Podcast: Play in new window
Today we have some great ideas about reaching out to our community. Realize that as you hear these, Satan will give you a ton of reasons why you shouldn’t.
I found a cool “community” on Google+ called Christian Techies
and asked for outreach ideas. Here are the responses I got:
Well, I don’t belong to a traditional church structure/format anymore as I’ve moved into the house/home church format, but I can tell you what works for many is not
focusing on getting people into a church building but being
the church by reaching/serving people where they
are (which I hope is an answer to your question regarding outreach), so here’s some ideas:1. 5-10 people volunteer bi-monthly at the emergency/food shelter, bringing food (homemade & canned), serving the people in need, listening to them, praying w/ them, simply caring about them…2. A handful of musicians (or your worship team) grabbing their acoustic guitars & bi-monthly visiting the children’s ward at the hospital, putting on a mini-concert & giving mini-lessons to the kids, perhaps videotaping the visits & when the kids are released give them a copy of the videos, then follow up w/ calls & cards to see how they’re doing…3. Learn some old songs (& a hymn or two) from the 1930′s-60′s & visit the retirement homes once a month, putting on a dance or just sit around listening to a CD of those classic songs & get to know the people, then share w/ them Jesus, pray w/ them, etc…4. Form a team of people who look out for the elderly & the widows, not only for the ones in their church body, but in their own neighborhood: help them move, help them w/ home or car maintenance, do yard work for them, make sure their heat or AC works, make sure their sidewalks are shoveled for the home care workers to walk safely to their doors…People are drawn to other people.groups who truly care about everyone from the kids to elderly, there’s a sense of security there & that works.5. If you have tech savvy people in your church, you could advertise in the newspaper & offer a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) weekend: a free computer course/class twice a month on how to create a spreadsheet or power point presentation… offer to take a look at any computer brought in, whether it’s scanning for viruses, degragging their hard drive for them or installing Skype for someone on their laptop & walking them through how to use it, helping them download free software… showing someone how to install an app like how to read a QR code w/ their device, showing them how to use their webcam to make a video, etc…
6. If your building has a nice, roomy kitchen then you could open up a cooking class by advertising it to the community, teaching the single guys (or gals) how to make a simple quiche, casserole, soups & stews… hand out easy crock pot recipes, etc…
7. If you have police officers or self-defense instructors that are a part of your church body, open up a free basic self-defense class to the community, if there are firemen or doctors in your church body, offer a basic first aid class, etc…
The church building can still serve a purpose & it can help your outreach, but these are just some practical ideas on how to not necessarily get people into your church building but help the people in your church body connect w/ the community they’re called to reach, serve & impact for the Lord.
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This is such an interesting question, many people like big churches, some people like small ones. Some people like traditional, some people like modern. Some people emphasize worship, some people look for deep messages. Some places are more friendly to new believers, some places are more friendly to seasoned lovers of Christ. It really boils down to where is God leading you, and who is on your heart? Is it children, teens, adults, elderly, the broken, the poor, the on-fire Christians, prisoners, or any of the other groups?An example is, our pastor has shared a vision of building a church for people who have been burned and battered by other churches. The church I attend has taken on the heart of the pastor and shows tremendous love to all that come in. We know that God is sending people who have experienced the worst that religion has to offer. I have seen people who are homeless walk through the doors as well as well as men dressed in fine clothes, and all are treated equally and without prejudice. I have seen bitterness towards believers wiped away in worship, and anger at previous transgressors shed at the altar. It is a beautiful site seeing God at work, so let Him lead all of our hearts to a church that we are called to build or fill.
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Dustin W. Stout
Well, as a former youth pastor, now on my second church plant the one thing I believe is essential in reaching people in the name of #Jesus is to stop inviting them to church
.Not the answer you wanted to hear, I’m sure– but before jumping to conclusions, I suggest you read my full thoughts on it here: http://dustn.ws/LPTuH9
I don’t think we need to be spending our time thinking up ways to fill more seats. It’s not what Jesus did. It’s not what the disciples were after. Most importantly, getting people into church wont save them. A life-changing
encounter with #Jesus is the only thing that will save people.We spend so much time trying to bring people to us
, and we don’t spend enough time doing what Jesus told us to do– go to them
and serve.So you have to first ask this one question– Are we trying to fill more seats in our sanctuary, or are we trying to fill more seats in Heaven?
you’re an innovator. Expect opposition! Keep finding ways to meet people where they’re at and serve them
. Miles McPherson
had some great thoughts on this concept at the #R12
conference. I wrote a summary over at +ChurchMag
I’ve been blogging about this for the last 3 years & it’s one of the reasons I left my former church & church structure: it’s simply very difficult to change the mindset of leadership that’s been taught Come [to a building] & not Go [to the people]; I was called rebellious, deceived, divisive & was eventually ostracized.
Like I said, you have to connect w/ people where they are; once you connect, then they may fellowship w/ you in your building or house or wherever but I do agree w/ Dustin: stop inviting them to church, stop trying to get people into your building for a service. 99% of of the ministry of Jesus was outside the temple, in the community.
You have a building so consider putting to use in serving the community
The Church That Lived in Fear
I told the story of two churches one that grow and one that doesn’t on Episode 24. Well the saga continues. I had the idea (after an older person fell in our snow covered parkinglot) to have the younger people valet park their cars, and escort them into church. This was a nice cross-generational opportunity. The reason not to? They were afraid something might come up missing in someone’s cars (or be accused if they forget where they left something).
Mentioned in This Episode
Tutorials on Using Google hangouts