It’s what pastor Steve Youd calls ‘side door evangelism,’ and the cruises, trips, and vacations this congregation enjoys has paid off in forming a faithful, close knit congregation.
In Steve’s 14 years as pastor he’s seen the Lord turn a handful of traditional New Englanders outward, to shine their light brighter than ever. In this interview, learn how Steve helped unleash a congregation’s love of travel, hospitality, and friendship into a vibrant witness for Christ.
Watch the Full Program
Rather Listen? Click here to download the Mp3 onto your smartphone or iPod.
If you’re enjoying this article, share it on Twitter by clicking here.
From the start, pastor Steve Youd began asking questions of identity and purpose to his aging New England congregation. And when he found the Spirit’s energy in the answers, he went with it, slowly building up what has turned into a much younger, outwardly focused congregation. Here are my notes:
Bring in Other Pastors
Steve routinely brings in local pastors to speak with his congregation and leaders about best practices. He shies away from anyone too distant from his context, building trust and good will.
Give Visitors a Questionnaire
Along with the standard welcome letter he sends to all first-time visitors, Steve also includes a questionnaire (and has a 90% return rate) because he wants to know how welcome people are feeling.
Small Groups that Work
Eight healthy small groups have formed, that routinely meet for adult formation. He works hard with leaders on curriculum and presentation. They are intentionally scheduled to meet frequently and infrequently to avoid burnout and keep things fresh.
About Steve Youd
The Rev. Steve Youd has been Sr. Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hanson, MA since 1997. He holds degrees from both Gordon College and Yale University, where he was presented the Mersick Award for effective public address. Under Steve’s leadership First Baptist has added services and grown in spiritual depth, attendance, mission giving, and age diversity. In January, 2012, Steve assumed a position on the state denominational staff as Director of Mission and Stewardship for the 274 American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts.
Steve is married to the former Deborah Bradford (a direct descendent of the Governor), who is a practicing physical therapist. They have 3 grown daughters, 3 grandchildren, and live in Bourne, MA on the Cape Cod Canal in a place they call “Youd’s Cozy Cottage By The Sea.” Steve is a boatsman, a die-hard Red Sox fan, a lover of classic cars, and is a passionate admirer of the 3 Stooges (his second favorite trinity).