Small New York Church Targets Every Home on Staten Island
It doesn't take a big church to have a big vision. First Bible Church of Staten Island New York is proof.
With just 200 people in their congregation, they have put the gospel into 15,000 homes in just 5 weeks. Every Saturday, teams go out from the church with plastic bag door hangers containing information about their services, a Bible portion and Chick tracts. Their goal: all 135,000 homes on the entire island. Church members assemble on Thursday night to stuff the bags for the Saturday teams. A van makes the rounds of the neighborhoods where the teams are working replenishing their supply. They average 2,500 homes per Saturday.
A wall map at the church showed their progress. As a result there is a first time visitor in almost every service. Once the literature is sown in a neighborhood, it spreads. They have families attending the church from houses that have not yet been visited. They have had people saved almost every week since they started.
They order the tracts with the name of the church printed on the back cover. The tracts show up in many odd places. One man found one pinned to the bulletin board at an AA meeting and came to the church. Another first timer said he found one of their tracts while visiting Florida and looked up the church when he got home.
The program has inspired the personal use of the tracts beyond just the Saturday visitation. One man works in New York City and used to catch a cab between his job and the ferry. He decided to walk instead, and pass tracts to people on the street. He carries a variety of foreign language tracts and finds that it is easy to get someone to take a tract if it is in their native tongue.
The church runs a bookstore which stocks literature in 60 different languages because of the many different groups in New York. Not all of the responses have been positive because the area is heavily Roman Catholic. But they don't mind being considered "extreme" because they have a reputation in the community for being a church that teaches the Word of God.
"When we have covered all the homes on the island, we'll just start over again," says Pastor Mike Veach.
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