I figured it out! I discovered why our churches are not winning the lost! It’s because our classes/groups are not winning the lost. I also figured out why our classes/groups are not winning the lost. It’s because our members are not winning lost! I also know why our members are winning the lost. They’ve not identified the lost. If we are going to win the lost we’ve first got to discover who we are without Christ, so let’s go through process that will help.
If you do not prepare your class/group, you will not identify those that are lost. To be successful the teacher must communicate with the members prior to beginning of class/group experience. The class/group leaders will need to educate members of this four-week process. You will need to announce the process when you meet, you will need to call all the members and remind them of the process; and you will need to send reminders in the mail or emails.
What will you tell your members? “We are identifying people we know that are lost and in need of Christ as Savior. In week one, we will identify those in our homes who are lost. In week two we will identify our neighbors who are lost. In week three we will identify our co-workers and our friends who are lost. In week four we will identify our relatives and those we have regular contact with who are lost.” Remind members that they will need name, address, phone number, and age.
As you begin the process each week, say, “If you have been a Christian for two or more years, then more than likely the large percentage of your friends are Christians. Most of us have very few close friends who are lost. It could be that we have never really thought about the spiritual condition of those around us. That is why it takes some thought for us to identify the lost people around us. Today we are going to identify our _________ (family members in our homes, neighbors, co-workers/friends, or relatives/acquaintances) who are lost. Please remember that we need names, addresses, phone numbers, and ages.”
The weekly process should not take more than five minutes of the class/group time. Throughout the process you will need to remind the class/group why they are doing this process. You may even have to bring some people up-to-date because they were absent the previous week.
After you make your introductory comments, say, “In week one, we will identify those in our homes in need of salvation. Please remember that this will be a very sensitive subject. As we identify the lost in our homes, we are not saying that they are bad people. There are many good people who are lost. Please remember that whatever we say in our class/group time is to stay inside our group.”
Give everyone a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Ask them to draw the floor plan of their house or apartment. The bedrooms should be the main focus of the drawing. Ask them to write the names of those that occupy the bedrooms. At this point you will say, “Now place a check mark next to the names of those you know are saved.” Remind the class/group that we are not talking about church membership or even baptism. The focus should be on whether the person has a personal relationship with Christ? Someone may ask, “How can we know for sure?” The answer to that question is that we cannot know for sure about anyone but ourselves. People can do all the right things and still be lost, living a lie. The best we can do is to ask them if they are saved and then to inspect the fruit of their life.
As you begin this week, you will need to repeat the same introductory comments and basic instructions from week one. This week the group will identify neighbors who are in need of salvation. Give each person a blank sheet of paper and pen and say, “Draw a square that will represent your house or apartment and then add the streets or hallways nearest to your home.” After allowing time to complete this step, say, “The next step is to draw squares for the nearest eight homes/apartments to your home/apartment.” After everyone has completed their drawings, have them write the names of the people who live in each of the homes/apartments on their drawing. This should include everyone that lives in the dwelling, both adults and children. If they do not know all the names, instruct them to write in a question mark. After all names have been written, instruct the group to place a check mark by the names of people they know who are saved and active members of a church. The names that do not have a check mark should be considered as lost until known.
To begin this week, repeat the same introductory comments and basic instructions from the previous weeks. This week the group will identify both friends and co-workers who are not Christians. Give each person two blank sheets of paper and a pen. Ask everyone to draw a circle and then to write their own name in the circle. After everyone has completed this step, ask them to draw another circle around the first circle and to draw five blank lines inside the larger circle. Instruct everyone to write the names of their five closest friends in the five blanks. Say, “Now place a check mark by the names of your friends you know are Christians and active members of a church.”
After completing the first part of this week’s process, ask everyone to take the second sheet of blank paper and to draw a small box. The box will represent their place of work or their desk at work. Now ask them to draw a box above their box, another below their box, and then one to the right and one to the left of their box. Then draw another box somewhere else on the sheet. Instruct everyone to write the names of the people they work with in the five boxes. After everyone has completed writing names, invite them to place a check mark by the names of those they know are Christians and active members of a church. Unchecked names on both sheets should be considered prospects and or lost.
To begin this week, repeat the same instructions from the previous weeks. This week the group will identify both relatives and acquaintances who are not Christians. Give each person two sheets of blank paper and a pen. On the first sheet, ask everyone to draw a tree. In the tree write the names of family members. Direct the group to list only those who are still living. This list should include great-grandparents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, parents, in-laws, and brothers and sisters. After everyone has completed their list, invite them to place a check mark by the names of those they know are Christians and active members of a church. If some in the group have a difficult time completing the list, encourage them to complete it during the week.
Ask everyone to take the next sheet and to trace his or her hand. The goal is to write the names of people with whom they have regular contact. As you read through the list of possible people, ask the group to write names on the fingers. Say, “Possibilities include bank tellers, service station attendants, store clerks, pharmacists, doctors, dentists, waitress/waiters, bus/taxi drivers, delivery people, mail carrier, exterminator, barber/hair stylist, insurance agent, mechanic, etc.” Invite the group to provide other possibilities. Ask the group to place check marks by the names of those they know are Christians and active members of a church. Unchecked names on both sheets should be considered prospects.
Dr. Tim S. Smith serves as a state missionary with the Georgia Baptist Convention and is the Sunday School/Small Groups Specialist. Visit their website at ssog.gabaptist.org for more information and other resources to aid your Sunday School.