By Clarence W. Fell
For sometime now I have been making a list of evangelism ideas. I have culled out the foolish and kept the more sensible. This is not a list of brand new ideas, it’s just a list of ideas. Some of the ideas may never be appropriate for you. That’s fine. Ignore the ones that don’t work for you and focus on the ones that do.
1. Rotate among various ideas. Experiment with various ideas and combinations and see what works in your location. Don’t get stuck in a discouraging rut. Work one for a while and them move on to another idea. Don’t use just one way unless it really works. Sometimes two or three ideas can work together complimenting one another. Choose a combination that works for you.
2. Give a copy of this list to all interested members and ask for their comments. Sometimes an idea list like this will spark new and better ideas.
3. Gospel meetings (weekend or all week along).
a. Various subjects with the same speaker or different speakers.
b. Have a theme, using the same speaker or different speakers.
4. Classes on popular subjects (evolution, abortions etc.).
a. One night a week other than Sunday or Wednesday.
b. Place ad in paper and other media as desired.
c. Hold class at a location other than church building (park, home, library, rented room … etc.). This may bring in some people that attend a denomination and those who hesitate to go to a “church building.”
5. Short radio spots, 10 to 30 seconds, presenting a brief biblical thought and closing with schedule of services and invitation to attend.
6. Short T. V. spots, similar to radio spots, presenting a brief biblical thought and closing with schedule of services and invitation to attend.
7. Newspaper article once a week, or as appropriate. 100-500 words. Close with schedule of services and invitation to attend.
8. Tract-A-Month club. Announce through bulletin, word of mouth and other media as desired. This is not an official organized club. It is simply a way to encourage members and non-members to read tracts. Choose one tract a month to advertise and distribute among those interested. Have a monthly discussion group and talk about the tract.
9. Mail out letters and follow up with a friendly phone call or visit. Tell about film strips or Christian evidences or mail lesson one of a correspondence course. I have heard of congregations using a mass mailing service to mail thousands of pieces. Normally 3 to 5 percent response is considered very successful for mass mailing campaigns.
10. Film strips, slides and video. (See a catalog for available titles.)
11. Public debates on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Choose a topic with wide appeal, perhaps abortion, evolution, humanism, capital punishment . . . etc. Technical issues that only members of the church understand will generally not have wide appeal. However, there is a time and place for such debates.
12. Dial-A-Message. A caller receives a brief recorded message and then has the option to leave his name and address for further information. Advertize phone number in various media as desired.
13. Vacation Bible School or Summer Study Series in morning or evening.
14. Bulletins. Encourage members to distribute by hand or mail. Plan bulletin to have an article for the lost and an article for the Christian.
15. New comers list. Some towns have a list of all new people to the area. Send each new family a letter of welcome and invite them to services. Include any material deemed appropriate, perhaps a tract on “What to Expect When You Visit”
or “Who Is The Church of Christ?” Follow up with a visit or a phone call.
16. Branching through members. Encourage members to turn in names or set up home Bible studies.
17. Local radio talk show (half to full hour). Speaker interviews a guest or covers current news items relating them to the Bible or covers religious topic of choice and encourages audience to call in and comment or ask questions. Some congregations broadcast sermons live or prerecorded.
18. Low pressure door-to-door distribution of meeting or VBS announcements or bulletins or other desired material. (Why not take an area census?)
19. Use telephone to advertize meetings, VBS . . . etc.
20. Personal work groups. Meet monthly to discuss personal work, related ideas and prospects.
21. Give name and address of visitors to members and encourage members to send a card, note or letter. A simple “Thanks For Visiting Us” card can be printed and placed in the tract rack for members to use.
22. Locate all free public bulletin boards in malls, stores, libraries, parks, laundries . . . etc. Have a group meet once a month to keep material on boards stocked or current as needed. Also consider using store windows for announcements (always check with management first).
23. Locate free public service announcements that may be available through area newspapers, TV or radio stations and use as needed.
24. Leave printed material where allowed (laundry, doctors office, waiting rooms, businesses . . . etc.). Keep materials stocked and current.
25. Train new personal workers by taking them out and showing them how to do it. A class on personal evangelism is good but don’t stop at a class, take the students out and show them how to do it. Give them first hand experience in personal work. Then when they are confident and comfortable they can show someone else how to do personal work. It’s an apprenticeship approach or on the job training.
26. Set up a booth at fairs, malls, flea markets, craft shows or other appropriate places when allowed, and distribute information about correspondence courses, film strips, home Bible studies, etc.
27. Check newspaper for weddings, births, anniversaries and other special occasions. Send these an appropriate letter and follow up with a visit or phone call.
28. Use yellow page ad to emphasize home studies, film strips and correspondence courses.
29. Run a classified ad in the paper seeking indiviuals for private Bible studies or correspondence course.
30. Have Ladies, Mens, Parents, Teenagers, Young Married, or Elderly Persons classes at some time other than normally scheduled services. The idea behind scheduling at a different time is to encourage those who attend the denominations regularly to attend your study. There may also be some advantage in having the classes at a location other than the church building.
31. Invite an Elder, Deacon, Teacher, Preacher or other members to your family activities. This will expose nonChristian family members to members of the local congregation. Hopefully this will develop delightful friendships and lead to teaching opportunities.
32. Develop a library specifically for personal workers. Include appropriate printed material, audio tapes, film strips and/or video tapes.
33. When non-Christian friends or family members are in the hospital let an elder, deacon, preacher or other member know so they can drop by for a brief friendly visit or send them a get well card.
34. Billboards and other roadside signs used permanently or temporarily with either permanent or changeable message. Also consider yard signs for members to use in their yard to announce gospel meetings or VBS. Bumper stickers can also be used to let people know about the local congregation.
So there you have it. I hope one or more of these ideas will be of benefit to you and spark better ideas. If you come up with a new idea or have one that I have missed write it down and send it to me. I am interested in learning of other ideas and adding them to the list.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 11, pp. 326-327
June 6, 1991