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Cover 35


March 2011


Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship


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Free Will Baptist
History Resources


My Name Is Richard


Have you ever wondered how home missionaries meet new people?

Hello, My Name Is Richard

by Richard Atwood


The tee shirt reads, “Casually Serious.” So, people stop and ask, “What does ‘Casually Serious’ mean?” The church planter replies, “It means we have a church with a casual atmosphere, but we are serious about our faith.” What a creative way to introduce people to your church!

This summer and fall, several Free Will Baptist church planters moved to new cities to start new churches. One of their biggest challenges is meeting new people so they can impact their lives for Christ. How do you lead people to Christ or even get them to come to church if you don’t know anyone? If you face this same challenge, perhaps you can use some of the following ideas:


A God Moment

The tee shirt described above is from Josh Bennett in Marana, Arizona.

Here are three other ideas from Josh:

  • Pray for opportunities. Sometimes, I ask God to create a “God moment.” The very first day I prayed this, the cashier at Costco asked me—right out of the blue—if Jesus was God. We had a 10-minute conversation about it, and now I stop by Costco regularly to talk with him. I believe he will come to a point of salvation.

  • Have a hobby (golf, going to the park, fishing, etc). How can you get to know someone better than spending four hours on a golf course or the lake? I recently met a new friend on the golf course, and now we get together once or twice a week. We eat together, golf together, and cheer on each other’s sports teams.

  • Develop a regular place to eat or get coffee. We eat breakfast frequently at the same restaurant and have built good relationships through that. (If you do not tip well, skip this one.)


The Number One Rule

Jeff Goodman is another member of the Marana, Arizona, team.

I love his Number One Rule:

Be around people is my Number One Rule. I go to Starbucks, Wal-Mart, the library, and the park (with my daughter). She enjoys playing, and I always meet people. I joined a recreation league softball team, and my wife joined a mom’s group. If you need to meet people, you can’t just sit at home. I often do church work at Starbucks, and I am always ready to meet people, even if it interrupts what I am doing.

Be a servant. Perform random acts of kindness. (I sometimes buy gift cards for people, pay for their meal, or buy their child a small toy.) If somebody is moving in or out of our apartment complex, we offer to help them.

Meet your neighbors and get to know them. Take time to listen. People can tell if you really care, or if you are just trying to get them to visit your church. Invite people to a meal and games at your house.


As You Are Going

Donnie Burke in Castle Rock, Colorado, tells about meeting new people:

Our family meets people with the “as you are going” technique. People often open their front door with their guard up, but when you meet them at your kids’ school or in a sporting goods store, they are more receptive. We make it a point to talk to people wherever we go and let them see that we are normal people with normal needs, with a love for God and for others.

Here’s how we met our contacts:

  • Three families at yard sales

  • One family at a hot dog kiosk (He is the owner.)

  • Took brownies to a new neighbor

  • Befriended two neighboring families

  • Met a family on a motorcycle ride

  • Met a family at a car show


Movie Night

Barry Long, home missionary to Denver, Colorado, mentioned a few different ideas:

Get involved with the kids’ sporting activities.

Invite friends and neighbors to a movie night at your house.

Bake and give out cookies with invitations to an upcoming Bible study or special event. We went door-to-door and introduced ourselves as new to the neighborhood. After handing them the cookies, we invited them to a Bible study.


Knock Doors

Jim Kilgore in Greenfield, California, suggests:

On July Fourth, we gave away bottles of water. We also distributed the Book of John and an invitation to our church. A family of five began attending our church from that first contact.

We hold Wednesday meetings in our home, beginning with a dinner. Some folks who wouldn’t come to our church initially felt comfortable (and hungry) enough to come to our home.

We go door-to-door, meeting people and leaving information about the church. In my opinion, this is still the best way to meet folks.

These examples will help you understand how home missionaries are being creative in meeting people. Why is it so important to make these special efforts? As I write this, the new church in Marana just had seven people saved at their Bible study!


About the Writer: Richard Atwood is director of missionary assistance for Free Will Baptist Home Missions. Learn more at


©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists