I agree with Tim Smith of the Gerogia Baptist Convention in an article on LifeWay‘s website entitled How Your Church Can Discover Prospects. There are golden prospects all around us. We only have to open our eyes. But in order to find gold, you have to look for and plan for gold.
Allow me to share three of Tim’s suggestions. His suggestions are in all capitals followed by my commentary:
- DISCOVER PROSPECTS AT WORSHIP. It is important that we register guests in worship. It is difficult to contact guests when we have no contact information. Tim also reminds us to make sure we provide enough time for guests to complete the card. In addition, classes should be looking for gold in the sanctuary. They should be looking to see if there are any persons that could fit into their class. They should work to begin a relationship right there. Invite the prospect to class and to a fellowship. Get the prospect’s name and call him/her by name. Connect again immediately after worship. Seek out a prospect card and make a call in the next couple of days.
- DISCOVER PROSPECTS AT VBS. Vacation Bible School is still Southern Baptist’s most effective gold-discovering tool. But for some reason, many churches invest all the time into planning for VBS and none into following up on prospects that are discovered. Don’t forget family members of those who attended VBS. There are often unchurched parents or siblings living in the same home. Make sure you do a thorough job of registering your VBS participants: preschoolers, children, students, and adults. Ask your Sunday School classes to be ready to follow up in the week(s) following VBS. (In many ways, Sunday School is year-round VBS!)
- DISCOVER PROSPECTS BY OFFERING SPECIAL EVENTS. Set up a free water booth at community events with a give-away prize if they will register. Register guests at Easter and Christmas musicals. Offer classes that are targeted to meet the needs of people in your community. These can be classes dealing with identity-theft, self-defense, GED, English as a second language, finances, marriage, parenting, and even “potty-training.” Make sure you register and follow up with those who attend these classes.
Be intentional in your prospecting. Care for the gold nuggets you find. God loves and sent His Son for each and every one. Keep good prospect files. Develop a solid prospect follow up system. Make a difference for God. Make a difference in the lives of prospects. Make a difference for your class. Invite. Love. Share Jesus. Be revolutionary!