James Biddle is the Community Outreach Pastor at Joy Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The church is led by Pastor Jim Frease who has a vision to take Joy to the World. On today’s episode, James shares several innovative ideas for taking Christ to your community.
Joy Church Website: https://joychurch.net/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
James Biddle is the community outreach pastor at joy church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. The church is led by pastor Jim fries, who has a vision to take joy to the world. On today’s episode, James shares several innovative ideas for taking Christ into your community.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:32):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Danielle King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:56):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest with me. James Biddle is the community outreach pastor at joy church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. And so the church is led by pastor Jim fries, and he has a vision for taking joy to the world. And so it’s so nice to meet you.
Pastor James Biddle (01:24):
It’s good to meet you Daniel, and I’ve enjoyed connecting with you this week and I really appreciate your heart for the great commission, your heart for souls. And I’m just honored to be here and share a little bit about what God’s doing in middle Tennessee.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:37):
So tell me, how did you become the community outreach director there at joy church?
Pastor James Biddle (01:42):
Yeah. Thank you. So I’ve known pastor Jim for 20 years. He’s been a mentor spiritual father, and we were at Knoxville, Tennessee, and he called us in 2019 to come and serve. And it’s been an honor ever since. And so we’ve got a long term relationship with pastor Jim and we moved there to serve full time in 2019.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:01):
All right. You’ve given me some tremendous notes that we’re gonna talk about here. The first thing that you mentioned is the outreach starts with the senior pastor. The pastor sets the culture. Talk to me about how that works in your church. How does pastor Jim free set the culture for outreach?
Pastor James Biddle (02:20):
Yeah, absolutely. It, it has to begin with the senior leader. They have to carry the vision. They have to fund the vision. They have to be fully committed to being a soul winner and people do what they see, people model that. And so our church is a tremendous outreach church because our pastor is an outreaching pastor. He is witnessing to people, sharing his faith at restaurants, not only in a mass alter calls, but he’s actually doing it one on one. And so the pastor has to be fully sold out to leading this, to modeling it. And it has to be a focus of your church and you have to fund it. You have to allocate finances for it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:57):
Talk to me about acts one eight and how that influences how you reach out.
Pastor James Biddle (03:01):
Yeah, we, we believe acts one eight where the Bible says you shall receive power. After the holy spirit comes upon. You you’ll be my witness in Jerusalem, Judea Samaria, and then all the parts of the earth. And we believe that Jerusalem is our community. And so pastor Jim has such a heart for the community. We, we do a lot of world missions. You are a world evangelist. We do a lot of missions different countries, but we start in the community. We’ve drawn a five mile radius around our church and we’ve said, we’re gonna own that five mile radius. And so what we found out Daniel is the more we impact our local community, the more resources we have to reach the world. And so it starts in the community.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:46):
Let me give you some phrases here. And then you tell me what they mean. The first one is invest. Invite include,
Pastor James Biddle (03:53):
Invest, invite, include something. You’ll hear all the time in our church. We say it, every service we say it all the time. That’s for our people to invest in those that we don’t know. You have friends and family. We don’t know you work with people. We don’t know, invite them to come be a part of joy church. And when they show up, include them in the process, make ’em feel like family.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:15):
Another phrase is connection before correction. What does that mean?
Pastor James Biddle (04:20):
Yeah. We always want to connect first. And if you look at Jesus in John chapter four, the woman at the well, he connected with her, they connected over the water. Jesus was thirsty. She had water, there was a connection. And then he was able to help her be corrected to the gospel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:37):
Why do you think that’s important in the, the modern day church? Cause sometimes people, it seems they, they have finger wagon, religion. They’re, they’re yelling at people and correcting the whole world saying here, all doing it wrong. But why is connection so important?
Pastor James Biddle (04:53):
Well, there was a survey done a while back about what people thought about churches. And they said they were judgemental and irrelevant. And so our pastor has led us and taught us that we’re to tell people how good God is. God is not mad at them. We say in our church, if you feel a stomach, it opens a heart. And so we want some kind of a connection. We wanna earn a voice. We wanna earn their trust. Before we just try to give ’em the gospel. We want that genuine connection because we love them and care about them. And it opens tremendous doors for the correction of the gospel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:24):
I heard your pastor say another phrase yesterday. When he, he preached here at the, the I CFM conference perception, determines reception.
