Mt Horeb is growing bedroom community outside the metropolitan area of Madison. While keeping to its small-town roots and a main street that reflects its past, new homes are emerging in former pastures where farmers grew corn and raised livestock. Located only twenty miles from state capitol building, this is a perfect place to plant a new church.
Good News Lutheran started six years ago and now has a baptized membership of almost one hundred and fifty souls. Praise and Proclaim Ministries was blessed to launch an outreach initiative with the pastor at Good News, Rev. Jonathan Bauer, and members of the congregation on May 30 to June 2nd.
The Lord smiled his face upon this initiative in several ways.
The congregation currently conducts worship services on Sunday morning at a strip mall off a main road through Mt. Horeb. With wonderful signage and an active congregation who consistently rubs shoulders with the community, the congregation has already established good awareness in a short time. The church is ready to purchase four and a half acres of land within the city limits that is in conjunction with a new housing development. It is an exciting time for Good News Lutheran and Praise and Proclaim was privileged to help continue their efforts by training members how to utilize an approach and methodology to verbally proclaim the gospel.
First Visit to Madison: Before the outreach initiative started, I had the opportunity to meet with Rev. Jon Bilitz who gave me a tour of the Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. It was only right that I purchased a Wisconsin Badger ballcap. Now that I am appropriately attired, I look forward to conducting future outreach initiatives throughout Wisconsin.
With every outreach initiative that Praise and Proclaim conducts, we recommend that congregations organize a community event. We are discovering that when a member of a congregation visits with a person at their door, inviting them to community event sponsored by the congregation gives instant credibility. They usually become genuinely interested in what the member has to say. This is providing an easier transition to sharing a short gospel message about what their congregations teaches.
Good News Lutheran decided to conduct “The Taste of Mt Horeb” and have the event at a popular park. This idea has turned into a huge blessing. Many restaurant and business owners in the community are excited to participate in this event. A few days before the outreach initiative, Good News Lutheran created an event on the congregation’s Facebook page. Businesses linked to the event and by Sunday morning, over 450 people from the community had already “favorited” the event.
Inviting people to attend the “Taste of Mt Horeb” while visiting people at their doors turned out to be extremely positive. With every outreach initiative, Praise and Proclaim provides an opportunity for members to utilize an approach to proclaim the gospel that is based on treating people with love and respect. A goal of this training component is to provide members an opportunity to trust God’s promises and realize that people are generally polite when utilizing our approach. That was the case in Mt Horeb.
At the end of the day, members shared about their experience and rejoiced how the Lord blessed their activity.
Praise and Proclaim helps define evangelism success by establishing goals that are based on activity rather than results. Congregations can have control over activity and trust that God will take of his business of putting his Word to work. Members can trust that the results of their efforts are all in God’s hands. After a day of canvassing and visiting prospects, seeds of the gospel were planted and people from the community saw real faces of members who attend Good News Lutheran Church.
It was a blessing to partner with Good News Lutheran Church in Mt. Horeb. May the Lord continue to bless their gospel ministry. We pray that many people in the community flood the city park and attend “Taste of Mt Horeb”. We can be confident that there are members who feel confident and equipped to spread a little Good News about the hope they have in Christ.