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Zane Bousum | An Innovative Idea for Attracting Visitors to Your Church

Zane Bousum is the pastor of Spirit of Life Church near Indianapolis, Indiana. He has a big heart for reaching out to his community. On today’s podcast he shares a unique outreach idea any church can use to attract people to come to church.

Connect with Pastor Zane Bousum: https://spiritoflifechurch.org/


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Zane Bousum pastors, spirit of life, church near Indianapolis, Indiana. And he has a big heart for reaching out to the community on today’s podcast. He’s going to share with you a unique outreach idea that any church in America could use to attract people to come to church.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:24):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls in the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:35):
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 Daniel King.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:59):
Welcome to the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I am right near Indianapolis, Indiana with pastor Z Boso pronounced like awesome Zane Bossum and we’re at spirit life church. And it’s so wonderful to have you on the evangelism podcast. I’m glad to be here. Thank you so much. We are excited about what God’s doing here on the west side of Indianapolis, and we believe that God wants us to not only live the life that he’s called us to, but to tell people about it yesterday, I came as a guest minister to the church here, and you had a really unique outreach idea to bring people into the church. Tell me about it.

Pastor Zane Bousum (01:55):
Yeah, so basically what we did is we had a $50 gas card giveaway. And so what we did is we went to a local gas station and we bought 50, $50 gas cards. And our goal was for that each new visitor that came in, we would put this $50 gas card in our visitor bags. We already have visitor bags we give, but for every new visitor and what this, what our goal with this was, was to not only have new visitors, obviously come into the church, but was to get our own people, to invite people to come. And so I couldn’t think of I mean, I just thought this was a great idea. I believe God gave it to us to encourage our own people, to have bait, to have something really neat, to give to someone as their guest, that they invited a church. And so so yeah, I think this is a, a really wonderful outreach idea. And, and you had emailed me a couple of months ago and it was right at the height of all the gas prices when all the gas prices America were going up and everyone was concerned about the cost of gas and it was in the news.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:06):
And you said, you know, this would be a really great idea to bring people into the church and everyone’s concerned about gas. So why don’t we give away gas? Now Jesus said that we are called to be fishers of men. And the way that you go fishing for fish is you gotta find the right bait to attract the right kind of fish. And so if you go deep sea fishing, you’re gonna use one kind of bait. If you go down to the Creek, you’re gonna use a different kind of bait. And so what better bait is there to use when people are concerned about gas prices than to use a $50 free gas card for everyone who comes to the church. And so we, the, the, the church gave away these, these invitations. Yes. And how many invitations did you print

Pastor Zane Bousum (03:57):
Up? Yeah, so we printed 900 flyers that our goal was then to pass these flyers out at, and actually the local gas station that we bought gift cards from. They didn’t give us the a hundred percent right away, but the manager said, if you come and tell people about ’em, I’m not gonna say anything. And she was actually in the store, why we were doing it. And we had so many people and actually a few of them that I had personally invited. So I knew that they were invited there. They actually came and so we passed ’em out that way, passed ’em into a local trailer park. We passed them into neighborhoods. We had people that passed them to their own connections that they have, whether that was their family, their friends, people they work with. And so just, it really was an encouragement for us to share the gospel for us to invite someone to church. And and I think it went really well.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (04:53):
All right. So the church for the last couple of weeks been passing out these 900 flyers. You’ve had volunteers come and, and right across the street from the church, there’s an apartment complex. And so you’re giving out the, the invitations there. Now. Now why I think this is an innovative idea is because it’s so important to, to get people into the church. And sometimes you have to go outside the walls of the church to, to go after people, you know, a, a fisherman who goes fishing in the forest, isn’t gonna catch any fish. You gotta go down to where the fish are. They’re they’re in the stream, or they’re in the river, they’re in the lake. So you gotta go where the fish are to catch the fish. And so I think sometimes people are, they, they stay sitting in the church and they’re just waiting for fish to come into the church or is like sitting in a boat and, and waiting for fish to just jump in the boat. Like maybe every once in a long while that might happen just by accident. But if you’re really going to catch someone for Jesus, you gotta go out where they are. And, and so your church spread out into the highways and byways giving out these invitations and you gave out 900 invitations. And how many visitors came and filled out visitor cards at church yesterday.

Pastor Zane Bousum (06:10):
Yeah. So yesterday, and, and, and just to tightness in here too. So one of the reasons why we brought in Dr. Daniel King is because he is an evangelist. And so one of the, the things with all of this was that we wouldn’t just be inviting people who were churchgoers already, but our goal was really to get people who were not going to church unsaved, people who had maybe been questioning about God. And so that’s why we had Dr. Jano king in. And so when he came, we were fully expecting for the gospel to be preached for people’s lives to be changed. And so we had 17 bags, actually, we’re I forgot tell you that 17 bags were given away. 16 cards were filled out. So I don’t know how one bag ended up going, but, but either way we had 16 visitor cards that I’m gonna get now to share. We follow up with those people. I’ll follow up with them, I’ll call them all. And so we’ll get to now connect with them. And this is actually, I can honestly say this. This was the best outreach that we’ve had when, when it comes to people coming in, we’ve had other outreaches, but never had the return on it, of people actually walking through the door to where they can now hear the gospel message and then get a really good connection.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:32):
And yesterday I preached a crystal clear gospel message. And we had the 16 visitors and we counted, there were about 14 people that came up for salvation and at least three people that testified that God had healed them. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and some other great things that happened. We had one young man who came and he, he said, I’m a pagan. I don’t serve God anymore. I’m a pagan. He said, I just came because I wanted the free gas card, but at least he came and we had a chance to, to talk to him and pray with him and share the gospel with him. And he may be a pagan now, but I think he can come to Jesus.

