GRAPEVINE—Every Great Commission-focused church wants to reach its neighborhood for Christ. Door-to-door visits, passing out flyers and tracts … such traditional methods still work, but may be less effective in today’s increasingly mobile society where neighbors often do not know the folks down the street.
Imagine being able to pray daily for neighbors by name, to care for them, to share the gospel with them.
To encourage that dynamic, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is offering its affiliated churches the opportunity to learn about their neighbors and track evangelism efforts by making Bless Every Home’s Bless Partner service available.
Bless Partner facilitates one-on-one evangelism with those around you, said Bruno Molina, SBTC language and interfaith evangelism associate.
How it works
When a church joins the Bless Partner service, members sign up to be “Lights” in their neighborhoods, Molina explained. Members see a map of their area and determine the perimeter of their prayers.
“They decide,” Molina said. “Say, they choose 100 people … [they] can see on a map where those people live, their names, their addresses.” The Lights then record interactions with these neighbors.
Something as simple as helping your neighbor take out her garbage is an example of caring. The Bless Partner app allows church members to log such events and note times when they have prayed or shared the gospel with someone. The church can see the same information, Molina said.
The app even offers an optional prompt to remind members to pray for individuals. “Every morning, they’ll get a reminder to pray for five people in their area,” Molina said. “When they pray for these people by name, they can check them off on the app.”
With Bless Partner, churches need not wonder about the extent of their members’ evangelistic efforts. “You’re not guessing, hoping and praying that people are doing [these things],” Molina said. “If you’re on the app, you’ll know exactly where your people stand. The app is a good accountability tool to make sure you are living out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.”
The information on residences and residents distributed by Bless Partner can all be found in public records, Molina said. The app simply consolidates the information to make it accessible to churches and members.
Start Bless Partner for free through the SBTC
The SBTC is providing affiliated churches a scholarship to cover the first two months of the Bless Partner service when they register under the SBTC umbrella, Molina said. Churches that choose to continue the service after the initial two months will pay only $15 per month for the entire church, regardless of size. Churches may unsubscribe to the service at any time.
The first 100 churches registering under the SBTC umbrella will receive a third month free of the Bless Partner service and a special bonus: three months of the New Movers service also offered by Bless Every Home.
The New Movers service provides churches with weekly lists of up to 25 households that have moved within a 15-mile radius of the church. According to the Bless Every Home website, the list includes the new residents’ names and address and notes how many miles they have moved from their last home. Church staffs can mobilize their member Lights who have opted to visit new movers. The Lights receive email notifications to pray for and visit the appropriate new movers. These contacts can also be logged.
Kudos for the app
Matt Queen, associate dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, endorses Bless Every Home and said he has used the program in leading evangelism at Southwestern and at Lane Prairie Baptist Church.
“The features it offers, as well as the dynamic and current information it provides, makes it an excellent tool for SBTC churches as we cooperatively reach the 19-plus-million lost people within our state,” Queen said.
“The Bless Every Home initiative is a simple, yet powerful tool to mobilize church members on mission in their own neighborhoods,” SBTC Associate Executive Director Tony Wolfe added. “When everyday followers of Jesus begin strategically praying over, caring for, and sharing the gospel with their neighbors, the Great Commission advances, churches are strengthened, and souls are saved. The Lone Star State is home to 30 million people and that number is growing daily. Our network of churches must find ways to mobilize every Texan Christ-follower to intentional and organic daily witness for Christ. Bless Every Home is just that.”
To learn more about the various services offered by Bless Every Home, visit blesseveryhome.com. Churches that would like to sign up under the SBTC umbrella can do so here. Individual people can sign up here.