By John Kyle, Louisiana Baptists communication director
ALEXANDRIA (LBM)– In February 2019, the Louisiana Baptist Convention, with help from the Georgia Barnette Stat Missions Offering, launched a statewide evangelistic media campaign, “Here for You,” and people have been responding:
— “Is there any sin too big for forgiveness?”
— “How do I get God’s peace?”
— “I want an encounter with God that will change me forever.”
“Since April of this year, more than 2,000 people have viewed the Gospel presentation on HereforYou.org and 376 of those online visitors have indicated some sort of decision for Christ,” said John Kyle, director of communications for Louisiana Baptists.
Springing from a recommendation in the “Final Report” of the LBC President’s 2020 Commission, “Here for You” conducted pilot campaigns in three of Louisiana’s seven markets prior to the statewide release in February.
“We launched the first pilot in mid-2014 in southwest Louisiana and moved to northeast Louisiana in late 2014 through early 2015,” Kyle continued. “Southeast Louisiana was the site of the third pilot campaign which was launched in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in August of
According to Kyle, more than 325,000 people saw the Here for You commercials via television broadcasts and cable transmissions during these pilot campaigns. The digital component of the strategy (social media) generated literally hundreds of thousands of delivered impressions and tens of thousands of delivered clicks.
“‘Here for You’ is an attempt to reach people who do not attend anyone’s church, and the early results have been encouraging,” Kyle shared. “Our first two demographic audiences were young mothers and median-aged men. The research indicates we engaged a large percentage of these audiences and we engaged them often.”
Kyle likened “Here for You” to the parable of sower in Mark 4.
“Note that nothing happens until the seed is scattered,” said Kyle commenting on the passage. “Visible results take time and, according to verse 27, we don’t fully understand what takes place. This is hard for us to grasp in our instantaneous, information-rich culture.
“Most important, there is a harvest directly related to the seed that was scattered,” he continued.
“If we’re not scattering the seed, we shouldn’t be surprised when there is no harvest.”
The Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering has helped produce every “Here for You” commercial created since its inception in 2014.
“More than likely, there would be no ‘Here for You’ without the Georgia Barnette Offering,” noted Kyle.
“If you think about it, what is more missional than going to places and people you typically don’t reach?
From my perspective, ‘Here for You’ is mission in one of its purest forms.”
It is estimated that more than half of Louisiana’s four million residents do not have a relationship with Christ and Kyle believes they can be engaged with the Gospel via efforts such as “Here for You.”
“Every major indicator we use to measure our progress in engaging people with the Gospel continues to trend down,” Kyle said. “If we’re going to reach the people that we all agree need to be reached, we need to leverage current communications platforms to get to places and people we typically don’t touch.”
Information, resource and ideas relating to connecting your church with the “Here for You” effort are available at LouisianaBaptists.org/hereforyou. Once on site, enter the password, luke1423.
Find out more about “Here for You” and the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering by reading Day 7 of the printed “Prayer Guide”; or, by watching the GBO DVD video, “Screen Time.” Both resources also are online at georgiabarnette.org.