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About a month ago we were challenged to double our Bible Study attendance… There’s a chance you didn’t get that the first time, so I’ll say it again. We were challenged to DOUBLE our Bible Study attendance in one big weekend. As you can imagine, that is a ridiculous challenge. I’ll admit, at first there was some hesitation to take on and support such a huge request but, then I remembered that these “numbers” represented people.
It’s easy to forget, especially when setting goals like this, that numbers represent people… people that are desperate and searching for something that you have to offer. When you remember that, and you realize God wants to do exceedingly more through you than you can think or imagine, it (believe it or not) makes the impossible seem possible.
So… with that being said, the challenge was set before us and as you can imagine, I learned a lot through the process; trying to reach a seemingly impossible goal of reaching people and doubling our ministry in one day. Here are some things we learned through the process:
1. If you’re going to double, you have to BELIEVE it’s possible before it can become probable-
Doubling became a reality when our students bought into the vision of this challenge. Once they pinpointed unchurched individuals in their lives, and they realized that God placed these people in their circle of influence for a reason, this vision became a reality. Our students were the key to doubling.
2. If you’re going to double, you have to be INTENTIONAL & INVITE everyone-
Inviting someone to church in passing might work… every once in a while. But for this event, one of the keys to it’s success was ‘layering contacts’. I may invite someone to church when I see them at lunch… but then they get a phone call from a Bible Study teacher that evening at home. They also might get invited on Facebook or receive an invitation in their mailbox. We did phone tree messages once a week leading up to the event. We had call parties where hundreds of students would get together and basically call through their address book. We had texting competitions to see how many people we could invite that way. Layering contacts created a buzz and that buzz had a unique way of attracting people.
3. If you’re going to double, you have to CHALLENGE your people-
Our students are just fine with us doing all the work. They are completely content with showing up on the weekend, sitting in a chair and soaking. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. And at the same time, it’s… not exactly biblical. God has called our students to do something as well. He wants them to be fishers of men. He wants them to lead. He wants them to share their faith and give invitations of their own, therefore, why would we lead our students to do anything other than what God expects from them?
For this event, we challenged our High School students to throw a House Party at their house. We told them not to just invite all their Christian/Churched friends, but rather, fill your home with people who need to be at church and hear about Christ. Over 40 students took our challenge and hosted house parties. These homes were filled with people who had never been to our church or heard the Gospel. We challenged our students and they accepted the challenge.
4. If you’re going to double, you have to PRAY… constantly-
When prayer gets put on the back burner you might as well shut everything down. In Scripture, we see that every biblical revival was preceded with someone praying – that truth isn’t merely designated for biblical times – it carries over to today.
5. If you’re going to double, you better BE PREPARED-
A lack of preparation is evidence you never truly believed God could do it. We decided that we were going to be prepared because our expectation of God was great. You’ve got to be prepared in the little things. (Extra packets for registrations, Extra decision counselors for those who will receive Christ, Extra food, Extra space, etc.) We learned that it’s good to be prepared on the big things as well. (Parking, Moving People, Worship Service Space, etc.) You can’t be overly prepared for something great.
We put everything on the table and trusted God for the results. We aren’t foolish enough to believe we can double HIS church, but we are crazy enough to believe He can double it by using our energy and our efforts. Sure enough, Double Day came and we doubled. Actually our Woodway Campus Student Ministry nearly tripled! It was a monumental day in the life of our church. Globally, we had over 3,800 students in Bible Study that weekend and literally saw hundreds of students pray to receive Christ. To God be the glory… and may we never put Him in a box again!!!