MISSION '76 emphasizes literature evangelism. Every pastor and evangelist desires greater and more effective assistance from the various evangelistic agencies of the church. Yet we often neglect or overlook the fact that literature evangelism is an extremely effective avenue of soul winning. In Colorado, however, that blurred picture is being repainted with scenes of cooperation and togetherness.
Our first step in bringing this about was to invite the literature evangelists in those areas where public meetings were going to be held to meet with the evangelism committee for an organizational meeting. We assured the literature evangelists of our cooperation in winning their interested people. Also we promised to help them with sales. The idea of a team effort prevailed, and we were united in the one great objective of winning souls. A simple plan of action was put into operation.
First, we developed a special file of interested people that literature evangelists had contacted. This included paid-out accounts, as well as seriously and casually interested people. Before the public meetings began, a special invitation was sent by the literature evangelist to those on his list, along with a handbill. The expense and work involved was cared for by the evangelistic team. A letter was also sent by the public evangelist to the names on the interest list.
Next, a person-to-person invitation is extended by the literature evangelist. Not only does he personally invite them but he also offers to bring them to the meetings. During the meetings the literature evangelist works as a vital part of the public evangelistic team in visiting those interested and to help clear up any questions they may have and set the truth of God's Word firmly in their minds. He works closely with them as they begin to make decisions to accept Christ and to unite with God's commandment-keeping people. He also becomes the point of contact that enables the new members to become safely integrated into the church family.
Plan Working Well
This plan is working very well in certain areas of Colorado. In one meeting alone, conducted in Pueblo, Colorado, thirty of the sixty people baptized were won by the literature evangelists. Wherever this plan is being followed, success always results.
You may wonder how the literature evangelist can afford to take valuable time from his busy schedule to work in public evangelistic meetings. Do not his sales fall off and the necessary funds stop coming in during this period?
While we recognize that God does often perform miracle sales for the literature evangelist during the public meetings, we also recognize that where there is less selling time the result is bound to be less sales. We try to compensate for this by giving prime names to the literature evangelist during the meetings. These people, of course, are good prospects for our literature.
However, the real bonus for the literature evangelist, in terms of sales, comes after the public meetings are over. Here is probably a new departure in the corporate work of public and literature evangelists. There are usually a large number of interested people who at tended the meetings but did not take their stand. Often the churches are not able to follow up the work begun with these individuals. God seemed to impress us that literature evangelism would be the perfect way to follow up such interests. We decided to give the idea a chance to prove itself.
After the public meetings were over we gave the names of the people who had attended the meetings but who had not taken their stand to the literature evangelists. As they call on these people they introduce themselves as associates of the speaker of the public meetings. This approach usually gains an en trance into the home.
After getting better acquainted, the literature evangelist refers to the genuine interest in Bible study the people exhibited in attending the evangelistic meetings. He then offers to share with them a unique Bible study plan that will enable them to continue the study begun in the public meeting on an individual or family basis.
He then simply presents the books as a means of advanced study for the en tire family. Naturally they are also en rolled in a Bible correspondence course. What plan of follow-up could be better? Where followed, this plan is working and the increased sales after the meetings make up for the decreased sales during the public meeting itself.
Naturally this plan demands a high Christian standard of professional ethics on the part of the literature evangelist. However, when we treat the literature evangelist like the minister of God he was meant to be, he usually comes up to our highest expectations. This plan does work, and it can be a mighty means of building up the churches and reaching more quickly the multitudes who are thirsting for the water of life.