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St. John’s Lutheran Church

People are ready!

Congregations are expressing eagerness to go out into their community and spread the gospel message. Personal evangelism is becoming more paramount for congregations to employ since more people are choosing to stay home rather than come to church on Sunday morning to hear the Word.

Despite a perceived lack of interest in church, there is an attentive audience to hear what God has done for the world.

People are struggling to find hope and peace during these tumultuous times. Yet, for a variety of reasons, unchurched people are not looking to a church to find answers. It’s not that people are necessarily rejecting the Truth, but due to biblical ignorance, many people have never heard a clear message of the gospel.

Perhaps not since 9-11 has there been a better time for Christians to proclaim a message of hope that centers upon what Christ has already done for us.

At St. John’s Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, they are seizing this moment to provide the truth of God’s Word to people in their surrounding community. Praise and Proclaim was asked to come and enhance their gospel ministry and further their vision to spread the Word. Our goal was to train St. John’s members on how to be comfortable and feel equipped to give reasons for the hope they have in Christ.  

The comprehensive training weekend included a training seminar, the construction of a digital campaign, and organization of an experience for members to immediately put their training into action.

The Lord blessed the training with an impressive turnout. Members from St. John’s learned how to engage people in their community in a variety of different settings and how to comfortably transition to providing a short reason for the hope they have in Christ.

The Activity

After attending a 2 ½ hour training session, the participants arrived the following morning to put their training into action.

Over 100 grocery bags were filled and delivered to nearby apartment buildings. This was an opportunity for members who may have had limited experience in personal evangelism to receive a positive and meaningful experience. Providing free food to families in need builds credibility for a congregation. More importantly, it was an opportunity for members to learn how to utilize credibility to transition into a short gospel message that gives a reason why they serve.  

In the afternoon, members received further training and were provided with another experience to proclaim the gospel. Each team was given a list of people who recently moved into the neighborhood in the past few months. The list included non-member families with children who attend St. John’s Lutheran School.

The Message

Due to the changing dynamic of living in a post-Christian society and the impact of COVID-19, congregations are having to make shifts in their overall evangelism strategy. Instead of relying heavily on inviting people to come to church to hear the Word, the church must also bring the Word to the people.

Our message to people that we met is to let them know that St. John’s cares about them and understands that during this worldwide pandemic people may feel uncomfortable coming to church. Therefore, we wanted to bring the church to them. The people we met responded favorably to this message.

Utilizing a half-page printed sheet, people were invited to the church website to read a devotion series that centered upon hope during difficult times.

Digital Proclamation of the Word

With every outreach initiative from Praise and Proclaim, we are introducing the power and effectiveness of producing a digital message to proclaim the Word. A separate landing page is produced that includes messages from the pastor. Members are learning how to utilize this landing page to engage and connect with people, including those in their personal network.

>> Visit the landing page produced for St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The Response

The three primary goals with every outreach initiative conducted by Praise and Proclaim is to:

  1. Every participant will feel comfortable to start a conversation about Jesus.
  2. They will feel equipped to give a reason for the hope they have in Christ to anybody.
  3. They will believe that “I can do this!” by drawing their focus away from themselves and on to the risen Christ.

The members at St. John’s Lutheran discovered that when they utilize a methodology and approach that is comfortable and non-threatening, while treating people with love and respect, they may have positive experiences spreading the Word.

St. John’s Lutheran Church and School is located on a busy corner (Forest Home and 68th). They met people who drove by the church often and discovered the importance of bringing a face of the church to the people. They also learned the importance of establishing credibility as an effective means to proclaim the gospel.  When a congregation exhibits care and concern by meeting needs, they are willing to hear a short message of what Christ has already done for us.

Every person we met at the door was friendly and greeted us warmly. Many people did not have a church home even though they may have some church background. Each team member wore masks and nobody from the community expressed concern that people from a local church were knocking on their doors.

Praise and Proclaim is grateful for the opportunity to come to St. John’s Lutheran Church. The members are excited to spread the Word in their community – both personally and digitally. They trust that Jesus is right – the harvest is ready and the workers are few.

It is an amazing and opportune time right now to provide the Word in our community so that the power of the Word may be unleashed in the hearts and minds of people who do not know Christ.

The Details

Milwaukee, WI

April 2021

It is an amazing and opportune time right now to provide the Word in our community so that the power of the Word may be unleashed in the hearts and minds of people who do not know Christ.

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