During your seminar I heard you refer to “Prospect Evangelism.” What is this?
A prospect is any unsaved person that is connected to the church in some way. I just need a good reason to call them a ‘prospect.’ Any excuse will do. Church visitors are the best source for prospects. But I can also gather prospects from door knocking, family and friends of church members, direct mail responses, benevolence ministries (clothes and food pantry), and so on. I am looking for anything that will allow me to have a connection with them when I knock on their door at some future date. What will I do with this ever-expanding, all-important list of prospects?
First, I will divide them into lists and have volunteers call them whenever we have any kind of special service (“Mike, we are just calling to invite you to our upcoming Easter Drama. Do you have plans yet for Easter? Well then, can we bring you by some free tickets to the best Easter drama you will ever see?”)
Secondly, I will send them a flyer or large postcard in the mail inviting them to that same event. Or any other events we can dream up and ask God to bless (Healing service, Deliverance, Prosperity, Holy Ghost Baptism, etc.) I will try to send all prospects something in the mail at least six or even twelve times a year.
Thirdly, and most importantly, I will visit them about three times a year (four months between each visit). I will gather as many couples as possible at the church and give them a list of addresses to visit that evening. They will knock and introduce themselves; referring to the ‘connection’ we have with them (“You visited us six months ago on Sunday morning…”) I will then give them a flyer inviting them to our upcoming special service. I will also ask them about a home Bible study (“Have you heard about our special Home Bible Study ministry our church is involved in? No? Well! Let me tell you about it!”) Then before we leave, we will ask them if they have any special needs they would like us to pray about. If possible, I will ask them if they would mind us saying a short word of prayer about that need right there on the doorstep. It’s not uncommon to see them begin to weep as they feel the Spirit touch their heart.
Why all this effort over a simple ‘prospect?’ Because all converts start first as prospects. These prospects are your future church. They are your best chance for revival. Before you make any effort to reach the stranger, reach for the prospects.
You see, most people come to God because of some kind of personal crisis in their lives. Research tells us that the average person will go through some personal crisis every 18 months or so (death of someone close, loss of job, divorce, etc.) We need to be in touch with them during this personal crisis so we can be the one to lead them to a God that can solve all their problems. That is ‘Prospect Evangelism’ and it works!