Part 1 Prepare
by Kent Reeder
Illumine Lutheran Church

Step 1: Decide, Way Ahead of Time, that You’re Going to Wear Pants

 When Illumine Church decided on a launch day of April, 14th 2014, we knew we’d need a Kingdom Worker Faith-in-Action team. I (Pastor Kent Reeder) hadn’t hosted a team before.  Like with most things in my ministry so far, though, I figured that when I overcompensate for my gross naiveté with break-neck zealousness and zero shame for mistakes, Jesus is often kind enough to make things work. 

 So I did the whole Kingdom Worker (KW) application process. (By the way, you have until October 15th to submit your requests for next year’s teams.) The thing about the application is this: once you’ve filled it out, Joyce and the team at KW are super-efficient and eager to get you a team, so you better get ready. It’s kind of them to ask for it by October of the preceding year - it forces us procrastinators to have at least 2 months to prepare, which we desperately need.

 To be clear at the front end, though, prior preparation PREVENTS. It prevents poor performance, disappointed Workers, disappointed congregation members, and wasted time. It does not guarantee you’ll have 250 new prospects at your launch or get 100% friendly folks when you go door to door. But if those things have prerequisites, preparation is #1. 

 Step 2: Pick a Big Enough Belt

 If you’re wondering how many canvassing Workers to get, you can do two things. (1) Call other churches that have hosted teams. They’ve already scored or fumbled on this one. However, if you like math, you can also (2) work (very ruggedly) backwards, making a few assumptions:

 Considering time in transit, breaks, shoe-tying, etc., a Kingdom Worker’s can spend about 6 hours actually canvassing each day. After that you have to plug them in and leave them on the nightstand for a while. 

 There are two basic kinds of canvassing.

Door-knocking = 20 homes/hour = 120 homes/day

Door-hanging = 60 homes/hour = 360 homes/day

 Now you can use this equation:

Total Homes / Homes per Day = days x workers

 So, if I want to have the Kingdom Workers do door-knocking style canvassing, and I’m hoping to hit 10,000 homes while they’re here, that means 10,000 / 120 = 83.333. Any number of days times number of workers that comes close to 83 is probably going to work for me. i.e. 9 days with 9 workers. 10 days with 8 workers. 8 days with 10 workers. 1 day with 83 workers. You just have to play with the numbers - it’s basically a very estimate-friendly version of factoring.

 Pro tips: 

Don’t forget to count local folks as workers. 

Add a day so they have a day off. 

Never do 6 hours of door-to-door-knocking style canvassing. People aren’t at home 6 hours each day. 

 Step 3: Be Completely Dressed Before the Workers Arrive

 You need to have a full-on, over-thought itinerary sent/emailed to your Kingdom Workers at least a week before they come. Here’s an example. Provide this to anyone in the congregation that’s going to be involved, too. This document should include at least the following sections:

  • Overview & Goals: Lay out the vision. Get them excited. Introduce them to your congregation - why this specific place and time is worth their time. I know they’re already there and they can’t escape, but serve them by inspiring them. 

◦       Use scripture. 

◦       Give a brief description of what they’re going to be up to.

◦       Tell them you’re excited!

  • Quick Reference: Names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails for the church facility, the pastors, the staff, the hosts, anyone who’s cooking dinner one night, and each Kingdom Worker.
  • Free-time Suggestions: Show them you care that they have a great experience in your city. Do the research for local events on their off day. Have prices, addresses, phone numbers for great outing possibilities.

◦       Talk to congregation members before the trip about providing rides.

◦       Decide beforehand if the congregation is going to help pay.

  • Packing List: Again, you’re trying to serve these people. Prepare them!

◦       Remind them to bring a bible. 

◦       Mention this: “Please pack ministry-appropriate clothing. I was taught that if you can’t figure out whether or not something is ministry-appropriate, it isn’t.”

  • Detailed Timeline: 1 page per day, so they can take notes and throw pages away once that day has passed.

◦       Lay out every minute, even if you’re saying it’s free time.

◦       List the TIME, PARTICIPANTS, EVENT, and LOCATION

◦       Include a page for their day off. 

  • Meeting Material: While this section is probably the most optional, we had a morning meeting every day they were there. It included a devotional bible study and an overview of the day. The devotions were all connected, and sometimes there were handouts. They went in this section.
  • Optional Sections

◦       Maps for canvassing

◦       A hand-back-at-the-end, how-did-it-go page they can take notes on through the week.

I could have prepped more. The example document has some holes, and next time I’ll do better. That being said, our Kingdom Workers, our congregation, and I had a smooth week with relatively little frustration. Credit for this goes to our God and to preparation, in that order.

 The next post in this series will be The First 24 Hours with Your Kingdom Worker Team: Hello, I Love You, Won’t You Tell Me Your Name