Jericho Project is simply...

  • One of the many layers of ongoing evangelism that we currently practice at NEHBC
  • A simple process of going door-to-door in the neighborhoods that surround our campus
  • A  gospel focused conversation with our neighbors
  • A method of evangelism that God has used to save lost souls as well as call out many to rededicate to Christ and start attending church 

"When the walls of Jericho fell, it meant death for the people of that city. We march around our city, but the breaking down of the walls that separate the people from God means life for them." - Pastor Nathan Lino

 
NEHBC currently does Jericho Project once per quarter on a Saturday morning.  God is currently using this strategy in the life of NEHBC to impact our community as well as our membership.  I pray that sharing it here will help others put it into practice with similar results.  Please use this information as a guide to developing your own door-to-door evangelism strategy.

The major components of our Jericho Project are:

  • Getting the word out early and often for the next upcoming Jericho Project
  • Praying over the next Jericho Project well in advance corporately, in small group prayer time, and individually
  • Staging a rally at the start of Jericho Project that has upbeat music playing and breakfast food and coffee for all
  • Assembling and distributing the J-Project Kit
  • Going out into the community in groups of two or three to share the Gospel door-to-door
  • Gathering for a 10 minute debrief at the end of the morning

Get the word out:
We advertise 5 to 6 weeks in advance using all our primary communications platforms: church-wide email, social media, LifeGroup announcements, etc.  We build it up to be a major church-wide event and tend to see anywhere from 130 to 170 members participate.  Just like layers of evangelism are important, layers of communication are critical to good participation. 

Pray in advance:
Speaking of communication, it should be noted that we prayed and fasted for a year prior to launching J-Project.  That's not saying you have to start praying a year in advance, but communicating with our Heavenly Father is a requisite for any successful evangelism campaign.   We give ALL the glory and credit to God for what he has done through Jericho Project by communicating with him at every step; before we start the project and continuously throughout. 

Breakfast:
We provide coffee, donuts, and kolaches for breakfast for those who show up a little early for the rally.  The kids really love this and even look forward to coming just for the breakfast.  Do whatever it takes to get members/participants to show.

Rally:
We play loud upbeat music in the meeting area before we start and as we gather to go out.  A good pep-talk is critical:  We always acknowledge the people working behind the scenes to put together the data (which is a lot of work), we welcome first-timers, and we give basic instructions and a passionate explanation of why we go every time.   At the end of the rally, we break up into groups of 3-4 people placing first-timers and nervous people with more experienced people.  Each team grabs a pre-made kit.   The whole rally and team forming take about 20-25 minutes.  The rally is critical, but we want to spend as much time in the field as possible, so don't run long.  At NEHBC we start the rally at 8:30 am.

The Jericho Project kit:

  • A stack of Bible tracts sufficient for the number of homes on the data sheets
  • A stack of church business cards
  • A Bible to give away if someone accepts Christ and does not have one
  • A Beginning Steps New Christian guide
  • A Ziploc to hold all the paper material
  • A string bag to carry everything
  • An address data sheet with 50-80 addresses in order and organized according to streets on a clipboard with a pen.  We take detailed, publicly available address data from the county to help us keep track.  We also have a designated person who keeps VERY close track of all the addresses we have visited since the inception of the project.  The designated person also prepares all the sheets and clipboards well in advance of the rally.   As a team visits a home we mark what kind of visit we encountered:
    • S - for a salvation (for which we will get some more information from the resident in order to follow up with them)
    • GP - for completing a 1-minute gospel presentation
    • FTF - for a face to face conversation
    • T - for tract left at the door

The field:
We will be in the field for 2 to 2.5 hours going door-to-door based on the datasheets we picked up at the rally.  We try hard to get to the gospel quickly.  We're not out here to chat about the weather or any other small talk because there is too much at stake.   A long drawn out conversation with someone who ends up rejecting the gospel at the end means fewer homes we can reach.   We are going to get rejected by many people so trying to avoid it is a waste of time.  Get to the gospel early in the conversation so you can move on.  Of course, the goal is to be kind and gracious but still get to the meat right away.

We often say something like this: "Hi, I'm Brett and this is Nathan, and we're from Northeast Houston Baptist Church.  We are out here today to tell you and your neighbors about how you can be reconciled to God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Do you know that the Bible says that God is holy which means he is perfect..."  From here I'm already at the beginning of the gospel message, and we just go until we get cut off.  By the way, it's really important to have a good, one-minute gospel presentation well-rehearsed and ready to go.  (see the video below for a sample of one of our methods).  

The first couple of houses is always a little nerve-racking as this is one of the weirdest things in the world and seems so random to the world and even us until we get into it.  After a few houses, we feel pretty good and the excitement builds until the project morning is over usually before we realize it.

Debrief:
This is one of the most critical elements of the day.  We come back together at 11:30 am to allow teams to drop off and organize unused material and spend a few minutes discussing the morning.  The debrief is important because it builds excitement and buzz conversations that last for weeks and helps encourage a greater turnout for the next Jericho Project.  It also gives everyone a chance to reflect on what God has done through the event.  We try to get three or four very short testimonies before we close in prayer.  Also, we try to be out the door by 11:45 am.  This time frame seems to work well for us because people know they still have the rest of their Saturday.

Final thoughts: NEHBC is committed to reaching our community because of the Great Commission.  We know that we will stand before God one day and answer for our stewardship of his gospel message in the place that he planted us.   But even though we are fully committed to reaching our community, we are not committed to the strategy.  Jericho Project has changed a number of times over the last five years and will change again as needed.  God is using Jericho Project in its current form and we will continue this strategy until he moves us to a different one.

I sincerely hope and pray that this information serves you well.  If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  In addition, I would be happy to invite you to join us at our next Jericho Project to see it in action.

Brett Thompson
Associate Pastor of Missions and Membership
bthompson@nehbc.com

One minute gospel video

Click here for full text of a typical one minute gospel conversation  (in English and Spanish)