Report on Congregations in Campinas, Brazil
by: Allen Dutton, Missionary in Campinas | April 1, 2019
The Guanabara congregation in Campinas, Brazil, began on April 2, 2000, so we will celebrate nineteen years on April 2nd. We started with five families (eight adults and eleven children). Over these years, we have grown now to have 250 baptized believers and an average attendance of 260. Last Sunday we had 271 present.
We have used many different evangelism methods: campaigns, VBS, door to door, intensive studies, gospel meetings, LST, and theology courses. The method that has worked the best for evangelism has been the theology courses. These courses present the fundamental teachings of the Bible. We have used them now for seventeen years and always have had good attendance and a good number of conversions.
After the theology course ends we will have personal Bible studies with those who have shown a genuine interest in the true gospel. This is when they will usually make the decision to give themselves to Jesus through baptism.
We usually have theology courses in both semesters. Thus courses last from March through May and from August through October. This plan allows us to have twelve three-hour classes one time a week. Usually we have two courses every semester at Guanabara and one course at Campo Grande, a church we have planted. This semester, however, we are offering five courses: three at Guanabara, one at Campo Grande and one at Ouro Verde – our newest church plant. In these five classes we have ninety studying at Guanabara, forty at Campo Grande and thirty-five at Ouro Verde.
We have advertised the theology classes in many different ways: radio, flyers, mail out, and billboards. What is working really well now is Facebook. We have a paid advertisement in Facebook and it has brought many students. We continue using flyers and billboards as well.
Here is how we are doing the new church plant at Ouro Verde. We have twenty-five members at Guanabara who live in the Ouro Verde neighborhood, a large area where about 240,000 people live. We have rented a very nice location and have begun a theology course there. We are praying that God will bring many souls that are interested in learning the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We will decide after the theology course is over whether we will then begin a worship service at Ouro Verde during the second semester. We are already meeting with the Christians that live there and training them. They are experienced Christians and have worked and served at Guanabara. They already teach, preach, help in the worship service, and assist with the children. We have a Bible study that meets at this new location in addition to the theology course. This class is also an evangelistic Bible study designed to bring friends and neighbors to a smaller group setting. When we begin a worship service, Alisson, a Brazilian evangelist, and myself will be the preachers until we are sure they can stand on their own.
Many places throughout the world could use the “Theology Class” approach with good results. Some react differently about a theology class than about a Bible class and are more likely to attend. To contact Allen Dutton for more information on theology classes, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.