In Texas’ Rusk County, at least two churches closed because of the pandemic. So, Pastor David Higgs of First Baptist Church Henderson, Texas, knew his church couldn’t sit in neutral and expect to endure the challenges.
“There are plenty of unchurched and lost people in our community. God wants to use this church to reach the nation for Christ,” Higgs said.
He took his whole staff to Longview, Texas, last year to attend a North American Mission Board Who’s Your One Tour stop at Mobberly Baptist Church to help them get their evangelistic program on track.
Church on Mission
The staff at FBC Henderson left Longview brainstorming ways they could tailor the content they had learned to fit their church.
“One of the things we liked about Who’s Your One, in the context of COVID, is that it did not require a big event. Four people can meet together and socially distance if they want,” Higgs said.
First Baptist Church Henderson believes that a “Church on Mission” honors God, loves people and meets needs.
“For me as a pastor, I had no idea if anything would happen. We rallied the church to do the Who’s Your One strategy, not knowing if we would reach a single person,” Higgs said.
At the beginning of the campaign, Pastor Higgs asked his churchgoers, “Is it a bad time for a campaign? Well, yeah, it’s COVID time, but isn’t it just like God! Many people are hurting; so many people need the help and the hope that only Jesus Christ can provide. Maybe it’s just God’s timing that He’s having our church do this campaign during this time.
“It made a difference for us. We added evangelism training, and we produced little table tents that we gave to every person to put around in their house that would remind them to pray for their one,” Higgs sad. “We put posters around the building. We planned it into a two-month campaign.” Higgs and his leadership team tailored Who’s Your One to their church’s culture and context.
They also organized prayer meetings at the church every night throughout the whole campaign.
“It was an outdoor prayer meeting, and we just met outside for 15–20 minutes. Some nights we had a dozen attend, and other nights, we had 65 or 70 people. And, then we had membership commitment cards. We asked people to commit to the Who’s Your One campaign, and we had 300 members sign up to participate,” Higgs explained.
They put every person who signed up into teams of four, each with a team captain, and they met once a week.
“We asked them to meet Sunday before church or after church to encourage one another and to keep one another accountable,” Higgs said. “As their pastor, I sent out a weekly email to all 300 participants to encourage them and to give them updates. And, then the last thing we did was give everyone that signed up — all 300 people — NAMB’s Who’s Your One resources, the 30-day devotional book and the 30-day prayer guide.”
41 decisions for Christ
Toward the end of the campaign, the church planned a new and prospective members luncheon so everybody could bring their one to eat and find out more about the church.
The church has seen 41 people come to faith so far as a result of the campaign.
“We achieve more if we get all the people of God to do all the work of God. The more people we can get engaged in evangelism, the more we will reach,” Higgs said. “It reminds me that God does reward our evangelistic efforts.
“Evangelism doesn’t just belong to the North American Mission Board,” Higgs said. “It belongs to the body of Christ, and you know, we’re all different. God made us all different, so pastors have to think about their specific flock.” Pastor Higgs explained that evangelism impacts every part of the church, from the person who greets to worship and prayer. Even children become involved.
Pastor Higgs hopes to make Who’s Your One an annual event every fall.
“Who’s Your One helped us organize our church for outreach amid COVID,” he said. “It was a great help to our church to find some traction in evangelism during this hard season. If we continue to do what God leads us to do in sharing the name of Christ with somebody, that’s not failure, that’s success.”