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Finding your church's niche seems to be one key to effective evangelism.

When one morning I visited Perimeter Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, I thought I had found the model of effective evangelism. That afternoon I visited Paulding Baptist on the other side of town. I left bewildered. It, too, modeled effective evangelism, but there the similarity ended.

Perimeter has a large, modern facility with sharp lines and soft colors; it's surrounded by a freshly paved, lined, and landscaped parking lot. Everything is in superb condition. Paulding is housed in a former Harley-Davidson motorcycle warehouse adjacent to a junk yard. The interior is clean but merely functional. The parking lot is unpaved and has potholes.

Perimeter reaches business executives, teachers, administrators, and lawyers. Paulding reaches both rich and poor, blacks and whites, most of whom work as mechanics, clerks, and repairmen-although some members count themselves teachers, administrators, or businesspeople.

The Perimeter pastor, Randy Pope, spoke about the need to take down religious ...

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