pair of brown leather wingtip shoes beside gray apparel on wooden surface
Church Planting Personal Growth

Shoe Leather

  I don’t know of an easy way to start and build a church. It always requires a lot of effort. This means you will wear out some shoe leather the first year and beyond in a new church. By shoe leather I mean you must spend an enormous amount of time walking and visiting door to door in your community. If you don’t wear out your shoes you probably are not spending enough time visiting. You may end up traveling several miles by foot every day.

            If there is an easier way to start and build a fundamental church I have yet to hear of it. The many ways I have analyzed are not as effective as personally contacting people through visitation. There are other helpful tools to enhance your soul-winning and visitation. But they only help. They do not replace the need of personal witnessing. The internet is a powerful tool, mass mailings can help, and advertising can produce some results in the church planting process. Still, there is no substitute for personal contact face to face with people.

            It is possible to maximize your visitation. Making your visits more effective is possible. One way to utilize your time wisely is to organize groups of canvassers from area churches. Their ability to cover a large number of houses can help make initial contacts. When these groups find interested people, they can pass on the information and you can concentrate on the ones most interested. The method can be a more effective way to spend more time with those most interested. New contacts need to see and hear the one who will be the leader and preacher of this new church. Only you, the new pastor, can effectively do this.

            You may obtain contacts from digital advertising or from social media, but you as the pastor must personally follow up these new prospects. Usually, you will receive prospects from friends or acquaintances which may prove to be excellent contacts. However, it is still necessary to meet with these individuals face to face. 

            It is becoming increasingly difficult to get in to people’s homes. In some cases, people will meet with you in a neutral location, at your church office, or in your home. Getting a sandwich or a cup of coffee with new contacts is becoming a necessary avenue of witnesses and discipling people. These means may not require a lot of walking but they all involve a commitment of time.

            Don’t wait around for people to show up. Lose some shoe leather to go find them. A common cliche that has been used to describe a serious effort is “blood, sweat, and tears.” There is no easy way to start and build a church.

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