Pastor James Biddle (05:33):
Yeah. So we do a lot of outreaches that change how people perceive the church. Again, if you ask people, what do you think about church? Well, Christians are hypocrites. They’re judgemental, they’re relevant. So we do a lot of things in the community to change how people view God to change how people view the church. Because if we change how they perceive us, then they’ll receive our message that we have.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:57):
And here’s another phrase, generosity that breeds curiosity.
Pastor James Biddle (06:01):
We wanna be so generous that people ask, why, why are you doing this? We, we are always giving away things. One thing that’s important to us is at outreach events. We never charge. We will sometimes charge for events, but when it’s an outreach, we never charge. We give away everything. We wanna be so generous. We wanna be known for that. And it really breeds. Curiosity, why are you doing this? Why would you give this away? Why would you do this? It’s because God loves you. And we love you. And it really does breed. Curiosity.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:34):
What are some ways that your church gets people in the church ex excited about the outreach and, and wanting to participate?
Pastor James Biddle (06:42):
Yeah. Well, number one, you talked about this always video. We video everything and that’s because video tells a story, we’ll say, Hey, we did an outreach. You all, weren’t all there. So we’re gonna show you about it. Every week, during time and offerings, we share about the outreaches that we’ve done. We do a quarterly postcard mailer. We actually do old fashioned postcard paper stamp. We mail it. You may not be able to do this right now, but you can start on some level. We mail a postcard to everybody in our county. We do it four times a year. And, and so
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:15):
What would be on one of those postcards? What, what are you advertising?
Pastor James Biddle (07:18):
Yeah. And it, it, it, the catch phrase is, are you tired of enduring life? Do you wanna enjoy life? It gives our service times. It tells us what we do. And we just keep that in front of people. And we try to pick a fun creative cover. So people look at it, you’ve got about three seconds. When somebody gets a postcard, are they gonna trash it or keep it? So we brainstorm as a staff, we pick a really good loving, encouraging image. And then we do some other media that ties into that. And that’s one way that we, we drive traffic into the door.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:49):
Now your church has several different types of outreaches that you do. Okay. And in your notes, you’ve given me some $1,500 ideas for outreaches, some $2,500 outreaches, and then some, some $10,000 outreach. And not everyone who’s listening has a church that’s as big as joy church, but in a small church, you can do a small outreach that, that doesn’t necessarily have to cost a huge amount of money. So let’s just go through the list. Yeah. Starting with the, the $1,500 outreaches. What, what’s one of the, the outreaches that you do that may not cost that much, but still has a big impact.
Pastor James Biddle (08:30):
Yeah. And think excellence that doesn’t have to be expensive. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have. And so you may not have a lot of resources, but you can do some of these things. So one thing that we do is we’ll find a local park and we’ll call in advance and rent a ice cream truck, or a snow cone truck, or an icy truck. And we’ll have them come out to the park. We’ll set up tables and chairs and canopies give a two hour window and we’ll buy everybody’s snow cones. And you can do that for a thousand dollars. You can serve 250 to 300 people, free snow cones, thousand bucks, couple of canopies, couple of tables, couple of chairs. And it’s a tremendous way to invite people to your church.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:13):
Now, yesterday, you were explaining to me why you put out canopies and chairs.
Pastor James Biddle (09:18):
Yeah. We’re trying to be thoughtful to the guest. You know, if you’re doing snow cones in a park, it’s probably summer, it’s probably hot. So you wanna create some shade for the people standing in line. You want to create that environment. And then we put out canopies and tables and chairs, cuz we want to create a place for people to stay. If they sit down, we can have our team connect with ’em and love on ’em. Now, Daniel, these are not heavy evangelistic outreaches. We’re not gonna get 30 people saved at these outreaches. We might have one or two salvations. These are more connection. These are more perception, outreaches. And over time they fold into what your church does in the community. And every single time we have families come back. And if you have one family come to your church, get plugged in, start tithing. That outreach paid for itself. Now we don’t do that to get them to come and tithe. But in a practical sense, one family gets plugged into your church. That outreach essentially costs you no money and you reach a family. And so we try to provide those connection opportunities with our team.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:22):
And so you view this more as an investment. You’re not spending money, you’re investing money, getting people saved, and then they’re coming back and bringing resources to the
Pastor James Biddle (10:32):
Church. Yeah. And we are unashamed that our ult we don’t have an ulterior motive, but we have an ultimate motive. That’s what pastor Jim says. We don’t have an ulterior motive. We have an ultimate motive. And that is to get people back into the church. And we’re not ashamed about that. That is God’s model for discipleship. And so we’re always inviting people to come and be a part of what God is doing.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:53):
All right. Gimme some more ideas for that first price tier.
