Like I mentioned earlier, Saddleback’s service is going to be played this Christmas on FOX. And here’s the cool part, we’re working to make the broadcast point people toward a local church. Here’s a clip from a letter sent out from Pastors.com today on the subject.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want to point people to YOUR church this Christmas Season!
This year the Fox News Network will broadcast Saddleback’s Christmas service on Christmas Eve, and again on Christmas Day. We’ve come up with a plan to use the broadcast to point people to your congregation. As you know, I made the decision 26 years ago not to televise our weekly services in America because I believe in pastors and the priority of the local church. My heart and goal has always been to strengthen you, not to compete with your ministry. As Saddleback has become well-known, I’ve thought a lot about how to use our national platform to serve your churches.
Let me tell you something that happened in India last year. Billy Graham broadcast a nationwide Christmas television program. This program was used by churches in India to start 750,000 small groups representing every state. Churches encouraged their members to start new small groups by inviting their lost friends to their homes to watch the program. Over 4,000,000 Indians recorded decisions for Christ in those 750,000 new small groups!
So when Fox News asked to broadcast our Christmas service, I said yes, thinking we could help direct people to small groups in YOUR church!
Here’s how the plan will work:
1. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Fox News Channel will broadcast “The Purpose of Christmas – From Saddleback Church.” At the end of the broadcast, I’ll invite people to register their spiritual decision or interest in finding a church by going to a website called http://www.thepeaceplan.com/.
2. On that site we’re creating a “Church Finder” list of every church in our network that has either 1) completed 40 Days of Purpose or 2) intends to do 40 Days of Purpose in 2007. Your church needs to be on that list so people in your area can find you!
3. People who request follow-up information from the website will give us their name, email, and zip code. Then we’ll send you the names of people in your area who are looking for a church! We’re paying for this. It’s free to you, and other churches in our network.
All you need to do is click here and provide current information on your church so you’ll be listed correctly in the Church Finder on our website. Then, enlist some volunteers from your church family to email the folks we forward on to you right after Christmas. I’m really excited about doing this project together, and I pray it will give all of our churches a boost together as we start 2007.