“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” – John 6:68
By God’s grace we know the love of Jesus but verbalizing that good news is not something that comes naturally, even for a 150-year-old congregation. That’s where Praise and Proclaim Ministries came into play for us, as they helped our old – established congregation, in the heart of WELS Wisconsin to share that love of Jesus. Here’s the thing, having Praise and Proclaim Ministries come to your church won’t guarantee results, but they will train God’s people to carry out God’s mission in a way that makes sense while resting on the power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts.
Pastor Paul Schupmann, St. John’s, Juneau, Lowell, Horicon, WI
I was impressed with the simplicity of Dave’s approach as he worked with sem students and our members. It took away a lot of fear when we actually went out and began the scary work of knocking on doors! Scattering the gospel seed became a reality as we went out. We’re planning to do this again.
Rev. Kurt Ebert, Christ Alone Lutheran Church, Thiensville, WI
The members of St. Paul’s in Winneconne, WI really appreciated the ministry of Praise and Proclaim. Dave Malnes offered personal evangelism training to over fifty members, both children and adults. He taught us to comfortably and confidently share the gospel in simple, non-threatening ways. On Saturday morning we had opportunity to put our training into practice as we invited neighbors to our first annual National Night Out. Every pair that went out to invite also had the chance to plant gospel seeds. In all, we knocked on nearly 400 doors and planted 81 gospel seeds. That was just the jump start our congregation needed to get all of God’s people sharing the gospel both through the church and in their own personal lives. Dave brings organization, experience, expertise and most of all passion to share the gospel with all. We highly recommend Praise and Proclaim to all!
Rev. Ben Berger, St. Paul’s, Winneconne, WI (July 26-27, 2019)
Working with Praise and Proclaim was a great experience for us at Good News. For starters, the planning and other front-end work were all very organized. Dave always made us feel like he was completely on top of things and that the weekend would be a great success. He let us know exactly what to expect so that we could communicate that to our members.
Having tried quite a few different approaches to door-knocking and having seen strengths and weaknesses of each, I really appreciate Dave’s approach. He does a great job of letting attendees know exactly what we’re hoping to accomplish (and what we’re not). He puts the focus on sharing the gospel, knowing that each time we have a chance to do that it’s a success no matter how it’s received. Part of the beauty of this approach is that it also allows people to grow in their confidence as they share the gospel in other situations. Whether it’s some other church function, community event, or a casual conversation with a neighbor, the things we learn to say at the doorstep can be used in those situations too.
Finally, I appreciated the fact that Dave is a real person who understands real people and knows how to treat them. He doesn’t present an false or overly rosy view of what sharing the gospel is like. He isn’t the type of person that attendees have a hard time relating to. He doesn’t pretend as though what we’re learning to do isn’t difficult. This makes all the difference in giving people the courage to put their trust in God’s promises (rather than their own personality skills or character traits) and boldly plant gospel seeds!
Rev. Jonathan Bauer, Good News Lutheran Church, Mt Horeb, WI (June 1, 2019)
I have the privilege of serving as pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Verona and Monroe, WI. Several members from my church and I drove to Chattanooga to help a former vicar with a new mission start at Living Hope Lutheran in Chattanooga. We participated in the evangelism training provided by Praise and Proclaim Ministries.
Several weeks later, I attended a speed networking event in Fitchburg, WI. This is a community where our congregation is looking to start a new site. The training from Praise and Proclaim was perfect to share the Good News of our Savior Jesus in thirty seconds using the keywords I learned. I spoke with 30 people in less than an hour and had the chance to share the gospel with every single one of them. What a cool opportunity to plant so many gospel seeds!
I am thankful and appreciate the training I received from Praise and Proclaim and would recommend congregations to prayerfully consider utilizing this gospel ministry.
(Rev. Nathan Strutz, Resurrection, Verona/Monroe, WI)
I had the unique and enriching opportunity to be event coordinator when Praise and Proclaim visited my congregation. It’s such a privilege to work with Dave, whose joy in sharing the gospel is absolutely clear as day. He does a wonderful job of putting you at ease, reminding you of Who it really is who transforms hearts and encouraging you to trust the Lord despite any fears or apprehension. What a fantastic opportunity: not only do you learn about ways to share Jesus with people, but you actually then go out and do it. As Dave always reminds us, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”. (Jessica Becker, Light of Life, Greenwood, IN)
The transparent training we received through Praise & Proclaim Ministries was invaluable. Dave did not try to frame a fairy-tale type picture of evangelism as something that everyone is supposed to love and embrace with open arms. Rather, he helped us to acknowledge and embrace the fears that we all have, then gave us the gospel guts to witness courageously in spite of those fears.
