Neighborly Evangelism

My cousin is the Pastor of a church that has around one thousand active members. Just four years ago the church had only three hundred active members. The congregation is multicultural and the average age is thirty seven years old. The membership is made of various economic statuses, but a lot of the congregation fit into the upper middle class to wealthy range. This fact intrigued me since a lot of people in this category tend to be non-religious. I asked my cousin how does his church attract well to do individuals? His response was Neighborly Evangelism. I asked him what is Neighborly Evangelism? He went on to explain the concept that his congregation had adapted.

My cousin early in his ministry realized that those individuals in the upper middle class and above tend to not be targeted regarding ministry. My cousin set out to change this. He talked to some people and did some research and realized that those in the upper middle class and higher classes valued three main things;

  • Education for their Children
  • Their Finances
  • Their Time

My cousin armed with this information developed a plan of action. This process is called “More than Words”. He asked his congregation to do the three things listed below;

  • Do something nice for your spouse and children on a weekly basis.
  • Pray for your neighbor and coworkers
  • Do something nice for your neighbors and coworkers on a monthly basis.

The congregation put these three items into practice and it made a huge difference. People seemed happier and people had testimonies of lives being touched. The congregation then developed a strategy to address the values of the upper middle class and higher classes. First they addressed the “Education for their children” value. The church decided to launch a top quality Summer Camp for kids. All were invited but the main target was upper middle class and higher classes individuals. The church developed some professional looking postcards and distributed them outside of office buildings in the business district. The first year over one hundred kids attended. Year two over one hundred and fifty kids attended and in the third year over two hundred attended. One executive was so impressed by the program that he donated ten thousand dollars to the program. He and his family also joined the church. This particular ministry doesn’t solicit funds as it is now self-sustaining. They now plan to expand the program in the future.

The congregation decided to launch live Free webinars around the topics of financial management and time management. These webinars last one hour and can be viewed online. The webinars take place on a monthly basis and are conducted by church members. Average attendance for these webinars are one hundred individuals each month. These webinars are making a difference in the lives of the attendees. People as a result of these two programs have joined the church. Some have also joined as a result of the “More than Words” concept. My cousin believes that when you address people’s needs and concerns that they will come. They will also give of their time and finances since what they are doing is making a difference in people’s lives. I had an opportunity to attend my cousin’s church and was impressed by the friendliness and energy of the congregation. At the end of the worship service and fellowship meal I told my cousin that I’m impressed. Neighborly Evangelism is a concept that definitely works.


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