5 Benefits of Big Days

This past Sunday our church had a big day. We highlighted our after school program that ministers to over 110 families in our community. We spent over a month personally inviting all of them, we sent mailers, we offered a free lunch, and we scheduled the kids in the after school program to sing in one of our morning worship services.

The result? We had over 40 visiting families (most of them unchurched). Here are some of the benefits I have noticed to having big days such as the one we had last week.

1- It builds excitement in the church.

Just the thought of having a big day builds excitement. But when the planned big day turns out to actually be a BIG day, the excitement continues. People love to see the church building overflowing with people. They see that with some hard work it is possible to have a lot of visitors.

2- It exposes your church to more people.

The vast majority of those who attended our big day had never attended before. It was their first exposure to our worship service. Some of the people I talked to had preconceived ideas about our church that were not accurate. Them coming allowed that to be corrected.

Now, as a result of our big day, more people know who we are and what we do.

3- It increases your prospects list.

This is common sense, but because of how we encourage visitors to complete guest registrations cards (read about that HERE), we now have many more prospects with which to follow-up.

4- It leads to increased attendance.

Many studies have been conducted that support this fact. Whenever a church has a big day where attendance significantly spikes up, ongoing attendance remains higher than it was before the big day. Obviously, not all who attended will continue to attend, but some will. Some members who have not been attending regularly will see the excitement the church has about reaching out and be drawn back in to regular attendance.

5- It is an opportunity to preach the gospel to the unchurched.

This is by far the most important point. Big days provide the opportunity to preach the gospel to people who may have never heard it before. We should be encouraged by the fact that Jesus was proclaimed to people who have not yet acknowledged their need for Christ.

Are big days a lot of work? Yes. Do big days require the involvement of many volunteers? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Schedule several big days throughout the year and you, too, will see the many benefits.

 

7 Hindrances to the Gospel

As believers we should strive to communicate the gospel to the people God has placed in our lives. In doing so, we must remember that how we communicate the gospel is crucially important. Some people communicate the ‘gospel’ in a way that actually hinders the true message of the gospel. Here are a seven ways this takes place.

1- A Wrong Attitude About the Gospel

It is possible to have an attitude about the gospel that stands in the way of the message of the gospel. Remember, it is the truth that should cause division, not our attitude about it. Our attitude should demonstrate a love and concern for people.

2- Dumbing Down the Gospel

Some people dumb down the gospel so much that it ceases to be the gospel. The gospel is more than reading a prayer or reciting a cliché catch-phrase. The gospel is such ‘Good News’ because of the reality of the bad news – that we are sinners who deserve the just wrath of God and on our own we cannot remedy our lost condition.

3- Americanizing the Gospel

As David Platt said in his book Radical, “We need to explore how much of our understanding of the gospel is American and how much is biblical.”

4- Socializing the Gospel

As much as Christians should be involved in helping the poor and feeding the starving; that is not the gospel, it is a result of the gospel. Man’s primary need is spiritual, not physical.

5- Gold-Plating the Gospel

The gospel is not a prosperous, get-rich-quick scheme. As soon as that is a focus, the true gospel has been deserted.

6- The ‘Me’ Gospel

The gospel is not about worshipping ourselves, it is about glorifying God. Any gospel that does not accomplish this purpose is not the true gospel.

7- A Focus on Issues instead of the Gospel

There are some who spend so much of their time focusing on and arguing about non-important issues that the gospel is lost. Do the people in your life know more about your stance on insignificant issues or about your passion for the gospel? Keep the main thing the main thing.

We must be sure we are accurately communicating the gospel in a way that is consistent with the message of the gospel.

4 Reasons Churches Should Do More On College Campuses

College campuses are an often-neglected mission field. To be fair, it is a challenging mission field and many churches are unsure how to effectively minister in that context. However, it is worth the effort. Here are four reasons churches should strive to do more on college campuses.

1- College campuses are a great place to reach the nations.

According to US News and World Report the number of international students on college campuses in the US has grown 72% since the year 2000. Some estimate that there are over one million international students on our campuses.

We no longer have to send missionaries overseas to reach the nations; we can now go to our local college campuses and do the very same thing for a much smaller financial investment. For those who are passionate about reaching the nations, college campuses are a great place to focus their efforts.

2- Students are the next generation of church leaders.

If we fail to reach college age students, we are failing to reach and disciple the next generation of church leaders. Ignoring this age bracket jeopardizes the future health of our churches.

3- Christian students need to be mobilized to reach their peers.

There are Christian students on college campuses, and many times they feel as though they are all alone. Working with Christian campus ministries creates a network of believers who can then be equipped to reach their peers for Christ.

4- Students of other faiths are often searching for answers to life’s big questions.

The influx of international students to our college campuses creates a unique opportunity. The college-age years in a person’s life are where searching takes places. Many of the international students are adherents to other faiths. They, too, are searching for answers and Christians need to be ready to provide those answers.

I realize college campuses are a difficult place to minister. I realize there are challenges that will have to be strategically overcome. However, we must understand that the mission field has come to us on our college campuses, and we would be unwise to simply ignore this opportunity because it is difficult.

Churches must do more on our college campuses.

What are some ideas you have about how churches can reach out on our college campuses? Please comment below.