Getting people involved in FAITH
A commitment to participate in a semester of FAITH as a Learner may come as the result of different enlistment strategies: an invitation at the close of a worship service, a response to a letter or personal invitation from the pastor or a Sunday School teacher and completing a commitment card at a FAITH Kickoff Banquet. All of these methods will work as churches move beyond their first semester in FAITH Evangelism.
However, when each team member's continued participation is critical to the long-term success of FAITH, it is important to enlist the first semester's learners personally. The Team Leader enlists the learners for whom he or she will be accountable. The good thing about learning to be effective in enlisting people personally is it's a strategy that can continue to be used for as long as a person is a FAITH Trainer.
Things to Consider
I keep the following questions and lists of responses in my personal organizer whenever I know I will be responsible for enlisting someone to serve on my FAITH Team:
Who are the people in my Sunday School class?
Who has God brought to mind as a potential FAITH Team Learner during my quiet time lately?
Have class members, and especially those for whom I have been praying, already been exposed to a good explanation of how FAITH Evangelism can benefit our class and the members who commit to participate in a Semester?
Who should I attempt to talk with first about committing to be a FAITH Learner?
After developing my list, I attempt to ask the people on the list in the order they are listed if they have time to visit with me about our Sunday School class and its ministry. Enlisting FAITH Team Learners in personal encounters are times when working in harmony with the Holy Spirit is a must. So should we have an outline or plan for what will be discussed with the prospective Team Learner? Consider using a plan that is intended to help both the Team Leader and prospective Team Learner to discover God's will for each person involved.
Talking to Prospective Team Learners
Here are the steps I take when discussing the FAITH Team with the prospective Team Learner:
- Begin enlistment conversations by asking the other person to pray with you before discussing the work of the Sunday School class.
- Pray specifically for God to lead in doing His will as it relates to your Sunday School class, each involvement with it, and each personal discipleship and ministries.
- Inquire as to how much the other person knows about FAITH Evangelism, listening for clues of how well he understands the basics of the strategy.
- Correct any misconceptions the person may have. [I am particularly interested in the understanding of the "Guidelines for Forming FAITH Teams" (page 27 of the FAITH Director's Administrative Guide or page 8 in A Journey in FAITH Journal), and the responsibilities of both the FAITH Team Leader and the FAITH Learners (pages 30 and 31 in the FAITH Director's Administrative Guide, and page 9 in A Journey in FAITH Journal).]
- Ask the person if he will pray whether this is what he should do next in following God in his personal journey of FAITH, and if the team we are discussing is the team God wants to put together. If he has already been praying about this, and God has already spoken to him, I will allow him to give me an answer at that time. If he has not thought about it until our conversation, I ask that he will pray, and then let me know his answer after a fixed period of time.
- Close your conversation with prayer again. Be clear that it really is not a matter of prayer to determine whether it is God's will for every Christian to be equipped as a soul winner and as a disciple-maker. The focus is for us to discover God's will for our class and our church, and then to be available to get in on His plan.