DULUTH — Fall brings many things: leaves changing, college football, pumpkin spice overload. There’s no reason, says Brad Marchman, it also couldn’t be known as a time of revival.
IMPACT, the evangelism plan Marchman is currently sharing with churches, looks to capitalize on the fall festivals and similar community events many congregations hold during late October. The weeks preceding are spent mobilizing church members for evangelism and prayer as well as identifying by name those who need a relationship with Christ.
“IMPACT is a concentrated, collaborate effort among churches to raise the evangelistic temperature of each church and help people actively begin sharing their faith on a wide-scale basis,” stated Marchman, East Central Region consultant for Georgia Baptist Evangelism.
Slated to take place over a four-week span, IMPACT is also designed for churches to partner with others to build excitement and increase the overall footprint for evangelism.
Thinking with the end in mind, churches are encouraged to plan an outreach event for the week of Oct. 25 that has a clear gospel presentation. That includes something like the aforementioned fall festival or along the lines of a Friend Day at church.
The following Sunday, Nov. 1, will be set aside for celebration and thanksgiving for those who respond to the gospel.
“Every church should have a baptism service set up that day for those who made a decision for Christ,” said Marchman. “It’s a time to really celebrate and share your stories.”
Beginning point, Oct. 11
It begins the week of Oct. 11. That Sunday, church members will be encouraged to identify lost people in their lives and write those names on a card. Oct. 18 will focus on mobilization and prayer, where an evangelistic resource and other preparations will help church members tell someone about Christ. Names of those without a relationship with Jesus will be prayed over. A subsequent challenge will be issued to share the gospel with them over the next two weeks, if not done so already.
Marchman said while the current emphasis is for Oct. 11-Nov. 1, IMPACT can be done at another point. In fact, some of the 65 churches signed up are scheduling it for a different time. He’s been meeting with pastors about the initiative already and reported an excitement about what’s to come the first Sunday in November.
“This gives pastors that opportunity to lead church members to cross that bridge of evangelism with a friend or contact. It also brings a taste for what it’s like to share your faith and see others come to Christ,” he pointed out.
Limited in-person gatherings over the last six months have presented all sorts of challenges to pastors, but Marchman suggested the lack of face-to-face interaction created a longing for personal relationships.
“IMPACT will provide a jump start for church members to talk to their neighbors about Christ,” he said. “We believe God is going to do something great through the shutdown due to COVID-19, and this is the launching point.”
For more information and resources, Marchman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.