “Invite every member and every prospect to a fellowship every month.”  Relationships are the key to growth!

WHAT DO I DO? Organize your group by enlisting a Fellowship or Member Care Leader that is responsible for providing opportunities for the group to build a sense of community.  Here are 12 Monthly Fellowship Ideas Starters that my groups have done:

  • January: Dinner and a Movie
  • February: Super Bowl Party
  • March: Go Fly a Kite
  • April:  Class Picnic
  • May:  Campout
  • June: Baseball Game
  • July: Fireworks and Homemade Ice Cream
  • August: Luau
  • September:  Class Meeting
  • October: Conduct a Ministry Project
  • November: Game Night
  • December:  Christmas Party

Have Fun!   Remember to invite every member and every prospect to a fellowship every month.

Ministering to Prospects

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? When we think of reaching out to prospects for our groups, we might first consider inviting them to our group meeting.  We have been conditioned in many ways to value the number of prospects in attendance on a given day when our group meets.  This becomes our measure of success.  It is a worthy idea, but the way we approach success with prospects needs to be evaluated differently.conversation2

WHAT DO I DO? Here are some suggestions on how to best reach prospects through ministry.

•    Value the person over the group.  Our goal is reaching and discipling people.  When we do that well, our attendance will reflect that.  Our interest should be on the individual and their needs not the needs the group might have.
•    Discover the needs of prospects. These are discovered when people are engaged in meaningful conversations.  Create environments where these conversations take place.
•    Glean information from these conversations and put ministry into action to meet those needs.
•    Pray for the needs of those we are reaching.  Ask them how we can best pray for their needs.
•    Work together as a group to meet the needs of prospects.  Strategize on how this is best done by connecting with those who can best help with a certain need.