Contact Info Subscribe Links


October-November 2023

Forging Ahead


Online Edition

Screen Edition

Download PDF




History Resources



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email


Finding Hope in The Hope Initiative

By Eddie Moody


Last fall, the Great Commission Research Network surveyed evangelical church pastors and asked them about the top challenges they anticipated facing in 2023. Take a look at the table below, and you will notice the top two challenges, along with number ten, all relate to evangelism.

The lack of evangelism has become a real problem for the North American church. Last year, research by Dr. Thom Rainer of Church Answers discovered only 4% of churches have any type of evangelistic outreach, and less than 1% of churches have a year-round evangelistic outreach approach.

However, while these statistics are discouraging, Rainer notes the church and its leaders need hope and not guilt. “Churches aren’t evangelizing because Christians sense little urgency to reach the lost. Many churches struggle to maintain regular evangelism efforts because the task can feel like a stale obligation.” Rainer continues, “Your members need hope-filled inspiration, not guilt-ridden guidance!”

With these things in mind, Rainer began to develop The Hope Initiative, which uses prayer and Scripture as the foundation. He concluded that, to be successful, this approach would need to be efficient, taking less than 20 minutes a day for participants.

Because it is difficult to engage the entire congregation in the revitalization process, The Hope Initiative seeks to change the culture of a church three to five participants at a time over a 12-month period.

Last year, Dr. Rainer asked Free Will Baptists to partner in the development of this new initiative. As the year went by, our churches that participated in beta testing discovered The Hope Initiative works. Rainer expressed his thankfulness for these churches, noting, “I am confident God will use their desire to be obedient to the Great Commission to reach many people for Christ, and that many of their churches will see abundant fruit in the days ahead.”

Consider one exciting example of this abundant fruit. While participating in The Hope Initiative, Pastor Noah Taylor sent a note to a man in his community. The man immediately began attending Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church in Erwin, Tennessee. He also began attending a life group and was saved a few months later.


Excited about his newfound faith, this individual began to share the gospel with people throughout his community. On his own, he decided to host a “Got Saved Party” on Good Friday, inviting his new friends at church and his lost friends to come together (see photo above). He was baptized April 16, 2023.

The Hope Initiative works, and I encourage you and your church to participate. We offer this initiative through Church Answers at cost. To get started, visit

About the Author: Dr. Eddie Moody is executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Learn more:


©2023 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists