The primary focus of the Board of Evangelism is bringing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the congregation and our community.
The Board of Evangelism is currently meeting on a monthly basis to explore new ideas and activities in which to share the faith we all have in our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Updates on the progress of those board activates will be share as they develop.
This Board also makes visitations to shut-ins, the ill and the recuperating. They also provide 'packets' to visitors at our services that introduce them to St. John. They will also inform the membership of developing Evangelism programs through articles in the monthly newsletter and here on our church website.
August 1, 2017 - Beginning at their September meeting, the Evangelism Committee will read and study the book “5 Things You Can Do to Witness Christ.” This book encourages believers to realize what we have in Christ and to see that our witnessing is part of our way of life. Witnessing is not following a program, but living out the gracious gifts God gives in our relationships and in helping us build new relationships where we can share the love of Christ. You are invited to join us in reading this small book and learning about witness from what we know and believe in worship. Books are $8. Please let Pastor or Tim McDermott know if you will join us for this study.
July 1, 2017 - It isn’t always easy when a new visitor recently moved into our area and had to switch churches – or is looking for a church for the first time in many years. Whether you attended St. John since birth, or just celebrated your one-year anniversary in this church, you can be assured there have been people among you visiting our worship service for the first time. And, no matter how long or how involved you find yourself with the body of Christ it’s easy not to see the visitors among you. It can also be easy for those same visitors to somehow be turned away from the church.
Are you curious in minimizing this on Sunday morning? Here are a few helpful notes to keep in mind:
1. See them. It’s easy to spot visitors: they don’t know where they’re going, because they don’t know what they’re doing in this new environment. Whether you’re a greeter or the person sitting two seats to the right of them, we need you to see them – seeing is a good part of the battle.
2. Offer them a smile. Now here’s the deal: we’re Jesus people. We’re supposed to be filled with His light, His joy, His love – because this is how the Spirit of God has changed us. So, be brave, meet their hopeful gaze, and give them a genuine grin.
3. Offer them help. It’s easy, when we know the routines and the rhythms and the ‘know-how’s’ of a place, to forget that not everyone knows what we know. Chances are, if it looks like a visitor might not know what they’re doing, they really don’t know what they’re doing. So, offer to help them. They will be grateful to you.
4. Introduce yourself. Sometimes we think the business of getting to know newcomers belongs to the Pastor, or some Board members of a church – but that can’t be further from the truth. As the body of Christ, we’re all the fleshy arms and legs of Jesus, and just as Christ calls us to be the Church, the Church needs you to be as much a witness as church leadership.
5. Remember visitors are persons who want to be known, just like you. It will amaze you how much we can learn about a person in less than a minute’s time. That being said, because we humans were and are made for genuine relationship, there’s something about another person wanting to really know this visitor that makes them feel known and understood. So, ask them where they hail from. Connect the dots. Be an active listener so you can ask them another question. It’ll make someone feel loved and wanted!
6. Pay attention to their boundaries. In one breath, we do want to get to know them, but in the next breath, we should also respect their boundaries. If they are introverted or a private person, they may not want to answer your questions – so be okay with and respect those boundaries. If they choose not to flow with you in conversation, don’t take it personally.
7. Make the best attempt to remember their name. Here’s the deal: we, as parishioners, oftentimes sit in the same area in a church service. Visitors, who might still be visiting four weeks in, oftentimes sit in the same area in a church service as well. Whether they see you afterwards in the church narthex, or the next week while sitting behind you again, they’ll probably remember you, because, to them, you’re one of the few representatives of this place. So, remember them. If need be, write down their name on the inside of your Bible or in your cell phone. Build up this name-remembering muscle.
The bottom line: we really can be good neighbors to those who are visiting our church for the first time. We can emulate the actions and compassion of Jesus who welcomed every sinner and saint into his midst. We can take note of the Good Samaritan who noticed the stranger, the one every other passerby ignored and walked right on past. And maybe in doing this, we’ll prevent some new visitors from church shopping – because we’ll have appropriately welcomed them into Christ’s space.
July 1, 2017 - The Evangelism Committee encourages members to consider attending "Prairie Fire: Building Bridges", a workshop to be held at Concordia, Seward, Saturday, August 5, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information can be found in the May/June Nebraska District Reporter. The workshop will focus on building "genuine, caring relationships" with people in your community.