Part #18 of a study of Fastest Growing Churches in the Georgia Baptist Mission Board


Dr. Tim SmithThis is a series of insights gleaned from surveys and interviews with the most effective churches of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in reaching and keeping people through Sunday School and Small Groups.

10 Things That Surprised Me About These Churches (part #18)

#7 – Question #38: How often does your church conduct organized church-wide visitation/outreach emphasis?  I’ve been in ministry since I was eighteen years old.  In the first part on my ministry years; about 30 years, I was taught that in order to reach the lost we needed to do some type of weekly outreach/visitation night at the church.  That’s what I did and even today encourage churches to engage in going beyond the walls of the church.  The church must be involved with the community if it is going to reach the community!  My surprise was that 45% of the fastest growing churches responded they NEVER conduct an organized church-wide outreach/visitation time.  Almost half of these churches do not have a time set aside on their church calendar for outreach/visitation.  The week-night church-wide outreach/visitation night was a main stay of churches just a few years ago.  Just about any church that was reaching new people said it was because they had a visitation program.  Times have changed.

The fact that almost half of the fastest growing churches do not have a regularly scheduled weekly outreach program.  This is in no way implying these churches are not engaged in their community. The truth is that 100% of them said they were intentionally engaging their community in outreach efforts.  Some of them do have an outreach/visitation night and it is still working very effective.  But there are some using unique and creative ways to influence their community and share the gospel message.  These churches are leading the classes and/or groups to be engaged in outreach/evangelism in their neighborhoods and communities.  They are using various creative efforts to impact their world.  These churches are being intentional about sharing the gospel with the lost and most other churches only accidently reach the lost.