Seven-Reasons-Why-Most-Church-Outreach-Programs-Fail

One of my passions in life is to help churches move from becoming inwardly focused to outwardly focused. When I wrote I Am a Church Member, my key motivation was to demonstrate that biblical church members are always looking outwardly. When I wrote Autopsy of a Deceased Church, my desire was to demonstrate the terrible consequences and deaths of local congregations when the members are inwardly focused.

The Readers Speak

I was overwhelmingly grateful when nearly 1,000 of the readers of this blog responded to my reader survey. I am still reading and re-reading that invaluable information.

One issue I heard clearly was your desire for me to share the specifics of what effective outwardly-focused churches are doing. I heard you. My work on that request is almost complete, and I will be sharing it in video format this fall. The necessary brevity of a blog post precludes the type of discussion I want you to hear.

So Why Don’t You Deliver Us a “Plug and Play” Program?

Some of the readers asked for me to deliver the latest outreach program to their churches. Hear me well: There is nothing wrong with outreach programs per se. They can be very helpful if put in the proper context. The problem is that most highly prescriptive programs do not do so. As a result, they do not deliver their intended results.

In fact, they can, in some cases, do more harm than good if they are not framed well. Allow me to share seven reasons why most well intended outreach programs fail.

  1. They are seen as an end instead of a means. As a consequence, some will be a part of an outreach ministry as a sense of legalistic obligation. Most church members, especially Millennials, refuse to participate in something unless they know the “why” behind it.
  2. Most outreach programs are not addressed in front-end membership classes. The best time to help shape expectations and responsibilities of members is when they first become a part of the church. Rarely is the issue of becoming outwardly focused addressed.
  3. Many outreach programs do not feel natural. Though it is cliché, the best way to share the love of Christ is in the natural overflow of our love for Him. The best outreach ministries should teach us how to channel that overflow.
  4. When a church has an outreach program, it can be perceived as a ministry for the few. So the majority of the members can say it’s “someone else’s” ministry. The Great Commission is not a multiple choice question.
  5. Most outreach programs fail to explain that sharing the love of Christ is a vital part of spiritual growth. Instead it is often seen as a “check list” among other obligations at the church.
  6. Outreach programs can offer excuses for people not to be outwardly focused. I used to conduct church surveys when I was a church consultant. A common theme I heard was: “I do this ministry, so I don’t have to be involved in evangelism and outreach.”  In other words, being an outwardly focused Christian becomes an option among many. And it’s usually not chosen.
  7. Outreach programs can put the responsibility of evangelism on institutions. So if a church is not evangelistic, it’s because the denomination or other resource providers are not doing their jobs. Local churches and local church members shift accountability to an institution.

The Story Does Not End Here

I am often guilty of declaring problems rather than offering solutions. Stick with me. I have exciting initiatives ahead. I will be specifically sharing this information with those on my email list, so if you have not signed up, you can do so here.

In the meantime, please share with me how your congregation is focusing outwardly. Those of you in local congregations are the experts; I am a mere reporter.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Comments

  1. Bryan says

    Seven might be seen as causing many of the others. Evangelism has to be an individual mandate lived out through community. If someone is not attending a church where they feel they can invite a friend to attend with them they should attend another church. Often times I feel those who attend insider focused churches would hesitate to bring their lost friends.

  2. Philip Bohlken says

    The church my wife and I attend wants to resurrect its outreach efforts. I was asked to make a very brief presentation after each of the two worship services. I said we had two simple requests of everyone. First, I asked everyone to think of people in their acquaintances who are living apart from involvement in a Christian congregation and pray for them daily to be open to the Gospel message. Second, I asked them to think about their experiences of God’s faithfulness in life and begin to think about one or more of those as their story with a before, a what happened to make a change, and an after telling how life is better now. They are to write those stories in 100 words or less and practice them so that one day they may be able to tell those stories to those for whom they are praying. This two step request should help the congregation be more outward forcused and give everyone a sense of involvement. I am indebted to Bill Hybels in Just Walk across The Room for most of this.

