The Old Cowboy has a lot to do today. First a few final words of wisdom learned in working with many others on the outreach efforts of the Sunny Slope church of Christ here in Omaha. The first big lesson learned is shown in my comment “working with many others on the outreach efforts.” If you have the idea that one or two people can get the job done, you have already failed. In the last three days I have only scratched the surface of what has been accomplished in the last eight years, and really didn’t tell everyting about the first year. Cable television is now being used more then the newspaper. A radio show that started as a Saturday or Sunday night effort is currently a morning feature Monday through Friday on radio stations in Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs, Iowa and Kansas City Missouri.
The newspaper ad design works very well. The most important elements would be that it covers only one subject, the Free Bible Studies, and it has a lot of white space. Pictures of the preacher, his name, along with pictures of the building and the worship service times, and sermon topics are left out. They are just clutter and a big distraction to the subject at hand. The ten point border around the ad makes it impossible for the World Herald to hide it, even when they throw it up against the gutter. We learned too that the two least read pages in the paper are the business section and the religious page.
Gary records the televison commercials while sitting in an over stuffed chair in what looks like a simple living room setting. He wears a simple pair of slacks and a sports shirt with no tie or jacket. He always has a Bible in the picture and some times it is his worn out one. The message is simple, friendly, and conversational. The commercials are very effective and people respond to them. You have to ask yourself, are you featuring a good looking preacher, or maybe a slick looking building or God’s Word. Neighbor, we have proven that folks respond to God;s Word, not good looking preachers or buildings or programs or game nights.
Everything is tracked and very good recrods are kept. That includes an individuals name address and phone number and email address if they offer that. The zip codes tell us what sections of the area are being reached. We have found what areas we have not reached and in one case placed a series of half page ads in a neighborhood style paper. Every time there is a bring a friend day, Gospel Meeting, or big special sermon series a letter goes out to all of the individuals who have contacted us about a Bible study. What all of that has helped to do is every week including Wednesday nights there are several visitors from the community. Several one-on-one Bible studies are constantly going on, and conducted by the regular old members. Almost every night there is something going on in the building, and recently thirty five feet had to be added to the length of the auditorium. There are now Bible classes for every age group, a strong teen group, young adult group, and a singles group which includes some of the older singles. As I have related earlier in these stories the congregation started in 2004 with sixty members and now a lot of Sunday’s you’ll find a hundred and sixty worshiping God together. If you have other questions give me a call.