Pastor Zane Bousum (08:19):
Amen. And he also that same guy I was able to connect with as well, and he will, I’m gonna meet with him this week. And so, you know, that’s, that’s one of the things as, as we’re, whenever we do evangelism events, whenever we do things where we are attracting people, we do, we do want that moment to be impactful, but we also need to remember that relationships and connections are so important. So now all these people, even if, even if they don’t come back, they’ve now been connected to our church at least once. But my goal is that of those 16, whether all 16, even if only four, come back, then there’s four new people. We’ve had to do our church. But no matter what, we’ve made a connection with them. And that’s our goal is to connect them to God, connect them to the church. And and praise gods, see their life’s changed.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:08):
Now, I think this is actually a, a really great investment for a church to make, because often you’ll go to Costco. Our family likes to, to eat, to buy food at Costco, and you’ll go down the aisle and they’ll have little free samples yeah. That they give. And, and so they’ll, they’ll give you a little sample of cheese or a little sample of pizza, something, and you eat it. And you’re like, oh, I like that. And, and then you go ahead and buy it. Now, Costco does that for a reason. It’s not just to give away free food, they’re giving it so that you can sample their products and then see if you’re interested in it. And, and so somehow a church has to get people to come in and, and sample a service. And not everybody who tries the sample at Costco is going to buy that product.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:57):
They know that, but they know that enough people are going to buy it, that it makes it worth their while. And it keeps people coming back. In fact, my wife, and she says, let’s take the kids to Costco and gotta feed ’em lunch, you know? And, and so we’ll try all the samples two times each, and that’s like a free meal for the little kiddos, but then we spend like $400 at Costco. Absolutely, absolutely. So, you know, this is a really good investment for a church to make. You’re investing in outreach, you’re investing in souls. You know, somebody might say, well, $50, you’re for a gas card. You’re bribing people to come to church, but really what you’re doing is you’re using bait. Jesus made us fishers of men, and you’re using this bait to, to go after people. And in every country, we find that different bait works.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:46):
So sometimes we go to a country and, and people come because they want a miracle from Jesus mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so our posters say, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, you know, the blind sea, the lame walk, the deaf here in the miracles is what brings people. Other countries music will draw people. Hmm. And if we’ll advertise a local band that that’s well known, people will come specifically to, to hear the music. We went to one country where they had had some war and some famine. And so in that country, we were able to buy several dump truck loads full of, of rice and beans to give away. And people came for the food. And, and so what we’re doing is we are using different kinds of bait and here in America, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what bait there is that that’s effective for reaching people, because people are, you know, they’re sitting at home watching Netflix, they’re watching TV. They, they don’t really think about what their spiritual needs are. But somehow you gotta get them to come in to church or reach out to them, reach out to where they are. And,

Pastor Zane Bousum (12:03):
And, and that, and that’s what I was gonna say. Like, not, not only the miracle of them coming, like the miracle of them changing their schedule to come on a Sunday morning, like all the habits that, that each of those 16 or 17 people had gotten that they had to rearrange their schedule, like something, something, we did something we said, as we were either passing out the, the, the flyer for it, got them to say, you know what? This is worth me changing my schedule. And I think that, that in America, that’s one of our biggest hurdles is, is not just finding a bait, but even whether it’s the, the way we present it, or, and that’s, that’s one of the reasons why I really felt like we needed to have flyers. And we did, we passed some out, we did put some social media stuff, but I really feel that the, the flyers was the most important thing of having a one-on-one connection of having us invite them and really try to get them to see the importance of coming that morning.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:59):
Now, your church, pastor Zane has a tremendous heart for, for reaching out to the community. And so this is just one of many different outreaches that you’ve done. What are some of the other ways that your church has of reaching out to the community? Yeah,

Pastor Zane Bousum (13:15):
We’re, we’re, we’ve been of a church of about a hundred, 150 people for the last 10 years.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:20):
And now, now let me just say for a church of a hundred, 150 to have 16 visitors on one Sunday morning is really a, a great outreach that that has to be counted as a success.

Pastor Zane Bousum (13:30):
Oh, totally. And so we usually, so we usually try to be mindful of our people. So we have three large events that we do. And one of ’em is kind of two in one, we do a, a summer outreach where we have big splash night. We do two of those. We rent an 18 foot water slide, and then we invite the community and we’ll do a seven to 10 minute gospel presentation during that we invite the local local fire truck. We invite a Kona ice truck, and we just love on the community. And then we do a hallelujah night, which is on Halloween where we’ve had up to 900 people in our building because we open up the doors and we have candy, we have games, we have food, all kinds of stuff. And the community kind of knows that it’s coming.

