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Evangelistic advertising campaign results in 48 professions of faith

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–A recent series of nationwide evangelistic television commercials sponsored by the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board has resulted in more than 6,200 total responses to an offer of a free “Jesus” video and 48 first-time professions of faith in Christ.

Unlike previous efforts, the campaign included only three television programs on one network in an attempt to focus media evangelistic efforts where they can be most effective. The approach also allows the agency to alert volunteer “telephone encouragers” of the exact hours they are needed to be available to answer calls.

“The whole idea was to try to reach a particular audience that we think would be responsive, and then tell our telephone encouragers on the other end the exact times that the calls would come,” said Ron Lawson, NAMB’s media strategy director.

The telephone encouragers work as part of NAMB’s Evangelism Response Center, a system that channels calls from viewers directly into the homes of specially trained volunteers willing to talk with them about Christ.

The advertising was placed on the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) on four different programs during the period of Nov. 13-21: two episodes of “Little House on the Prairie,” one episode of “Cosby” and during the movie “Ghost.”

Two of NAMB’s most popular TV spots were used, one in which Mary Lou Retton describes Jesus Christ as a “perfect 10” and the other, titled “Living Water,” taken from the words of Christ from Scripture. Viewers were invited to call a toll-free number to receive a free copy of the “Jesus” video.

Each show included several airings of one of the commercials.

“We’re wanting to see how many people would respond to these messages. We also want to learn how many, after talking with a telephone encourager, would accept Christ,” Lawson said.

The agency is learning the most effective ways of using television advertising, with results from these kinds of campaigns being particularly useful to state conventions, associations and other groups that sponsor similar commercials.

“So far it seems clear that this kind of short, focused campaign on a national television network is a very effective way to reach an audience with the gospel,” Lawson said. “We will definitely look for ways of implementing this approach in the future.”

For more information on becoming a telephone encourager or having your church become a part of the follow-up network for the Evangelism Response Center, contact state evangelism directors or NAMB decision counseling associates Joy Neal or Darel Robertson at (817) 570-1410.

For information on church evangelistic advertising resources offered through NAMB, visit www.namb.net/ads or call toll-free 1-800-519-9271.

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  • James Dotson