Pastor James Biddle (10:58):
So find a local school, connect with a principal and say, Hey, on the first day of school, when the teachers are coming back, we wanna bring Chick-fil-A breakfast to your teachers. You’re talking a hundred teachers, maybe 110, 115 at the most. That’s a pretty good sized school. So for 700 bucks, you can get, Chick-fil-A go to a wholesale club and get granola yogurt, orange juice, and just show up and bless the teachers with breakfast. On the first day of score, you will be their hero and it’s 700 bucks.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:29):
Pastor James Biddle (11:31):
Well, something else that you can do is you can go to a local college. We’ve got a university in our area and we connected with some folks there and we’ll go down on a Thursday morning. It cost about a thousand bucks. We’ll buy Chick-fil-A. And we’ll say for two hours, come by and get free. Chick-Fil-A you need some students there. Let ’em get on Facebook, Instagram, Hey, come get some Chick-fil-A a thousand bucks. You can feed students on a college campus. Chick-Fil-A give ’em some coffee and you can make some amazing, amazing connections because you love them. You’re serving them, you’re connecting. And then you invite them to come to church.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:03):
Who else could you feed?
Pastor James Biddle (12:05):
Yeah. So don’t stop there. What about police? Firemen? You could literally have every fireman in your community. Maybe not your city if you’re in a big city, but if you’re in a small town, like we are, we have a hundred people in our police department. I can feed a hundred people for a thousand bucks. If I’ve got a really good team that will cook it and prepare and get volunteers engaged, you could host the firemen and say, Hey, we don’t have a fireman, appreciation lunch, have them on your campus, serve them a really nice meal, no junky meal. Make it really, really nice. Get your best cooks your best volunteers, put your best foot forward. And these people will notice that you care and you do this over time. Over time, over time, people start to realize, wow, this church cares about the community.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:49):
Now bump it up a notch. One of the significant outreaches that your church does is a garage sale. Te tell me about that and how that works.
Pastor James Biddle (12:59):
Yeah, so we do a free yard sale every year. And our church people start months in advance, saving stuff, collecting stuff. And we, we have everything donated to the church two weeks before cuz we don’t have a lot of storage. And then on a Saturday we’ll set up all these items, televisions, refrigerators, clothing, toys, all donated by our church, family and people. Our church family knows and we give it all away. Every family gets one big ticket item, you know, 30, 40, $50 or higher it’s TVs, computers, printers. Every family gets one big item. And then depending on our stock everybody else who comes in, every person gets 10 items and then they might get five items of clothing. Just depends on how many things are donated and we’ll have hundreds and hundreds of people come to this and we feed ’em and this does cost more.
Pastor James Biddle (13:55):
You’re gonna spend two to $3,000 on food and things like that. And we, we clean every item. We check every item, we check, every zipper. We check. Every button takes a lot of volunteers. This is not a really expensive outreach, but it takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of manpower and I’d be happy to share more. If they contact me online, I’ll give you all the details, everything that we do, but we give it all away for free. And it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. People start calling the office in July, Hey, y’all having a free yard sale because people will wait in line sometimes overnight to get washer’s dryers, things like that. And Daniel that’s the best part at the end when they go through the checkout line where recount, how many items they have, we have a prayer tent. They have to exit through the prayer tent, cuz it’s not just about good deeds. It’s about the good news. And we pray with ’em. And the biggest one we did last time before COVID we had 53 decisions for the Lord through that prayer tent. And it was amazing
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:50):
What a tremendous harvest, what a great blessing that is. And I know every angel in heaven, rejoices when one person gets saved. And so to have 53 come to Jesus in one weekend, what a tremendous blessing. All right, let’s bump it up to the $10,000 level. You had an idea at $10,000. What was
Pastor James Biddle (15:09):
It? Yeah, so we just did this because gas prices are very high. If you’re watching this in the future, I hope gas prices have come down right now. They’re very high. So literally last week for two hours, we advertised it like crazy. And this was not for our church. People we advertised. This is not for you. You have to train your folks. Outreach is not about us. So tell your neighbors, tell your friends, this is invest invite and include. We bought $250 gas cards. And we said the first 200 families that come on campus, you get a free gas card. So they circled around our parking lot. And then we had a free car wash. We washed close to 200 vehicles. We had all of our teenagers out serving. We were washing cars. We have all this food. We were cooking. We have a mobile kitchen.