  3. Pat Hicks says

    Please tell me what outreach means to you….is it a congregation having events like Easter egg hunts for community…car shows…harvest fest….etc…or is it when the people go out two by two and call on visitors or prospective visitors. Pat

  4. Terry says

    I love this article. Keep these types of things coming!

    I have found that when you motivate the younger members who are not bogged down with traditional ideas of outreach that it becomes useful. Most people have sacred events that they have hosted for a long time that produce no fruit. And most people can’t even tell you the purpose of the event. Outreach can be simply relationship building events such as Easter Egg hunts with a small prayer. This lets you interact with the public. Or it can be a home visit by a single person ministering to a specific person. But if you want it to be evangelistic outreach you have to find creative ways to share Christ. No Church is in the same setting so each Church has to find their ever changing outreach means. Jesus reached out with food to a multitude while he preached. But he also ate meals with smaller groups of people and taught them about God. Other times he was traveling and when He was able to do good to others he did it. My churches current goal is to awaken people to the fact that friendship outreach is everyone’s calling in life. If you love Jesus. If you are saved by Jesus. Then you will reach people for Jesus. We do community based things as well.

    Remember that in our lives as followers of Christ it’s always Jesus plus nothing is everything. He will guide us to reach people, if we are saved. Or else your Jesus who your called to grow in likeness of is not the biblical Jesus.

    Have a blessed and
    Evangelistic outreach kinda day:)

  5. says

    Logistics. The lack of administration is a big problem in outreach. . Who keeps up with the records, prepares the visitation packets, finds the names and address, types them up, and trains the visitors. In smaller churches, it’s the pastor who’s already overworked and maybe not particularly good a logistics. In other churches, it’s a well meaning layman who loves the Lord, but has no administrative skills.

    Just getting people to show up and go doesn’t work. How many times does a pastor make a big appeal for visitation and folks show up. Then they stand around trying to figure out who they’re going to see and who’s going together. By the end of the second visitation night. all the real prospects have been visited. Then no body shows up for the third night and the next Sunday the pastor rails against the congregation for their lack of evangelistic fervor. A bad experience for everyone.

    Every successful outreach program has to have a great secretary behind the scenes and a good administrator at the helm.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Lowell –

      You are on target for programmatic outreach. I am suggesting that churches need to consider outreach even beyond the programs. Thank you.

  6. Southern Pastor says

    Dr. Rainer, what suggestion(s) would you make when the church leaders (read: deacons) talk about “winning the lost” but literally will not support any attempts to involve the members in that goal? They won’t show up, pull funding, spread dissension, sleep through the worship services (when they bother to come). It’s a pattern here historically that, as soon as the pastor actually starts to gain some influence and trust in the congregation, they begin to oppose him (that little detail was omitted during the interview 3.5 years ago). How do I even start to lead them toward a biblical view and practice of evangelism?

    Thanks.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Southern Pastor –

      Your situation is common, so I fully empathize. I suggest you start with one or two persons who are fully on board with your outreach ideas. Don’t try to make it church wide or even deacon wide. Starting with a few, a very few, is very effective; and it’s very much along the lines of the way Jesus led.

  7. Donn Kirkwood says

    I can’t stop thinking about you section on “Great Commission Amnesia: we are to make disciples, we are to baptize, we are to teach.”

    I just heard a great message from God through my pastor and now he gives the inventation to the lost. I sit deep in prayer with my head down that Jesus would overwhelm them with his love that they would come to the alter. But after service I look at the congregation and wonder how can God through our pastor save lives if no one is bringing the lost to church. When someone does come to the alter it is usually a rededication or a child of a member never a stranger. This is my first concern.

    I believe strongly the fix would be to make disciples. However, I have never seen this program and I have gone to a lot of different churches especially when I was in the military. Didn’t matter where I was I was going to find me a church to attend on Sunday. I do have to say those experiences are some of my greatest testimonies. But back to my point a program that teachers members to go out and witness and invite new people weekly is none existanct. The church I attended with my father-in-law before he pass away thought I was crazy to suggest to take my Sunday school class and invite everyone in our community to church. This would be dangerous taking these children from house to house inviting people to church. Me personally knew The Lord would protect me, but I do put a lot faith on The Lord and I have truly been bless for this.

