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Monday, February 26, 2024
Home Leaders Community A Simple but Incredible Way to Reach Your Community and Grow

A Simple but Incredible Way to Reach Your Community and Grow

We tried something seemingly non-spectacular at our church.

We gave each of our members attending a loaf of bread and asked them to give the bread to someone in their neighborhood or community.

I was blown away with the responses, both from the members and the recipients of the bread. Those who received the bread were incredibly grateful; many came to our church the next Sunday. And our members were very encouraged by the responses. It helped them to see the fields are truly ready for a harvest.

So, I began to think. Could I leverage my position at LifeWay to help thousands of churches do the same? The answer came back as a resounding “yes”! Allow me to share with you my thoughts.

  • I have authorized LifeWay to give away thousands, even tens of thousands, of Bibles to members of churches. We will be giving away the Bread of Life instead of the bread in loaves.
  • Those churches need to be within about 15 miles of a LifeWay store, so the members can go pick up a free Bible. Without the investment of the members taking the time to go to a store, their commitment level for this endeavor will be low.
  • Each church will have a designated week at a local LifeWay store for its members to get their free Bibles.
  • The members will then give the Bible away in their neighborhoods or community and invite the recipient to church.
  • We will provide specific instructions and promotional materials for this Bible outreach ministry for every church that participates. It will be undergirded by the power of prayer and activated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Many churches have already signed on for this endeavor. One of the pastors asked me how LifeWay could afford to give away so many Bibles. I simply told him I was trusting God to provide. I have little doubt God will honor a ministry that gets His Word into the community and provides opportunities for powerful Gospel conversations.

I have to say, this ministry is one of the most exciting endeavors I have led in the 13 years I’ve been at LifeWay. Even more, I am incredibly excited about how God will use this ministry to impact both churches and their communities.

Let’s get the Word into our communities. Let’s invite people to our churches. Let’s have Gospel conversations. Let’s see what God Himself will do as we are truly Great Commission obedient.

If your church is not close enough to a LifeWay store, please hang in there as we try to figure out how to connect with you as well in the future.

Or, better yet, what if your church or ministry designed your own strategy for giving people a “Loaf of Bread”? This ministry is exciting. Incredibly exciting.

This article originally appeared here.

Thom S. Rainer
Thom S. Rainerhttp://thomrainer.com/
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively. The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren. He is the author of twenty-four books, including Breakout ChurchesSimple LifeSimple ChurchRaising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church. His recent book, I Am a Church Member, was #1 on the CBA best-seller list for several months and Autopsy of a Deceased Church was just released in May 2014 by B&H Publishing Group.

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