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The 3 x 3 Challenge ::

PHIL CAMPBELL looks at new ways to grow, serve and reach out…
Source: Perspective Vo10 No3&4 © Perspective 2003

In the coming year of Perspective we will be encouraging you to help your church “Get Up & Grow!” PHIL CAMPBELL shares ideas for a program designed to encourage people to grow, serve and reach out

At Mitchelton Presbyterian Church, we followed our Get Up and Grow year with a program we called the 3×3 Challenge. The challenge was simple – choose three new ways to grow, three new ways to serve, and three new ways to reach out in 2003. We prepared a list of growth, service and outreach ideas (see pages 3-4), and circulated them on a form with a tear off response slip. Best of all, we reproduced the form on our website, so people could commit to their 3×3 choices online. They would then receive an automatic email confirmation and be added to the online database. The question is, what do we do now? After all, signing up for a challenge doesn’t mean much if there’s no effective follow up. That’s where our elders and ministry team members come in.

The service options were very practical, and included many of the roles that are usually “rostered” – cleaning, morning teas, mowing etc – and some that are “on-call,” like providing emergency meals and care. The online database (which we manually updated with all the data from the paper response slips) is now our primary source of names for rosters and on-call helpers. Some, for example, volunteered to join an emergency transport roster for elderly members. So, when Sylvia’s husband was confined to a nursing home, co-ordinator Peter Burns started contacting volunteers from the list, who are now driving Sylvia across the city for regular visits.

How about 3 ways to Grow? The real challenge here is for the church leadership team to offer practical help and encouragement to people who sign up for growth goals. Some options, like “Join a Growth Group,” are easy. We simply helped everyone on the list link up with a suitable group. Those who chose to “Read the Bible in One Year” were contacted with a list of possible resources, including websites with daily readings, and printed “Bible in a year” programs.

Three ways to reach out offered challenges in evangelism and evangelism training. One goal was to read Kel Richard’s book Hospitality Evangelism. We ordered a copy for everyone who signed up – and we’ll work together at putting some of Kel’s ideas into practice. Others said they’d pray regularly for our church outreach events. They’ll be the first to know what’s happening as we plan our next “Open Church” weekend, and we’ll encourage them to keep their prayer commitment.

Take a look at our “sign up page” on the web at×3/3×3.php
Click here for an Acrobat file of our original 3×3 handout

Phil Campbell is the minister of the Mitchelton Presbyterian Church.

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