Pastor Zane Bousum (14:15):
So we’ve done that for over 20 years. And so that’s a, a large outreach and over COVID we just moved it outside. And we even had a, a drive up one year where it was, we had different things, different stations that we did. And so, so those are three big things. We do. We also have a connection with the local schools. We have a relationship with the superintendent and a relationship with the local principal. We also, and so with you want me to go into that? Sure. So with the schools, we do two things where we give for teacher appreciation week, we’ll bring breakfast and the school actually lets me come in and give a three to five minute gospel message and, or just whatever that law is on my heart to share with them. And then in the in the beginning of the school year, we will do a, we’ll give them lunch.

Pastor Zane Bousum (15:05):
And so that’s just two times we get the love on, and we’ll take a stand that says spirit of life, church. And we say spirit of life, church loves robe. And so we, we do that when we’ve done that to multiple schools, but Rob’s the main one that we do. And then we also have a relationship with our local police department where we bought two kennels over the last 10 years for their dogs. We just, we love our community and we want the community to know that God loves them and he loves them through the church. And so that’s why we do it this way.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:35):
I, I think this is so important for the church to be involved in the community because over time people get to know that the church cares about the community. And so just one outreach may not be successful in, in drawing lots of people in, but if you just keep doing outreach after outreach, after outreach people in the community, get to know you, then when someone in the community suffers from a, a tragedy that you are the one that they call and you actually have this happen really recently, we

Pastor Zane Bousum (16:10):
Did. Yeah. So with the school robo elementary on a weekend, there were two children of that school that it was just a, an awful accident where their mom and dad were driving a a golf cart and the children were on the back and a tree fell on them. And so instantly they died. And so this, this community was grieving. And so the principal who has my number texted me that that day and said, Hey, this tragedy happened. Could you come and be here to minister, to the teachers, the kids that may come in on that morning. And so I came in that Monday morning and I just loved on the kids, loved on the, the teachers and they already knew me. So then they saw me come in the door, two of ’em in particular, one teacher that I’d known for years, I just went up and gave her a big, big hug.

Pastor Zane Bousum (17:02):
And she said, I was fine until I saw you. And just the tears started flowing. And then another teacher did about the same thing. And it just because of the connection we’d make through made through outreach when the, when that school was in need. And we know that in those situations, people are looking for God and the comfort of God that we were able to be there for them. And, and in the following week, I was able to share a messages on heaven with all the teachers. And that’s, I don’t think that was by chance or accident. I think that had to do with us already developing relationship.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:37):
Another way that you are present in the community is through your preschool. Yeah. How does your preschool work to help pull people to Jesus?

Pastor Zane Bousum (17:46):
Yeah, so we always tell anyone who, so we do do have a preschool and we have it’s and we’ve had up from ones all the way up to the kindergarten level. And so most of the people who come to our preschool aren’t even from our church. And so it really is an outreach. And we always tell ’em, we say we are a, we are a church with a preschool. And so we let ’em know that our main reason for the preschool is to share the gospel, to love, to have the love of God. And so we’ve had, haven’t, hadn’t even told you this, we’ve had Muslim families come and be a part of our preschool. We’ve had Hindu families come be a part of our preschool, just cuz they see that not only are there children treated right, but they see that there is the quality of education is very good. And so, so we get to preach to Muslim families and, and I even had one Muslim mom say, can you not tell them about Jesus while they’re here? And I said, no, that’s what we do. <Laugh>. And she said, okay. And we still continue to share the gospel with them. But yeah, we see our preschool as a, a ministry. All of our teachers are Christian teachers. And so we get to love on the kids, love on the parents. And so yeah,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:59):
Pastors in a lot of pastors listen to this podcast for pastors who are looking for advice on how to reach out to people or reach out to the community, what, what would you tell them?

Pastor Zane Bousum (19:13):
You know, I would say do what is connected to you? So do be led to the Lord. One of the reasons we reach out to, to schools is because my wife and I were teachers. And so we have a heart for teachers. We’ve also done things for nurses, but we kind of gravitate toward what we know best. And so I would say, well, number one, ask God, be led to the Lord on it. And then number two do things that you enjoy. Like I enjoy talking to teachers, I enjoy getting out and about talking to the community. So do those things that the Lord has put on your heart, the areas that he’s called you to, to witness to, and there may be others that God brings a alongside you that can help you branch out. And as he, as he, as that happens, then be led to the Lord on what things to do. Don’t feel like you have to do everything, just do those things that God’s called you to do.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:07):
That’s awesome. Well, I love your heart for evangelism. I love your heart for, for outreach. You are a tremendous pastor, pastor Zane. Thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.

Pastor Zane Bousum (20:20):
Dr. Daniel King, thank you so much. And I pray that this blesses you guys!

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:24):
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 (21:43):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.


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