Tom Brown is the pastor of Word of Life Church, one of the fastest growing churches in El Paso, Texas. On today’s podcast, he talks about how he is reaching out to his community using a variety of creative methods. He is the author of several best selling books and has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, MSNBC, and the History Channel. He is often called “The Exorcist” because of his ministry of casting out demons.
Question: What are you doing to reach out to the people of El Paso?
Tom Brown shares about touching lives through:
* Holiday Fun Fests
* Feeding Programs
* Website Outreach
* Social Media
* How Tortilla Soup has brought tens of thousands of visitors to his website.
* Finding a niche for your ministry.
Key Quote: New church plants need a good name, a good location, a good website, regular social media presence and they need to work it by ministering to people. If they work it hard, they will be successful.
Yeah, I’m here with pastor Tom Brown from word of life church in El Paso, Texas. We have been close friends for a long time. In fact, pastor Tom gave me one of my first opportunities to ever preach edit church. When I was still a teenager, he had me come preach on the fire of God. And then my brother and I used to dress up as clowns. And he had us come in and minister to the kids at his church several times. And so pastor Tom, it’s great to have you on the podcast today. It was great to be on God bless. And this is the evangelism podcast. We’re talking about evangelism and church growth and different ways that churches are reaching out to their community. And so your church is growing very rapidly. They’re in El Paso, Texas. Tell us what are you doing to, to reach people for Jesus in your community?
Tom Brown (00:49):
Well, you know, the first time we met we were getting ready to do our harvest festival. So in replacement of Halloween, we have something for the kids. And then we also preach the gospel every 20 minutes while kids are, you know, hundreds of kids will be coming in there. That’s why we invited you to come and do it. I think that was, that was Sonia told me that was the first time we had to come to the harvest festival. So one of, one of the simple outreaches once a year is we had that harvest festival and it’s amazing how many people ended up joining the church, just because of it. They come to the Lord. Hundreds of hands will be raised during this two hour festival. As we do a Christian play every 20 minutes while people are there. So that’s one outreach.
Tom Brown (01:30):
Of course we also have our church televise on television. Let’s not forget though, those social media is getting more and more important. People still watch television too. So we’re on CBS, NBC where the most widely watched local program in the city of of most lo most local religious program in the city of El Paso. We’ve seen the ratings. We come up on our, our, the number two rated highest rated to show every time we’re on at the six 30 and the seven 30 is the time slot. So we’re excited. I mean, the stations do not want us to leave because we bring a big audience there. So we S we still reach out with television. And now with COVID, that’s taken place. We now have a feeding program, which we haven’t, we did not really officially have had before. What we did is anyone who needed food, we would give them a gift card to go to a local grocery store from one of our members.
Tom Brown (02:26):
And they would go buy groceries and buy what they want. But we realized with COVID and 50 million people getting unemployed during this shutdown and this coven, we had to help people. So every Thursday we have from 300 to 500 plus cars, family cars will come in and we will load the trunk of their cars with lots of food. And they will be wrapped around the charts. They will be wrapped around all the way to the next exit. I mean, we were in a corner, so you go down Pratt, then they turn on Saul. Kleinfeld all the way down to the next major exit. It’s incredible. And then we have people with, t-shirts saying that they’re ready to pray for people. So as people are waiting in line, we have people asking for prayer, what do you not need God to do for you?
Tom Brown (03:14):
And so that’s another outreach that, that we’re, we’re doing. And of course, and I see you’re also very active on Facebook doing teachings on Facebook. How have people responded to that? It’s tremendous. I mean, right now, it used to be our website that has been the most successful. I mean, we were one of the top religious sites for a long time in all of the Southwest. We’re probably still very high, but we had some trouble when we had to get a new software and that new software messed up our algorithm. So we weren’t ranking as high, but we still get a lot of visitors. But now we realize social media is become more of an important factor than just people going to the website. They like to see you live. One of the things I learned is go live. You can record something and put it up.
Tom Brown (04:01):
You’ll get some good views, but the you’ll get the most when you go live, because people want to see all your mistakes. They want it. They want to see that, see that you’re human. Yeah, that’s right. Yes. Yes. It’s not Polish. Or there going to be no editing. We’re not going to bleep a word. It’s all going to be there. So people like it live. So I’ll come up with a teaching a revelation and I’ll just share for a few minutes, a revelation that God gives me. And then I’ve discovered, you know, I my website used to get one 10th of all hits was from my tortilla soup recipe. I’d actually put it on there just so I didn’t have to write it out for all my members. So I had millions. This is not, I don’t mean hundreds of thousands.
Tom Brown (04:44):
Millions of downloads from your tortilla tortilla soup. Yes. So people would, one person said they put too many Chipotle peppers and they now call it exorcism soup because people know me as an Exorcist as well. They’ve seen me on MSNBC, the history channel ABC 2020. But so I found a niche. My associate pastor said, Bishop, start doing these cooking things. Did you see how many people were viewing you? I said, I know I was a stranger. Why would so many people want to see a minister, cook a food, cook a recipe, but they do. And then I’ll interject while I’m cooking some teachings, some thoughts of the scriptures. You know what I mean? Maybe I’m, I’m waiting for something to boil. I’ll begin to preach this.
Daniel King You’re like the cooking evangelists, pastors, maybe. So we’ve got a guy. It would be a great show.
Tom Brown (05:30):
You’re going to come up with a name for me, cooking. Pastor let’s keep working on the title. But anyway, the chef who leads, they heavily cook. He’s done the good ingredients and the bad, the good, the good, good word. Yeah. So we’re doing everything we can. And, and we do it properly. Probably I’d go live five, four or five times a week. And, and we get huge hits. People just come. And then of course, all of our services are at least our 11 o’clock service and Wednesday Bible study, it’s all live. And our Spanish service is also live. And my associate pastor gets almost as many hits as I do. He’s so popular to, so, and so what advice would you
Daniel King (06:15):
You give to a young pastor who’s just starting out.
Tom Brown (06:18):
They want to grow their church. Well, I think number one, well, you got to come up with the name of a church. You got to come up with a logo. You have to come up with a webpage. You have to know where you’re going to be located. Who’s going to do your praise and worship. And then you have to figure out, we’ve got to have an online presence. I already mentioned a webpage, but you have to have that online presence on Facebook, Instagram, some of the other bigger ones. And I tell people stay with the big ones. You don’t have to work so hard. They already have an ready-made audience for you, and then work it and, and start to witness to people, minister to people, invite them to your church. And I’ll tell you there’ll be successful if they’ll work at heart.
Daniel King (06:57):
Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, Pastor Tom.