Your Church On Mission

INDIAN HEAD, Md.-- On Halloween this year, Potomac Heights Baptist Church structured its entire outreach event to match the evangelism tool, "3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide."

The tool, produced by the North American Mission Board (NAMB), helps people use three simple circles that represent "God's Design, Brokenness and the Gospel" -- which can be drawn, for example, on a napkin during lunch -- to communicate the Gospel.

Accordingly, Potomac Heights in Indian Head, Md., designed their annual Awesome Autumn with three distinct areas to represent the three circles.

In the first area, several carnival games, such as mini-golf, bucket ball, ring toss, skee ball and more, were set up out on the front lawn, representing "God's Design" for each of the participants.

Alongside each game were specially-designed signs with scriptures, such as Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands," among other sayings, that explained God's design for each person. Leaders who ran the games looked for specific opportunities to have conversations to drive home the points at their game stations. Worship teams also lead songs of worship in the festive environment.

Inside the chapel, participants then were treated to a string maze, which represented "brokenness." As participants attempted to go through the maze, a video explaining the "3 Circles" played on the room's projection screen.

Louis Knight, 80, walked participants through the maze, personally explaining how brokenness and sin causes confusion and dead ends in one's life. He aptly quoted scriptures such as Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."

After going through the maze, participants went into the church's sanctuary, where they were presented with "the Gospel" (Colossians 2:14, "He erased the certificate of death... and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross" and John 3:16a, "For God loved the world in this way; He gave his One and Only Son...") and information about how to get involved in the church and its ministries.

"I know what God has done for me," said Knight, in the sanctuary, noting he had grown up in a Christian home and was saved and baptized at 10 years old. But it wasn't until he was 39 years old, while serving alone in the Air Force in Hawaii, that he took a "hard look at his life."

"I didn't like what I saw," he said. "I was living so far away from the scriptures."

He remembered kneeling at his bed and praying all night for God to consume all of him. His later prayers were for God to deepen his love for God's Word and for others, both of which were demonstrated during this year's outreach.

"Oh, I just love Jesus and His Word," Knight cheered, his brightened face illuminating God's answered prayer from decades ago. When Knight returned to the United States, he was the first African American to join Potomac Heights Baptist Church. He now serves as an elder and is very passionate about evangelism and outreach.

Prior to the event, Pastors Brian Sandifer and Bryan Arnett held two evangelism trainings to equip church members, like Knight, to share the Gospel. In prior years, the church's outreach had engaged people in the community, but they wanted to be more intentional in weaving in the Gospel.

"Since we were already teaching our church members how to use '3 Circles,' we decided to structure our event after it," he said. They also intentionally invite guests into the building to help them have a greater understanding of what it would be like if they attended there.

Each year, up to 1,000 people, most dressed in their Halloween costumes, attend the growing event.

NAMB has produced a variety of resources, accessible at http://lifeonmissionbook.com/conversation-guide, to help support pastors who want to train their churches to use "3 Circles," including free Apple and Android apps, a conversation guide, a PowerPoint presentation and online videos.

Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of First Baptist Church (now called Family Church) in West Palm Beach, Fla., had developed the "3 Circles" tool to train and mobilize his congregation for personal evangelism in a post-Christian environment.