Step Three: Finding/Making Contacts

We are continuing with step three in the series: “Ten Practical Steps For Planting New Churches,” written by Rev. Manuel Molina Flores.

When we began the Church of the Nazarene in La Concordia (Mexico), our first action was to visit the families in the neighborhood and introduce ourselves as new neighbors.  We told them we were Christians and that we wanted to serve them.  Some people asked us a few questions about our faith, and others simply rejected us, but in the end, we knew our neighbors.  And we had the list of contacts we wanted.

It is important to determine the most effective methods to identify receptive people.  In this community, we used the Jesus Film, visited door-to-door with the Evangecube, visited people to pray for them, did Maximum Mission projects, and celebrated important days, like Mother’s Day, Children’s Day, etc.

It is important for the church planter to pray daily for the contacts on the list and organize a schedule with the goal of meeting with them again.

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A contact is someone who, in following our plans, we will see again in order to cultivate a friendship and provide Biblical teaching.

Contact cards are our primary tool to continue in communication with a person we are trying to win to Christ. Along with personal information, it should contain information about their needs as well as notes about the results of our visits.  One of the main values of these cards is that they help us to focus in daily, intercessory prayer for those individuals.  We learn to pray for the people who demonstrate interest in the message we have shared.

To optimize this process, we must be disciplined in the use of an appointment book.  At the beginning of each week, using the contact cards in prayer, organize your schedule around the people you want to visit.  Then add your additional activities and responsibilities.  Begin each day praying for the people on the contact cards and preparing yourself for the visits you have on your schedule.

Principle:

Sow lots of seeds in order to receive an abundant harvest.

Successfully planting a church requires sowing abundantly. Abundant sowing will bring to light those who are “good soil” and ready for eternal life.  Through home visits, special events, film projection, etc., a church planter must establish as many personal relationships as possible, and then through those relationships win others to Christ.  We must be persistent.  There will be some people who only make a decision for Christ after many visits.

Emphasize relationships over activities

Our effectiveness in evangelism is directly related to the number of authentic relationships we are able to establish.  We should avoid any activity that does not produce fruitful contacts. If we only interact with the households that began the work, always doing our work near them, we will never advance towards our established goals.

Have a follow-up plan for the contacts

Independent of the method we use, evangelism requires prayer, planning, time and effort.  Church planters should avoid falling into either of two extremes: 1) Wasting time using impersonal methods that do not serve to win people to Christ, or 2) Limiting ourselves to only casual encounters without a plan.

***Learn Step 4 of this church-planting series in the following article.

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