October 17, 2017

An Idea for Reaching the Lost

By Austin Mobley

In November of 1965, we used an idea to reach the lost and encourage attendance to Bible classes that has produced some very encouraging results.

The following form letter was mailed to 5000 residents of Loveland, Ohio:

Dear Friends,

The Loveland Heights Church of Christ has Bible classes for all ages, and a staff of trained teachers for these classes which are conducted each Sunday at 10:00 a. m. and each Wednesday evening at 7:30. We feel sure there are many in this community who would like to take advantage of the Bible classes and other studies offered by this church. Perhaps some of you parents have been planning to get your children started in Bible school, but have transportation problems.

This church desires to be of service to all people in its territory. Therefore, we are offering free transportation to anyone in this community to any or all of our services.

In addition, we would appreciate the opportunity to come into your home and study the Bible with you. We use a series of filmstrips especially designed for home study. Also, many have taken the free Bible Correspondence Course that will be sent to you upon request with absolutely no obligation. Whatever your spiritual needs may be, we would like to help you.

On the reverse side of this letter is a brief questionnaire. Will you please examine it carefully and check the items that are of interest to you and your family? Place the questionnaire in the self addressed stamped envelope and return to us as once. You will be glad you did.

Thank you for your cooperation, and may God help you to decide to take advantage of this opportunity.

If I can ever be of service to you in an, way, please let me know.

Yours for Christ

H. A. Mobley

These are the statements to be checked on the back of the letter:

I am interested in sending my children to Sunday morning Bible classes.

I am interested in sending my children to Wednesday evening Bible classes.

I am interested in attending the services.

We need transportation to the services checked above.

I would be interested in sending my children to your vacation Bible school next summer if transportation is furnished.

I am interested in studying the Bible with you in my home by viewing the filmstrips.

I am interested in taking the free Bible Correspondence Course.

I would like to have the church bulletin mailed to my home each week.

I would like to know more about the church of Christ.

In addition to these questions, we asked for their name, address, church affiliation, names and ages of their children.

A postage paid business reply envelope was enclosed for returning the questionnaire. The total cost of this project was approximately $200.00. To date the following tangible results are witnessed.

  1. Seventeen (17) letters were returned and all except one manifested interest in one or more of the items on the questionnaire.
  2. Approximately 17 children are now attending Bible classes as a direct or indirect result of this mail survey.
  3. One widow, nearly seventy years old, returned a questionnaire requesting transportation to the services. She attends regularly and has agreed to a cottage meeting study. She had not attended church services in twenty-five years.
  4. Five persons enrolled in the "Bible Correspondence Course."
  5. This week, I will begin two cottage-meeting studies with respondents.
  6. Attendance reached a peak of 192 in December 1966, which was an increase of about 1770 as compared to the monthly average for 1965.
  7. A member of the "Church of God" is now studying material about the church of Christ that he requested.
  8. Many requested to be placed on the mailing list for the bulletin.
  9. Our own members, encouraged by this response, have shown more interest in the program of work for 1966.

So far, transportation to services for those respondents has been taken care of by our own volunteer members without having to operate a bus.

We are hopeful of even more results in follow up visits and studies and will repeat this same type form letter about every two years.

Without God's help, this could not have been accomplished. Our thanks are offered unto Him through Jesus Christ for the privilege of working in His kingdom, and for the power of the gospel.

TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 8, p. 4
May 1966

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