GPS Illinois

Serving Across Illinois: One day. One heart. One thousand churches that care.

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On Saturday, April 12 churches from across Illinois are encouraged to engage in servant evangelism projects in their own communities. Some churches may consider banding together to impact their communities. Find out how your church can participate.

Attractional or missional? An attractional evangelistic event survey by SWBTS

This study was done by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in partnership with NAMB. A thousand SBC churches were asked about their use of Attractional Harvest Events defined as: the event utilized attraction to draw lost people to attend, it was bathed in prayer, well prepared for, and the Gospel was presented along with an invitation to respond.

Five hundred of these churches were the most effective evangelistic churches in the SBC. These churches baptize the most people; they assimilate them, and are all growing numerically.

7 Key Findings:
1. Nearly all A-CHURCHES, which are the nation's most highly effective evangelistic SBC churches, sponsor evangelistic events, do several of them annually, do them especially well, and get excellent results.

2. There is a significant demonstrable correlation between SBC churches  which sponsor several evangelistic events annually and do them well, these Southern Baptist churches across the USA are performing at the highest levels of evangelistic effectiveness (A-CHURCHES).

3. There is also a significant demonstrable correlation between SBC churches which sponsor fewer evangelistic events and do them less well, these Southern Baptist churches across the USA are performing at moderate levels of evangelistic effectiveness (B-CHURCHES).

4. Two-thirds of A-CHURCHES sponsor both evangelistic events AND an active personal evangelism program.

5. Significantly more A-CHURCHES sponsor evangelistic events than B-CHURCHES, which are less evangelistically effective churches.

6. A-CHURCHES sponsor significantly more evangelistic events and do significantly better preparation and follow-up for evangelistic events than B-CHURCHES.

7. More A-CHURCHES sponsor (in order) holiday related, revival-like, and sports and recreation evangelistic events than any other types. More than half sponsor revival-like evangelistic events.

What is GPS?

Central Theme -- Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing -- by 2020

Vision -- To fulfill the Great Commission in North America by 2020.

There has never been a time when more tools are available to equip and inspire believers to simply share with others what Christ has done for them.

GPS helps you coordinate your church’s evangelism efforts among the lost with others across North America.  Trust that God is already at work! The needs of each community are unique, and you know best the needs of your community. Adapt the information provided to suit your unique community.

Ideas and resources on this website are offered free of charge through the partnership between the North American Mission Board and your state convention and the funds provided through the Cooperative Program. Also, know that your Acts 1:8 partners (your association, your state convention, and the North American Mission Board) are ready to assist you in training and consultation as you have need. www.GPS2020.net.

Strategy -- 4 Biblical Markers:
Praying -- Every church praying for lost people
Equipping -- Every believer equipped to share as a trained witness
Sowing -- Every lost person receiving a witness
Harvesting -- Every church harvesting and celebrating every salvation response

Bi-Annual Themes:
2012 -- Reaching Across North America
2014 -- Serving Across North America
2016 -- Sharing Across North America
2018 -- Start Something Across North America
2020 -- Celebrating Across North America

Fresh Ideas: GPS and welcoming guests to your church

A tattoo artist, a CEO, and a homeless guy walk into your church's worship service ...

No, that's not the first line of a joke. It could become a weekly reality. Thousands of Southern Baptist churches will plan "attractional" events during the GPS emphasis (www.GPS2020.net) this spring, with the purpose of inviting their community to church. But when those strangers walk into church, will they receive a warm welcome? How can a church assure that outsiders are accepted?

The answer is spelled with just three letters: Y-O-U.

Yes, you -- the normal Christian person sitting in the pew on Sunday morning. It's nice when the greeter at the door says hello, and it's great if the pastor or church leaders have a moment to speak to guests, but what really makes a difference is when you offer a sincere hand of friendship to a guest.

Will you make it your goal to welcome every guest who sits near you during worship? Try this strategy:

-- Make a specific commitment. Look at your church layout and select an area, such as a section of seats, or three pews nearest you. Make a personal commitment to God to welcome anyone who sits in that area. Don't fret if others greet them; no one complains about being over-welcomed.

-- Say a silent prayer as you enter church every Sunday. Ask God to direct you to those who need a welcome and to give you boldness to show His love to them.

-- Just say "hello." Speak to each person who sits in that area. A simple "Hi, Teresa" can mean the world, even to regular attenders. Watch for ways to encourage them.

-- Keep an index card in your Bible. Take notes on your smart phone. You'll discover that many people sit in the same general area, and you'll soon be calling them by name. This also makes it easier to recognize guests.

-- Intentionally watch for visitors. It's difficult to be a first-time guest, but just one willing person -- that's you -- can help put them at ease. Sit beside or in front of the guest. Introduce yourself, and repeat his name in conversation. Write it on your index card or make a note on your smart phone. Make a goal to call him by name when he returns. Tell him you're glad he came.

-- Introduce the guest to at least two other people before she leaves. For example, help a young mother meet another mom, then escort her to meet the pastor.

-- Offer a "next step." Invite the guest to your small group, Bible study or an upcoming church fellowship event. Write down details for the guest.

-- Offer friendship. Give her your personal contact info, and encourage the guest to email or call with questions. Invite her to join you after church for lunch or for coffee one day this week. Be sure to invite her to come again for worship next Sunday.

What would happen if the world began to walk into your church doors next Sunday? Would those guests be shunned or warmly embraced? The answer is in your hands.

You thought the first line of this was a joke, right? Instead, it's the crux of the Gospel, the serious work of loving all people to Jesus. Will you begin this Sunday to make a resolution to welcome guests?

Diana Davis (www.keeponshining.com) is an author, speaker and wife of the North American Mission Board's vice president for the Midwest region, Steve Davis.
 

Tim Sadler

TIMSADLER1Director, Evangelism, Discipleship, Student and Men's Ministries
Church Strengthening Team
(217) 391-3131
TimSadler@IBSA.org

Debbie Muller

Debbie MullerMinistry Assistant
Church Strengthening Team
(217) 391-3126
DebbieMuller@IBSA.org

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