Pastor James Biddle (15:56):
It’s like a food truck, but you can do it with a grill or anything like that. We fed everybody. We had our outreach center open and it was absolutely amazing. I believe 21 people gave their heart to the Lord in line before they even got into the gate. Five people accepted Jesus as they were waiting in line to even pull into the parking lot. And we just trained our team to connect, connect, to share. And it was amazing, but that that’s a more expensive thing, but, but you can plan to do that even in the future and, and save and budget for those
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:26):
Things. I was thinking that if gas prices go up too much more, it might double your cost to do that outreach.
Pastor James Biddle (16:33):
Yeah. And, and you know, we’ve done that before, but the reason we did $50 is cuz we wanted it to be noticeable. We wanted our community to notice, wow, we wanted the wow factor, not in a prideful way, but in a way that says this church is actually really trying to meet a tangible need. And we were honored to do that. We understand not everybody can do that. We’re honored to be able to do that, but that’s a $10,000 outreach.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:57):
You also have welcome baskets that you give to people. Are, are those for people who visit the church?
Pastor James Biddle (17:03):
Yeah, that’s a great question. So we actually go in and blanket neighborhoods, we’ll find a newer neighborhood that has two to 300 homes in it. And we’ll put together a really, really nice basket. Now they, this is a, an expensive, this is a $10,000 outreach, but you can do this on a much smaller scale. So we’ll go into a neighborhood and we’ll make a really nice 30 to $35 basket. We put a $10 Panera or Chick-fil-A card in there. We put really premium coffee. We put a nice Tumblr. We put some Yankee candle. We put some really premium tea, some Linor chocolates. I mean, we put a lot of nice stuff in these baskets and we’ll take a team of 40 people and we ding and dash, we just set ’em on their door and leave. We don’t knock. We don’t walk around. So this is not an outreach where people get saved, unless you just bump into somebody walking around. But this is a connection outreach. What happens is we’ve had this over and over again, Daniel people will come to our church and they, they were saying, we were just talking about, we need to find a church. We were just praying about a church and we came out and boom, there’s your basket. Every single time we do this, people come to church and it’s a blessing.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:10):
I like what you said earlier. You said that good deeds must Al always be accompanied by good news. Yeah. And, and so how do you communicate good news with people? If they come to one of these, one of these things, how do you train your people to share the good news? Yeah.
Pastor James Biddle (18:28):
Pastor Jim’s heart is that we’re moving people forward in the gospel. We’re not, it’s not a social gospel. We’re not just trying to meet needs. So it might be as easy as giving an invite card. That’s okay. Some events we do some outreaches. We do. We’re only allowed to give them an invite card. We turn down opportunities because we can’t invite people to church. We’re not interested in just sponsoring the high school down the road so they can have a better sports field. We want to get people into the kingdom of God. So we train our team thoroughly on to connect to love and, and we teach ’em the Romans road. We teach ’em how to offer, to pray for people. Hey, is there anything I can pray with you about? And that opens so many doors and just be friendly, just be nice and be excited about what God’s doing in your church and at a minimum, give them an invite card at a minimum. Ask if you can pray with them.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:19):
That’s awesome. Well, James, it’s so exciting to hear what joy church is doing to, to reach out to the world. And I really love the, the joy to the world that you’re taking joy to the world and, and, and going outside the walls of the church in order to, to minister, to people. And so if you’re listening and you wanna know more about joy church and, and what they’re doing to reach out to people, you can find them at joy, church.net pastor Jim freeze. And I’m sitting here with James Biddle. Thank you so much for being a guest on the evangelism podcast.
Pastor James Biddle (19:56):
Daniel, I’m honored to know you and I love what you’re doing. Keep it up. Keep helping churches keep equipping and empowering, and you’re doing a big thing and you make a difference and we’re honored to be able to share today.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:08):
Thank you. Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus. And I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the evangelism podcast on apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with king ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much. And God bless you
Evangelism Podcast Host (21:28):
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