SBTC devises survey card to help churches reach neighbors

Door-to-door evangelistic surveys should exhibit kindness and should include as much listening as talking, SBTC Evangelism Director Don Cass believes.

“That’s the thing you want today?you want to present the gospel with conviction but you want to do it in a non-threatening way so that the person doesn’t feel as though, ‘This person is fixing to jump all over me,’ rather than, ‘I just want to have a conversation with you.'”

An evangelistic survey card mailed to SBTC churches last month reflects that tone, Cass said.
He hopes churches will use it to reachtheir communities during a year when the Southern Baptist Convention president is challenging churches to win and baptize 1 million converts and coinciding with an SBTC challenge to double baptisms.

The card offers an introduction for church members knocking on their neighbors’ doors.

“Hello, I am (name) and I am a member of (church). We are trying to be more caring and compassionate about real needs and issues people have in our community. We would like your opinion about how we can be more effective in our ministry efforts. Would you mind sharing your opinion by answering a few questions?”

Cass said nearly everyone is willing to state his opinion about what the church should be or do.

“I really think one of the things the church has had a weakness in over the years is not hearing the real needs of the community,” Cass said. “And thus we sometimes scratch, so to speak, where people are not itching.

“While I don’t think the lost world should dictate to us what we do, I do think it is important for us to hear them and to know what they might be looking for if they decided to go to church.”
Seldom do the unchurched mention music or preaching styles as top concerns, Cass said. Rather, “What they’re interested in is somebody who cares about them.”

The survey questions are:
1. If you were looking for a church to attend, what would be the two or three most important characteristics you would look for in selecting a church?
2. In your opinion, what areas of ministry should churches today be the most concerned about?
3. Has there been a need or crisis in your life in the last 12 months for which the ministry of a local church could have benefited you and others close to you?
4. When you attend church, where do you generally attend? (Cass said this avoids the judgmental tone of “Where do you attend church?” or “Do you attend church?”)
5. Has there been a time when you personally received Jesus into your life, or would you say you are still thinking about it?
6. May I share with you how I received Jesus into my life and how he became my Savior and Lord?
7. Is there something I could pray for you about today?

Cass said the sixth question gives believers the opportunity to tell their story to a culture that values
personal experience and feelings.

“Most people today believe there is a heaven,” Cass said. “Not all people believe there is a hell, but most people believe there is a heaven. They want to believe there is a heaven. And they want to believe that they can go there.

“It’s my hope that all of this takes a polite, courteous, kind approach to people. It’s not brash. It’s not as if you are talking down to them. And I think that’s very important when approaching lost people.”

For more information on the survey cards, call the SBTC Evangelism Team toll free at 877-953-7282 or e-mail smcfadden@sbtexas.com.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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