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A large-scale Easter outreach effort
It began with a generous donation. An anonymous WELS couple offered to help make it possible for congregations to order Road to Emmaus in quantities of 100 for $1.50 per DVD during the month of February. The idea was to encourage congregations to use Road to Emmaus as part of their Easter outreach efforts. The results have been staggering.
Nearly five hundred congregations combined to order more than 85,000 copies of Road to Emmaus. Mark Buske, director of marketing at Northwestern Publishing House (NPH), says that shipping 85,000 copies of an item in a single month is unprecedented. Road to Emmaus now represents the largest single distribution of any media product by NPH.
The premise of the film—based on Luke 24:13-35—is the discussion that Jesus has with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, following his death and resurrection. During the discussion, Jesus uses Old Testament prophecies to show the disciples how he is the promised Savior.
This basic message is ideal for many church’s prospects, some of whom have never heard the Bible’s message before. For that reason, congregations are handing out Road to Emmaus either with their invitations to Easter Sunday services or, in the case of congregations such as St. Mark’s, Citrus Heights, Calif., as a gift to visitors on Easter Sunday.
St. Mark’s used this outreach method with visitors to its Christmas Eve service in 2009. Bill Tackmier, pastor at St. Mark’s, says that 64 gift-wrapped copies of Road to Emmaus were handed out on Christmas Eve. Several guests returned the next Sunday, and a couple of them even enrolled in St. Mark’s Bible information class that began in January. When the congregation heard about the special Easter offer, they eagerly placed their order for more copies of Road to Emmaus. Some members even sponsored the outreach effort with their own money so that more copies could be purchased.
“How exciting that tens of thousands of people are viewing this movie and hearing in a clear and captivating way that Jesus is their Savior,” says Mike Hintz, administrator of WELS Commission on Evangelism. “Through the use of this movie as an outreach tool, it is my prayer that many people will be attracted to the gospel ministry of our congregations, be connected to Jesus by faith, and grow in their relationship with the Lord.”
To order, call Northwestern Publishing House at 800-662-6022 or visit www.nph.net.
Volume 97, Number 5
Issue: May 2010
Volume 97, Number 5
Issue: May 2010
Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2009
Permission is granted for a single personal copy of an article. Additional copyright information is available at Northwestern Publishing House.
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