    My second concern is new members of our family that gave their lives to The Lord. They come to the alter then what. Which goes back to make disciples, this would also fix this problem.

    I just feel this is a time we need disciples more now then ever, we need our churches to be growing not shrinking, we need to recruit more soldiers to fight for Jesus against the principalities of this world.

  8. Michael Cooper says

    All too often, our efforts are more focused upon getting people to a church-based activity, rather than truly trying to help people connect so that they can begin to invest their life into another. At least that’s a struggle that we’ve been having in our little church.

  9. Jeremy says

    Hello Dr Rainer. I would like to thank you for raising this issue which, I must admit, I struggle with greatly. I think I could identify with some of your seven points. I am Deacon for Missions in a small church in South West England. I often wonder about the effectiveness of church programs and the forms of so called evangelistic outreach. In my current experience church outreach events are often put on by church leaders and undertaken by church leaders. What is more, missionaries are regarded as the people God has given the ‘gift’ of evangelism to. This leaves the rest of the body, who are largely fearful about sharing the gospel themselves, to think they can ‘pass the buck’. Evangelism has become associated with what gifted professionals do rather than what every Christian is called to do – obey the great commission to go and make disciples by engaging and confronting people with the gospel message.

    I often hear Christians quoting words reputed to have come from Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words”. However, I fear that while many Christians are willing to be seen doing something either at church or in the community they are much less willing to verbally (and tactfully) present to outsiders the charge to repent and believe in view of God’s coming Kingdom. As for using words ‘if necessary’, surely words are always necessary if faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God? Without words, how can we effectively call people to repentance and faith and present them with a correct Biblical worldview?

    Forgive me if, for the sake of brevity, I seem to be oversimplifying the matter. I am speaking about what I see in my own context. I look forward very much to being enlightened by your forthcoming research and being encouraged. I thank you once again for taking on this important issue. Blessings.

    • jonathon says

      >Surely words are always necessary.

      The idea is that there is an obvious difference between you, the Christian, and others, the non-Christian, that is so striking, that the non-Christian will want to emulate you, the Christian.

      When was the last time somebody came up to you to ask: “What is it that you have, that I don’t have?”
      That is preaching, without using words.

      • Mark says

        What about when the Hindus have better ethics than the Christians? Some seem to think that all non-Christians are heathens. Sometimes the Christians would do well to learn from others or emulate Jesus more. Gandhi said he liked Jesus, but did not like Christians.

        • jonathon says

          Part of that issue is that the majority of self-described Christians know neither the ten commandments of the Tanach nor the two primary commandments of the Gospels, even though the former are listed thrice in the Torah, and one of those versions is repeated again in the Pauline Epistles, whilst the latter appears in both the Gospels, and the Pauline Epistles. As such, most so-called Christians are utterly clueless about Christian Ethics and morality.

          • Mark says

            This is why the Anglican communion service begins with either the Ten Commandments or the summary of the law.

            I took a class once on Christian ethics and it wasn’t too good. That is a very hard class to teach.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Jeremy –

      Neither the lifestyle witness nor the verbal witness are optional for believer. Such is the nature of the Great Commission. Thanks for your good comments.

  10. says

    Thom: As a lay leader with an Outreach Focus for more than 30 years- let me share with you one more reason Outreach Programs fail: We (in the church) look into our communities and see what we believe are “real needs” that need to be addressed. So we design an Outreach Program that we feel will address that need. Where we fail is in not going to the community or neighborhood and asking the folks who live there, the people we plan to serve, what do you see as the issues that need to be addressed, and what do they believe are the programs or services that are needed. We often fail to involve the customers in designing the solutions to their problems.

    Thanks for your insight into the land of Outreach.

    Jack Hanstein, Canon
    Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

    • Mark says

      The outreach based upon what people in the church think the surrounding community needs sometimes has issues. Some think that asking people what they need is just giving in to everything when the actual need is something that church people never thought about. Look at college campuses. That is a significant place to do outreach. However, many churches, though most are represented, don’t get university outreach correct.