While opinions may differ about the “return on investment” merits of canvassing, there is an undeniable satisfaction that comes with taking the initiative to intentionally sow seeds of the gospel instead of waiting for others to come to us to hear it. Furthermore, focusing on the seed-sowing and not the immediate results frees us from disappointment and discouragement. It allows us to celebrate what we can control, while leaving up to God the results that only he can control. (Rev. Aaron Boehm, The Way, El Cajon, CA)
Our evangelism lay leader is always looking for ways to get more people involved in evangelism. He found Praise and Proclaim and suggested that we use it. From the beginning, Dave Malnes was helpful in answering our questions and helping us to see the goal of this program for our congregation. Of course, our goal is to tell more people the good news about Jesus. But we also wanted to train more members to help with this work, not only going door to door, but especially to make them comfortable talking to the people they already know about Christ. Dave was especially helpful in helping us to organize the weekend outreach initiative. With his help, we had a good group come for the Friday training. The presentation engaged us and motivated us with the gospel to go out the next day to plant gospel seeds with people in our neighborhood. About half of the group came on Saturday to go door to door. Some who came on Friday had made other plans on Saturday because they were sure they would not want to go door to door. After the training, they wished they had kept Saturday open. Saturday went well too. Everyone got more comfortable sharing a short gospel message and were excited to tell their stories at the evening celebration meal. A great outcome of this weekend is that members are asking when we are going to do this again. They want more opportunities to proclaim the gospel. Thanks to the Lord and to Praise and Proclaim, we have more members who are willing to help in organized outreach events and engage in personal evangelism too. I highly recommend Praise and Proclaim to any church that wants to involve more people in evangelism. (Rev. Matt Pfeifer, Lincoln Heights, IA)
We wanted our new mission church to get off to a good start. So we asked Dave Malnes of Praise & Proclaim Ministries to come and lead us in an outreach campaign in our community. He trained our launch team how to go door-to-door and proclaim the gospel in a very simple way. Then we put it into practice by actually going into our church neighborhood and doing it. What a blessing this was for our launch team and for our new mission! Not only did this campaign train our members how to share the gospel, but it also helped them to overcome their fears of witnessing. In fact, three weeks later at our “End-of-Summer Fun Fest,” I watched as our launch team members continued to proclaim the gospel to the 200+ people from the community who attended the event. I don’t think that kind of confidence would have been seen if it weren’t for the excellent training that Praise & Proclaim Ministries provided us. (Rev. Kevin Schultz, The Vine Church, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
“I deliver training for organizations all over the world. I have participated in training led by Dave Malnes as part of his outreach campaigns. Dave is an excellent trainer! I apply what I have learned from Dave by sharing the gospel during my travels for business.” (William Woodington, Woodington Training Solutions, LLC)
“As pastors we encourage and ask our people to share their faith. If you’re like me, maybe you struggle with the thought, “How do I do that?” Praise and Proclaim provided an easy-to-use opportunity not only to receive that training but to immediately put it into practice. Dave’s method of teaching is calm and inspiring. He loves his Savior and that is evident in his positive encouragement to all participants. He understands the power of the gospel and enables God’s people to take that power Word and share it. The excitement among our people who participated on Saturday’s outreach was through the roof. We’re thankful for the experience. Now we have a team of people equipped to share their faith with guests to worship, community events, and even more door-to-door. Your outreach and people would benefit from using Praise and Proclaim.” (Rev. Jeremy Belter – Atonement Lutheran, Plano, TX)
“Our local mission boards were in need of a tool to better reach out to our new neighbors where we have planted churches. As leaders we also needed a better way to equip and train our missionaries and their members to share the gospel. God introduced us to Praise and Proclaim Ministries. A ministry tool that uses canvassing to share the gospel. A gifted director in Dave Malnes to train and model this method for sharing Christ. A plan that addresses both big and small details. We have worked with Praise and Proclaim Ministries and recommend this ministry to any congregation looking to become truly serious about sharing the gospel to their neighbors.” (Rev. Craig Wasser, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Salem, OR; Chairman, Pacific Northwest District Mission Board)
“Praise and Proclaim ministries promises to equip a congregation with the tools and the words to say when going canvassing. They fulfilled their promises! We enjoyed working with Dave Malnes at every stage of the outreach event. Dave’s easy going yet organized spirit put is at ease going out into our neighborhood. God has richly blessed our efforts and prayers. We have had now twenty-five visitors at church since doing the canvassing a month ago. Thirteen were a direct result of the postcards and canvassing. Twelve were God bringing in blessings in ways we didn’t expect. Our evangelism team will continue to work with Dave as we work on follow up this next year. We thank God for the faithful work of Praise and Proclaim Ministries.” (Rev. Jonathan Semro, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Houston TX)
“What I love the most about Praise and Proclaim Ministries involvement with our Houston mission campaign is that they help WELS Christians discover the joy of sharing Jesus. I think we have a significant number of people in our national church body who have a heart for reaching out to the lost, but have never done it before. They kind of want to, but they just don’t know how to begin. An outreach campaign is a great way for them to get started.
