Dream with me for a moment. Let the following question roll around in your mind: What if your church could double in one day?
Right up front I want to go out on a limb (my Dad always said, “Son, that’s where the fruit is!”) and say, any Missuri Baptist Convention church (MBC) can easily double their attendance in one Sunday! How? Simple. Any MBC church can double in just one Sunday as long as one thing happens: Everyone invites an unchurched friend to attend with them that Sunday! Think about that. Your church could double next Sunday if everyone in your congregation got on board.
The real conundrum about a church doubling in a day isn’t how do we do it but why it isn’t happening every Sunday? Why is it that my church and your church can go months (or even years) without significant growth? Do you think that’s what God wants?
Right now, some of you are ready to read the next page of Pathway and pass over my article saying, “There’s goes Taylor talking about Church Growth again” and such talk turns you off. Before I proceed telling you how you can double in one Sunday and turn you off, consider a quadralemma argument about Church Growth. (What is a quadralemma argument? An argument is referred to as quadralemma because it states four possibilities).
1. If Church Growth doesn’t work and the pastor doesn’t attempt it, the church will have lost nothing.
2. If Church Growth doesn’t work and the pastor does attempt it, the church will have lost nothing.
3. If Church Growth does work and the pastor does attempt it, the church will have honored God.
4. If Church Growth does work and the pastor doesn’t attempt it, the church will not have honored God (in this respect).
Now, back to our subject – how to lead my church to double in one day? Here it is: Pray, plan and prepare for FRIEND DAY this fall. What is FRIEND DAY? FRIEND DAY is a day you have publicly promoted with your congregation, challenging and encouraging each member to bring a FRIEND with them to church on the designated FRIEND DAY.
Why pray, plan, promote and prepare for FRIEND DAY in my church? The purpose is to help your church carry out the Great Commission given in Matthew 28:19-20. This purpose is achieved by involving members in reaching out to their friends in an organized manner. Furthermore, FRIEND DAY provides an opportunity for church members to be like Jesus: He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10)!
Now, some practical suggestions to make FRIEND DAY a BIG DAY in the life of your church.
1 – Six weeks before FRIEND DAY, the pastor should kick it off by announcing the day, encouraging each member to bring a friend, then, holding up a card with the name of the FRIEND he is bringing with him on it. He then lays his name card on the Lord’s Supper table (altar if more appropriate) and asks the chairman of deacons to pray for his invited friend.
2 – Five weeks before FRIEND DAY, the staff will come forward with the names of the FRIENDS they are bringing on individual cards, lay the cards on the Lord’s Supper table and have the vice-chairman of the deacons to pray for these invited friends.
3 – Four weeks before FRIEND DAY, the deacons will come forward with the names of the FRIENDS they are bringing on individual cards, lay the cards on the Lord’s Supper table and have the pastor pray over them.
Three weeks before, have Sunday School leaders/teachers come forward with their cards, then two weeks before invite the rest of the congregation to come with theirs. One week before, pray for next week’s FRIEND DAY. FRIEND DAY have greeters in the parking lot to welcome everyone and point them to the sanctuary. Have ushers ready to assist people to their seats. Be prayed up, put on your friendliest face and trust God to bless!
Oh, how to make the devil mad? People inviting people to church to hear about Jesus will do it every time! This should never be our primary reason but, every now and then, I like to do something that will really irk our arch-enemy. After all, if you haven’t met the devil head-on lately, maybe it’s because you are moving in the same direction!
GARY TAYLOR / MBC Director of Evangelism