What would you pay for a list of names and contact information of the people your organization is guaranteed most likely to influence for Christ? As a church leader, I would have given my shirt and a few deacons for a list like that.
Here’s the truth, you can’t buy a list like that but you can build one. By creating a Reach List, a person or group can begin to identify the people they are most likely to influence for Christ based on two principles: proximity and purpose.
We are most likely to influence the people we are closest to. (8 out of 10 people come into a relationship with Jesus or the church through the influence of a friend, family member, coworker, or acquaintance.) This is the power of proximity.
We are most likely to influence the people we are purposely trying to influence. Therefore, based on the principles of Proximity and Purpose, a person or group can build a list of names and contact information that clearly identifies the people they are most likely to influence for Christ.
I was leading a growing church but we couldn’t break through the 300 people barrier. I wanted to know how we could get this done so I contacted a church leader in the state who had done it. One of the first things he asked me was to see my prospect list. My eyes glazed over as I started to lose consciousness and in my mind, I am thinking, Oh my gosh, I want to know the magic formula for church growth and this guy is a talking to me about a Sunday School prospect list. You’ve have got to be kidding me.
Decades of my ministry has taught me he was right. What he was trying to get through my hard head was you reach the people closest to you and you reach the people you are trying to reach. Jesus told his disciples, “Let us go…to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. that is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38 New International Version) Proximity = nearby! Purpose = Let us go!
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