I am often asked what outreach ministries are the most successful, with success defined as the greatest number of converts for the time invested. While there are many, here are my top five:1. Special events. Growing churches tend to have a large number of special events each year with an emphasis on bringing visitors: revivals, dramas, songfests, VBS, children’s crusades, dinners and more. They often capitalize upon special holidays: New Years, Valentines, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Pentecost Sunday, July 4th all the way to Christmas. They know one fact well: 100% of their new converts come from the guests that attend their services.2. Visitor follow-up ministry.
Less than 5% of visitors receive the Holy Ghost the first time they come. So to see the maximum spiritual harvest from your guests, you must get them back. Growing churches aggressively follow up on guests with a phone call (within 24 hours), a letter (within 3 days), a home visit (within 7 days), and regular invitational mailings (3-5 times a year). But research shows it takes multiple home visits to get a good response. So visit your guests every 3-4 months and do three things each time: invite them to your next special event, ask for a home Bible study, ask about special needs (and pray with them if they are responsive). 3. Home Bible Study. The three keys to a successful HBS ministry in a local church are:
(1) Promote it often. Appoint a HBS ministry leader to do this. Use a variety of methods to keep this ministry visible.
(2) Train HBS teachers. Plan 2-3 Saturday training seminars a year. Bring in an HBS expert to do this if you can.
(3) Help teachers get studies. Use one of the many successful methods to see a steady flow of HBS prospects. Keep your trained teachers busy!
4. Personal Evangelism. The best way to get visitors and home Bible studies is by having saints that witness often. Your saints need to be taught how to witness. Do this with annual teaching and training on Bible study night. Then motivate them to witness often. Methods such as Constant Contact Consciousness, Saturday door knocking, street evangelism and others help remind saints to let their light shine.
5. Bus, Van or Car Ministry. Every church should reach into their community for the souls of children. The children brought to our Sunday schools should be encouraged to seek for the Holy Ghost in children’s church. Once they reach the teen years, they should be incorporated into your youth group activities. Unsaved parents should be urged to attend special Sunday school and youth events in which their child is involved.Bottom line: Set some concrete goals this year to see these ministries incorporated into your evangelism program.