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September 8, 1999






Churches urged to give
discipleship a purpose
___GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)--Struggling to attract a crowd to discipleship training?
___Developing a purpose statement for the ministry and trying different methods of publicity could help increase interest and attendance, a leader from the Baptist General Convention of Texas said.
___"Developing a purpose statement for discipleship helps your membership understand why you're doing what you're doing and what you want to accomplish," Eric Williams, discipleship training coordinator for the BGCT said during a seminar at Discipleship and Family Week at LifeWay Conference Center at Glorieta.
___After adopting a purpose statement, Williams said, leaders should keep it before church members through publications, bulletin boards and other media.
___Once the ministry is established, Williams said, personal testimonies from people who have been through discipleship studies often are the best way to promote future sessions.
___In addition to traditional promotional vehicles such as posters, brochures, post cards and bulletin and newsletter announcements, Williams shared numerous other ideas for promoting discipleship, including:
___bluebull Surveys. Usually, they list the various courses or types of courses a church is considering offering and invites members to select the ones that interest them most.
___bluebull A drama or skit depicting some truth of a proposed study.
___bluebull A discipleship fair, usually held on a Sunday evening. Set up information booths for each planned study. Have people available to answer questions, preferably those who have benefitted from the course. To add interest, the "fair" atmosphere could be enhanced by offering hot dogs, games and other attractions.
___bluebull Promotional videos, including those produced in many discipleship materials and/or those produced by a church featuring testimonials from members.
___bluebull Internet website and e-mail announcements.
___bluebull Alumni enlistment. Have alumni of various studies be responsible for enlisting new people for upcoming studies.

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