Practically speaking, our church would not be able to come up with outreach materials that look this nice. I hate all the behind-the-scenes busy work of conducting outreach events – especially the printing of canvassing maps and trying to stay organized. The professional-looking materials and behind-the-scenes organization were top-notch. From a pastor’s perspective, it makes conducting a mission campaign very easy. I’m able to spend my time with my people.” (Rev. Nathan Buege, Victory of the Lamb Lutheran Church, Katy, TX)
“Praise and Proclaim Ministries has been a huge blessing to our new congregation. As a brand new mission start, one of our greatest challenges was getting out into the community with the Good News of Jesus. Our members work long hours and commute long distances for not only work, but also to church. Finding times to go canvassing and spreading word about our new church was difficult. But for the past two years, the Praise and Proclaim approach has been great not only for our new church, but also for the high school students who help us out. Seeing them grow in their faith and in their confidence to share their faith with strangers has been a huge encouragement for me and for our members.” (Rev. Ben Reichel, A Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church, Fulshear, TX)
“What a blessing Praise and Proclaim Ministries is proving to be. Outreach campaigns can tend to be time consuming to prepare and implement. Then the follow up begins. Praise and Proclaim takes these campaigns off the back burner and out to the streets where the Gospel can be proclaimed. Their ability to plan, teach and implement an outreach campaign allows the congregation to concentrate their energy in the follow up and nurturing of prospects. I really appreciated the great quality materials and training centered on God’s Word. I pray many more congregations take advantage of this great tool.” (Rev. John Ehlers, Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Peoria, AZ)
“Pastor Daron Lindemann mentioned in a recent sermon that last year, 89% of Holy Word Pflugerville members wished they could witness and evangelize better. He mentioned that the Holy Spirit provides the opportunities and tools. Dave and Praise and Proclaim Ministries are such a tool. They provide an easy way to bridge from the “desire to witness” to the “action to witness”. (Dr. Marty Stuebs, Professor of Accounting, Baylor University, Member at Trinity Lutheran Church, Temple, TX)
“Praise & Proclaim Ministries served as a much needed catalyst for our outreach at Trinity Lutheran Church. We had just discussed our outreach goals for 2016 when I was put in touch with Dave Malnes of Praise & Proclaim Ministries. Being a new pastor fresh out of the Seminary, I was a little hesitant to start too much too quickly. However, because Praise & Proclaim Ministries presents outreach in a very non-threatening way, I was pleasantly surprised to see more volunteers than expected at the training session – all of whom learned how easy it is to share their faith. They returned from going door-to-door with many exciting stories and the confidence needed to continue going out and sharing their faith. Praise & Proclaim Ministries also provided me with a great outreach model to use in the future as we at Trinity Lutheran continue to get to know our community. I have seen people more willing to volunteer and get involved with outreach events already planned for this year. (Rev. Ben Ehlers, Trinity Lutheran Church, Temple, TX)
If your church needs a spiritual shot in the arm, then Praise and Proclaim is for you! Faith is a brand new church plant in Tyler, TX. Most of our members have recently moved to the area so friendship evangelism has been slow going. President Dave Malnes came to our church and did a wonderful job of preparing our people (introverts and extroverts) for an amazing adventure of sharing Jesus in a concise and impactful way. This training not only benefited our weekend campaign but has continued to bear fruit for current efforts. P&P’s method of sending out postcards ahead of time is genius! Asking people if they had recently received the postcard allowed for a smooth transition into sharing the good news of Jesus with our community. As a direct result of the Holy Spirit’s work, two first time guests showed up for our worship service the very next day! Your congregation and your community will truly be blessed by this ministry. (Rev. Dan Schmidt, Faith Lutheran Church, Tyler, TX)
“The campaign was meaningful to me. I personally feel equip to share the gospel here and abroad. Thank you for your ministry. The work you perform empowers fellow believers to go and proclaim.” (Albert Tripp, lay member, Spokane, WA)
