One of our goals for the New Move-in Ministry was to create an opportunity for our people to get involved in visitation. Many people are so busy in life and feel they do not have the time to visit. For our New Move-in Ministry, we ask them for no more than one hour a week. When we get the list of new move-ins, we put the names and addresses of seven move-ins on a sheet of paper. A lady in our church uses Google maps to route the addresses. She makes sure the seven new move-ins on the paper are in close proximity. At first, all each team is asked to do is drop off a bag to seven people at a time in the week that is convenient for them. We tell them to knock on the door, and when the people come to the door we tell them to introduce themselves and then say, “We are from Lighthouse Baptist Church, and we saw that you moved into the neighborhood recently. We are here to welcome you and give you a welcome bag that includes 5 delicious cookies.” We have 20 teams of 2 people each delivering the bags. 80% of these people have never done visitation in their life. Anybody can do this!
Once people have delivered the bags for a while, they begin to get a burden for the people, and they want to do more. We have a class called Share Jesus that teaches them everything they need to know to witness to the people they deliver the welcome bags to. The more experienced teams will gather information about the family. They will find out if they have any children or teens who may be interested in AWANA or the teen program. We have been delivering bags for over 18 months, and these visits have created over 600 opportunities for the visitation program, the AWANA program, the children’s ministry, the shut-in ministry, and the senior citizen’s ministry. We have cards we fill out for each New Move-in call that are given to people who come out for Saturday visitation. They follow-up on the cards the New Move-in ministry produces each week.
The results have been phenomenal. In 18 months, we have had at least 74 visitors directly related to our New Move-in ministry, and currently 24 of those visitors now faithfully attend our church.
If your church is interested in starting a New Move-in Ministry, I suggest you start slow. Start by getting the new move-in list. Begin visiting the new move-ins and giving them some cookies and tracts you already have. You can always add the business flyers, city information and additional church information all in a nice printed bag. We did not start with 20 teams, we started with 4 teams. When people started visiting the church and getting saved from our new move-in visits, the pastor promoted this ministry from the pulpit, and our people really got excited. Pastor Bevin said from the pulpit a couple of Sundays ago that the New Move-in ministry is the greatest thing he has ever seen. He said has never seen more results than what we are seeing now. Praise the Lord!