In an average congregation, 77.6 percent of new members say they came to church because someone invited them, Herb Miller told more than 570 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America members gathered for an evangelism conference Nov. 3-5 in Orlando, Fla. Miller edits Net Results, a monthly journal of new ideas in church vitality.
But only 5 percent of members in congregations regularly invite someone, Miller continued. This is the simplest way to increase first-time guests, he said.
The conference combined workshops, worship, Bible study and networking with mentoring. Participants had the option to be "yoked" with someone who had significant experience in evangelism. Throughout the conference, individuals reflected on their ministry with their mentors and developed a take-home action plan. Mentors will follow up after the event to offer support for implementation.
A 1996 conference is planned with the theme, "To Serve as Jesus Served: Congregations for the 21st Century."
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