“The instructions given by Dave were clear and concise. Knowing what to say and do is half the battle when approaching a door. Finding the courage is giving by Christ who is with us as we proclaim his word. Thank you Dave for helping us trust in God for the courage to “Praise and Proclaim!” (Laurie Behrens, lay member, Westminster, CO)
“Praise and Proclaim was a great experience for us at Grace. For me as a pastor it was exciting to hear members say of evangelism, “Hey, that was a little scary, but not too bad. We can do this!” In large part, that was due to Dave’s approach and his training. One man had sworn off ever going door to door again because of previous bad experiences. But with some coaxing from me, he agreed to give Praise and Proclaim a try. After the training, he was not only ready to go, but took his 8-year-old son along with him. After the event, he said it was fun getting to share his faith and show his son that it wasn’t scary. What a difference Dave’s training made for him! Now, the excitement for outreach and especially for evangelism is palpable around here. Members are now excited to share the Gospel with their friends, neighbors and community. That’s the biggest impact Praise and Proclaim has had on us: a renewed zeal to reach our neighbors with Jesus’ love! Since the event less than a month ago, we’ve gone out proclaiming twice more. We’ve planted even more “Gospel seeds” and have had a number of new visitors in just the last few weeks. We’re thanking God for these gifts and are planning ways to better follow-up on these first and second-time visitors.” (Rev. Rob Guenther, Grace Lutheran Church, Kenai, AK)
“We orchestrated a Praise and Proclaim campaign for Palm Sunday weekend. To be completely honest, I’m not sure how many of our people were looking forward to it. It was definitely out of their comfort zone. However, we had a good group show up to knock on doors. They soon realized that when you have the right “tools,” it really isn’t that hard at all. That’s what Praise and Proclaim does so well. They give you the tools to make an easy proclamation of the gospel. Another thing Dave does is he gives the people a correct understanding of outreach. Too often we put all the pressure on ourselves to get people into the doors and to believe. Only God can do that. All we can do is plant the seed, and every seed that is planted deserves celebrating.
Afterward Praise and Proclaim Ministry’s outreach initiative was over, I was thinking of different ways to use this same approach to keep it fresh in people’s minds. So, what we did was we used the same training and the same idea at our 4th of July booth. In addition to having a prize wheel for kids to spin, we also passed out postcards to a sermon series we were starting entitled “Freedom”. While the children were spinning the wheel waiting for their prize, our members were talking to their parents inviting them to our new sermon series entitled freedom. It’s a series based around the freedom that Jesus gives us from sin. Over 4 hours, we planted over 150 gospel seeds. What a night! (Rev. Stephen Apt, Peace Lutheran Church, Liberty Hill, TX)
“St. Mark’s in Citrus Heights, CA started working with Praise and Proclaim Ministries in early 2017. Working with Praise and Proclaim has reinvigorated the members of St. Mark’s to go with the gospel and invite family, friends, co-workers and even strangers to St. Mark’s. Dave Malnes’ simple but effective door-to-door system has given confidence to many church members to let their light shine. Praise and Proclaim has also shared with us a 9-month plan to continue to engage people in our community. With the help of Praise and Proclaim Ministries, St. Mark’s is moving forward in outreach and evangelism. We look forward to connecting with many new people in our community.” (Brett Bengel, teacher, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and School, Citrus Heights, CA)
“One Church At Multiple Sites! You might think that means Divine Peace Church has two locations. You’re right, but it means more than that. After Praise and Proclaim provided training for about 40 of our members they have been using their training at more than just “two sites.” We continue to use their training to easily turn conversations into talking about their Savior.
Every month dozens of follow up calls continue to be made on prospects. While the fruits of this effort remain low for our kingdom (in our two earthly locations) the fruits for God’s kingdom (bringing people closer to Jesus) are flourishing.
