The term Half-life refers to how long something continues to have an influence on a system. For example, how long does a medication remain active in your body? A long half-life drug will influence you for weeks after you stop taking it. What is the half-life of a book on the market? On the mainstream market, it is usually true that most of its sales will take place in its first six months. My book, The Day I Died, has followed an opposite pattern in that it has sold its best in its fifth year of circulation. I suspect that staying power reflects the public’s increased interest in NDEs (near-death experiences).
What is the current half-life of your evangelism efforts? Are you committing yourself to actions that will pay off over the long haul – doing what is memorable in order to cause your community to emotionally connect with what you are about? Memorable actions bring definition.
Few churches have any clear definition in their surrounding community. The church I lead in Oregon has existed for over 100 years, yet few in the surrounding area have a clear concept of what it stands for. That’s all changing. We are now making hundreds of one-on-one contacts with people each week. On a recent hamburger outreach (we are going door to door giving out freshly grilled burgers) one lady commented, “I know you guys – you’re the ones who washed cars then gave them a dollar bill afterward!” That’s the beginning of a long half-life.