Mapping Your City

Strategically Reaching Your Community

One of the most important aspects of our soulwinning program has been mapping. We are blessed with a number of soulwinning members who have responded to the call to tell others about Jesus. When they come during our scheduled soulwinning times (either Tuesday morning, Tuesday evening, or Saturday morning), we want to help them strategically reach our community. Some will follow up on visitors from Sunday, others will visit new move-ins to the community or Sunday school absentees. But the staple of our soulwinning program is the doorknocking maps.

We have to be careful. Every door in our community is knocked on an average of four times a year. Hundreds of soulwinners are out on a weekly basis. What would happen if everyone gave tracts to the same one mile block of homes? Many fewer people would get the Gospel and a couple hundred homeowners would be very frustrated. Systematically segmenting the community requires some preparation, but the benefits are well worth it.

We begin by dividing the community into several larger areas, usually by major streets. (This is easy in Lancaster. Our major streets are set up in a grid of one by one mile squares.) Each area is numbered with clear boundaries drawn on the map.

Next, we take the master copy of each area and make several dozen photocopies. Then each photocopy has a single street or several connected streets highlighted. (We try to have about forty houses on each highlighted map.) To keep track, we highlight the same street or streets on the master. We repeat this process until we have several maps of the same area with different streets highlighted on each map. This pack of maps represents every street in that area.

While most of our community has been friendly to our soulwinners, there are a few who have requested not to receive visits at their door. We want to respect these requests, but how do we manage a few dozen addresses among 80,000 homes? The answer is our soulwinning maps. Each “Do Not Knock” address is listed by the numbered area. Then each time new soulwinning maps are highlighted, the secretary checks the “Do Not Knock” list and writes the address on the top of the map. It takes some training of your soulwinners to take note of these addresses, but it will save the resident and the soulwinner much grief. (By the way, we make sure these homes receive invitations to our events in the mail.)

Finally, we ask our soulwinners to finish the maps and return them to the church. This gives us an accurate count of which neighborhoods have received invitations recently. Each Sunday school class is assigned a different area, and as the maps are completed, a master map is highlighted. This helps the class see how many homes they have reached collectively.

Times of outreach for major events are great times to re-highlight all of your areas again. If you have a Christmas musical or major fall outreach, set a high doorknocking goal for your church family, and have maps ready to help them meet that goal.

The major motivation for soulwinning is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. When Jesus is in us, we will share Him through our day-to-day lives. But it is hard to overstate the importance of a regularly scheduled soulwinning time for your church. Train them, preach on soulwinning, and when they come to tell people about Christ, have a handful of Gospel tracts and a map ready so they know exactly where they can find some people who haven’t heard the Gospel.

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