I’ve been doing evangelism for years, but the training from Praise and Proclaim gave us all a very simple way to sharing the gospel with people. Having the outreach and evangelism emphasis gave us all a practical way to share Jesus’ love with people. Why? Because our church teaches that God loves everybody. He loved us so much he sent Jesus to die for us to pay the penalty of all our sins. And that gives us “Divine Peace!” (Rev. John Hering, Divine Peace Lutheran Church, Garland/Rockwall, TX)
“I have experience canvassing and believe in it strongly. There are few better ways to build an identity in your community. For years I have tried to model what canvassing looks like and does. I have invited people to walk with me. The strength of Dave’s teaching is in its simplicity. Many people see their pastor as an expert door-knocker or Jesus-talker, and so they think they never could do what he does. Dave breaks the process down into manageable chunks and sets their collective minds at ease. We had hoped to have a dozen come for the training and maybe six come back the next day for the canvassing. The Lord blessed us with seventeen attendees and double-digit canvassers for each of our three sessions. It was amazing to watch the fear melt away from their hearts and minds and encouraging to see the Gospel zeal kindled in them after they went out and shared God’s Word with our community. We were blessed with nearly 150 Gospel seeds sown and 43 prospects to follow up on.” (Rev. Lincoln Albrecht, River of Life Lutheran Church – Goodyear, AZ)
We are a small congregation with an average attendance around 65 adults. Twelve years ago, we had a vibrant and energetic evangelism heart with an active evangelism committee. Over the years we hung thousands of door hangers inviting the neighborhoods around the church to events like Christmas and Easter for Kids, VBS, and special classes on doctrine.
We had very few visitors from these efforts. Over the years we offered ministries such as English as a second language, a group for those struggling with terminal illness, a group for the elderly, a group for those struggling with drugs and or alcohol. We had very little response and no visitors.
Then we started a daughter congregation, 63 miles from us. It slowly grew to about 25 in attendance, but then just as we are getting into a position to call a pastor, almost all the families announced they were moving from the area. So, after three years that ministry closed.
Then our enthusiasm for evangelism began to wane. We would have an evangelism committee meeting with only the chairman and myself in attendance. We lost traction in our evangelism effort, for we lost the drive.
About two years ago, we realized that if we did nothing we might will lose the ability to proclaim the Gospel in this corner of God’s Kingdom. We had meetings with the District Mission Board and the Board for Home Missions to gain their advice. Our synod mission counselor, Pastor Mark Birkholz, recommend we give Praise and Proclaim a try to gain traction in evangelism.
Thank the Lord we followed this advice. We started with phone conversations between the head of Praise and Proclaim, Dave Malnes, and a couple of our church leaders. That led to a recommendation that we give it a try. But first, Dave had more conversations with the church council via Skype. Since there was cost involved we decided to go to the Voter’s Assembly. We explained the program to the congregation to preparation to getting the congregation to approve the program.
Part of that effort was for Dave to make several YouTube videos in which he personally addressed our congregation. Dave was very thorough and was able to present the program explaining the program involved a very simple way to share the gospel with anyone in a non-aggressive manner. He was careful to point out that his program would not result in prospects coming to church and in fact may not get any. But, the program would train our people to share and give us a plan to reach out into the community. Every member would be invited to come and we explained they could come even if they did not want to participate.
The congregation agreed, and the Voters’ Assembly approved the expenditure. What a blessing it has been. The response was incredible. We have nearly half of the active members take the training, many simply to learn how to share the gospel with friends, family, and neighbors. We had about 10 members also participate in the door to door canvass. The canvassing was very simple. We had mailed 1200 post cards to neighborhoods near the church. We knocked on doors and explained the meaning of the postcard, which presented a question of the uncertainty of our world. We then simply told those at the door that in his world of uncertainty our congregation proclaimed the certainty of salvation through faith in Jesus. It was very non-threatening.
The training went so well, that some members I never would have thought, wanted to engage the neighborhood by going door to door. Dave also provided us a plan for follow and encouraged us to have various events to invite anyone we identified as having some interest.
The great blessing of our use of Praise and Proclaim is that it has ignited a desire to do evangelism and has given us traction in our effortsS. We now have an evangelism committee that meets month. It is lay lead. In fact, due to a serious knee infection I was really home-bound except for coming to church and sitting in the back. All during this time, committee functioned meeting, planning and carrying out plans
If you see a need to train and encourage your congregation to do evangelism, then consider Praise and Proclaim. By careful planning and participation, you too may find traction for evangelism. If you are no sure, feel free to call me!
(Rev. Bob Green, Ascension Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, PA)