Years ago I pastored small church in the countryside. Even though the church was small there were more pews then there were people. It didn’t seem right to have so many nice places to sit go to waste every Sunday, especially since I work so hard on my sermons. So I came up with a plan. We would have a Friend Day I would encourage everyone to invite one friend. If everyone brought one friend there would be no empty pews.
We went to work. I got a friend to promise me he would be my friend on Friend Day. I convinced each of the deacons to get a friend to promise in writing that they would attend too. I convinced each of our Sunday School teachers and church officers to do the same. Beginning four weeks before Friend Day, we began to stand before the people and tell show them our promise cards. We posted the cards on a board and then contacted the people who had promised to come telling them how eager we were to see them on Friend Day. At the time the church’s attendance was out about 100. On Friend Day we more than doubled our attendance, in fact in fact there were 321 people in attendance in our little church that day. There were no empty pews. There were no empty chairs in the fellowship hall. Holly was about five years old at the time. She spent the entire service sitting in the “Pastor’s Chair” on the platform. It was the only place she could find to sit. Come to think of it, it would be equivalent of
Evangel having almost 2000 people in attendance Sunday. Can you imagine that?
Our building would not legally hold 2000 people but wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the main floor and the balcony full of people worshiping God, praying, singing, and listening to the truth of the Bible? There are so many thousands of people in the Downriver area who need help and encouragement. It just seems a shame to have so many nice, empty seats. The southeast section of the balcony is almost always empty. Let’s change that by becoming an inviting fellowship.
There are people all around us who are hungry for something more – even if they even don’t know what it is, we know what it is they need. They need to hope of eternal life. They need the experience of abundant life. We deal in life-changing truth every Sunday here at Evangel. Let’s let them in on the secret.
Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)
Evangel Baptist Church
March 28, 2008