Sunday, February 28, 2021

The tale of the tin soldier

The pre-mission environment of the church. From a review of HC Anderson's fairy tales by Michael Connor.


At breakneck speed

The Baptist Association in NSW-ACT has decided to have a 'target'! It is to grow by 2050 (yep the magic socialist year of salvation) from about 340 churches in membership to 1000!

Let's say they have 30 years. 1000-340 = 660, resolving to 22 new churches A YEAR!

Of course, they may be planning on logistic growth, OK for now, but in the outer years the pace would be unbelieveable: try a peak of about 80 churches a year in about 2035.

I wonder which they are planning for.

Reminds me of the Anglican's "Connect09" farce. That also ended with a whimper. Two actually. One for funds wasted, the other for impossible target not met.

OTOH, if the real target was to do something else, maybe they were happy to look like rank amateurs to the barely interested public while they achieved....?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Well, knock me over!

On radio this afternoon I heard a young woman from an Asian family talk about her growing up in Sydney.

Her family avoided living with others of their ethnic group and settled in a suburb primarily inhabited by  multi-generation Australians.

Into the interview she talked about her Christian affiliation and  how it came about.

Someone knocked on her parents' door and invited the family to the local Anglican church. They sent their daughters.

Thus we used to do it. Mormons and JWs still do. They persist, and persistence pays off for even wacky religiouns such as these.

I grew up with this being normal.

In my small suburban church (c. 100 or so members), we grew firstly with an effort of some women of the church door knocking and inviting parents to let their children attend our Sunday School. Over a few years we grew to over 200 children in it.

It worked because we had busses to pick up the children. Eventually we had three second hand full size busses. On board were a driver and two monitors. All men, so children saw Christian men doing Christian stuff.

This meant that when we door knocked to advertise films at our church centre we were known and usually got polite receptions.

This is a great way of meeting non-Christians.

There are three types of door knocking:

  1. welcome to the suburb or town, just saying hi.
  2. advertising special events
  3. inviting to a course (this might be a Bible study, a course on Christian life, but not badged that way, or offering to conduct a three session Bible discussion in their home, or at the church premises.

Here's how they work:


You have to ask parishioners to keep an eye out for new comers. Visit them with a basket of fruit (not a cake as there may be dietary or mental restrictions, like 'veganism'), an intro to the district and a brochure on your church.. When you get to know the people at visit 2, offer to bring a cake or plate of biscuits, ask if that would be OK and if they have any special requirements. At visit 3, after some time in many cases, you might drop off a brochure on Easter or Christmas events or services with the 'meaning of the season' provided in brief.


Speaks for itself. But it is only advertising. You want nothing more but an opportunity to invite them to a special public-orientated event. If it is Christmas or Easter approaching, that can be a great reason.


This needs to be packaged very carefully so as not to repel people by appealing to (or triggering) their prejudices. Good names for courses will depend on the area and its demographic, but should have potential to excite curiosity. Offer a dinner, afternoon tea or supper along with it as an option. For instance, Alpha is a good name. Unfortunately, its not a good course, so that name's taken. 'Explaining Christianity is a bad name, but don't worry, that's taken too.

Now, get crackin'.

At the same time get your church well known by offering functions or events that would appeal generally. These are about 'mind share' and familiarization so that the door knocking works.

Even better if your church is a well known and respected denomination; Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian.

Be sure that every door-knocker is well trained and can answer basic or obvious questions about their church, denomination, the Bible and Christian faith. This is not a cake walk. Its a mission.