London Bridge Baptist Church of Virginia Beach had been searching for a tool that would help them reach their neighborhoods and communities with the Gospel. So, when the Bless Every Home initiative was introduced at the SBC of Virginia Homecoming in 2018, the church staff was enthusiastic. But, Senior Pastor Greg Brinson, knew that if this tool was going to be embraced and have an impact in their church and community, he would have to lead by example.
Initially, he introduced the tool to the staff, deacons, and an outreach team. He and his wife, along with this core group of leaders, signed up to be lights in their own neighborhoods. They each adopted 25-40 homes to pray for, receiving email reminders to pray for five of them daily. He followed this up with a preaching series on the four components of Bless Every Home: Prayer, Care, Share, and Disciple. Then a challenge and invitation were given to the congregation to join them in the initiative.
London Bridge Baptist Church is so committed to this resource that they have contextualized logos, printed materials, and created an elaborate set in the church’s foyer to serve as a reminder that the mission field is where the congregation lives. To date, the church has well over 200 lights, which means that at least 8,000 families are being prayed for on a weekly basis. (impact infographic below)
Because the church is a partnering church with Bless Every Home, they have access to the latest demographic information as well as an alert of newcomers moving into their neighborhoods. Pastor Brinson encourages the church each week with their recorded activities and provides opportunities for the congregation to submit and share their testimonies. He recently shared excerpts of three of those testimonies.
Two doors down from me is a family that I have been inviting to church for more than 10 years. Bless Every Home has caused me to intensify my prayers for this family. Saturday night before Easter, our doorbell rang at 10 p.m. It was my neighbor, asking, “When are your church services tomorrow?” We were delighted to tell him. As we arrived for Easter service, their car followed us into the parking lot. They were warmly greeted at the welcome center and the Pastor’s wife was able to connect their teenage daughter with others her age.
My neighbor and I have young kids in common, and we get together frequently. One night after the kids were asleep, she invited me over. The conversation focused on our personal lives, families, and faith. She wanted to know what I believed and did not know much about being a Christian. I was able to tell her how the Gospel had changed my life. She did not accept Christ that night but listened intently. I kept thinking about how I had prayed fervently for her and her family through Bless Every Home and now I am seeing the fruit of my prayers and God is opening new doors.
On Monday evenings, my Sunday morning Bible Study small group meets in homes. On this night, we divided into three teams based on the family composition. Bless Every Home helped us know the makeup of the families around us so there was already a background connection. We visited six neighbors, made interesting connections and had many conversations. We gathered back at my house with a bunch of prayer requests and additional information about my neighbors. We prayed over the requests and shared how awesome God orchestrated our encounters. ■