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Project Thessalonica: 5 steps to reaching a city for Christ

POWELL, Tenn. (BP)–Find out how your congregation can become a “strategy coordinator” church through Project Thessalonica. This effort recruits Southern Baptist churches to develop a plan to reach entire cities in India for Christ. Here’s how to get involved.

1. Decide if your church is ready.

Your church must have a heart for missions, said pastor Phil Jones of First Baptist Church in Powell, Tenn.

“When we heard about an opportunity for our church to be a strategy coordinator for a specific area that is unreached with the Gospel, we jumped at the opportunity,” Jones said. “Because of that challenge, our people have really grabbed hold.”

2. Enlist a leadership team.

Pastors must find a core group who will help mobilize volunteers and coordinate the effort. The project involves multiple trips and teams who will go into heavily populated cities, map out a strategy and develop contacts with people in the area.

“We have eight people who are going on the initial trip to South Asia,” Jones said. “They will be leaders in the future. They will do training here in the church to get others ready to go to the field. These eight are just the beginning.”

3. Recruit prayer warriors.

Prayer is crucial. First Baptist, Powell, assembled more than 300 of its members to provide prayer support for the project. Each one agreed to pray regularly and specifically for the city and the mission teams. Jones expects the number to increase to more than 500 people.

4. Prepare the budget.

Traveling overseas isn’t cheap. First Baptist Church, Powell, uses its mission budget to help volunteers cut costs. Team members pay a predetermined amount for each trip while the mission budget picks up the rest.

“We try to build a balance between people making a sacrifice financially to go on the trips,” Jones said. “But yet, we want to keep it from being so expensive that it’s out of reach.”

5. Partner with another congregation.

Churches need to work together. Jones encourages pastors of larger congregations to seek other congregations in the area who are willing to work together on the project.

“I think many churches feel that something like this is really out of their reach,” Jones said. “But, when God finds a church that has a heart for the world, God will see to it that church gets all the resources they need.”
For more information about Project Thessalonica, send e-mail inquiries to [email protected].

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  • Shawn Hendricks