  11. Barb Irwin says

    I really appreciate and enjoy my church . We are outwardly focused in several ways. We have a lively once a week Celebrate Recovery meeting that includes both the church and community. We also have a time once a month when we make sandwiches for the homeless. We have one Sunday afternoon a month when we invite people to come to our food pantry. Lastly for now we started having free supper once a month so far for the lonely, singles, ill people (can even do take out or we will deliver) in the community and church. We have live music sometimes and good fellowship.

    • Thom Rainer says

      Thanks for the great testimony of your church’s ministry and service, Barb. I would love to hear how many of those people have become active participants in your congregation.

  12. Hilary says

    I would say the church I serve has been very inwardly focused for the past good while. I’ve been there 4 years as Children’s Ministry Director, and as far as I know it’s always been inward. Maybe attractional-leaning at best. Senior pastor left last fall, so now we’re in a transition phase, and one of the things people are seeing we need and saying they want is to (finally!) get outside our church walls with the Gospel. When our Children’s Ministry team was tasked with the development of the idea and got together to brainstorm this, we landed on Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan for direction – the Samaritan, when he encountered the injured man, began with providing emergency care to meet the immediate needs of the injured man: bandages, medication, removal to a safe place. Then, the Samaritan provided for the injured man’s ongoing needs: funds for care and a place for his convalescence, a promise to return. We figured that what we need to do to “Go and do likewise” is determine who in our physical community has immediate needs – who is the proverbial injured man laying on the road – and then meet those immediate needs, with the plan to develop a relationship to provide for ongoing care. In keeping with the “widows and orphans” direction, we looked for those most marginalized in our society, and the organizations already mobilized around them that we can partner with, and we’ve landed on our schools and our nursing home facilities. We have lots of both in our area. So this summer, we’re going out to “do likewise” for our closest public elementary school and nursing home(s). We will work to meet the immediate needs as identified by the leadership of the school and nursing organizations on a day-long service project day in August, and then in the following months/years we will work to develop relationships and provide ongoing care.

    One of the components of ongoing care that is critical is the prayer initiative. We often pray for our own church members, our programs, our missionaries, but I cannot tell you the last time we prayed for our community, or for specific needs and people in our community who are not a part of our church. As we roll out our “Grace Goes” initiative, we are making need-specific prayer a big part of it, so that those in the body who are not particularly willing or able to wash windows at the elementary school can PRAY for “Mrs. Smith,” who is the teacher of the classroom whose windows we’re washing, and for the 26 1st graders who are in her class, 10 of which are considered “at-risk”. 10 (or more) of which we’ve provided school supplies and winter coats for. All of which we have volunteers serving in math and reading groups each week, or at lunch or on the playground. The more people hear about our community’s specific “men laying on the road bleeding,” the more we are moved to serve, pray for, do for and think about them, and before you know it, we are no longer an inwardly focused church.

    So… I have no idea if or how this is all going to roll out. :-) On paper it sounds wonderful. All I know is that this is the path God has led me down personally over the last several years, and now, apparently, it is time to lead some others down the path as well. Our community has lots of “injured men laying on the road” but we’ve also had lots of priests and Levites too. Praying we all become Samaritans, even as I chuckle at the humor of anyone WANTING to be known as a “Samaritan.” God always has the last laugh. :-)

  13. Scott Newman says

    In more recent years, the top reason we’ve seen for failed outreach programs as well as a general lack of witness or involvement to training is the busyness of life. Of course, what we treasure, we treat as priority.

  14. Matt Lawrence says

    We cannot help but tell of the wonderful things of Christ. Our boldness is our love for Christ come to life. Acts 4:29

  15. says

    Thanks Dr. Tom, this is a great and should be an eye-opening article for those in church leadership. The purpose of church outreach is not to just grow the size of a congregation and its membership.

    I have worked with and helped churches with their Outreach and Church Growth ministries for many years. Through these years of observing different churches I’ve concluded the following: Only by increasing the number of individual church members willing talk about Jesus and His church during their daily walk of life and that are motivated by their love for Jesus to invite those they come in contact with to addend His church, will the church be successful in its outreach and church grow efforts.

    Churches must become Great Commission churches focused and committed to reaching the lost and unchurched in their community and around the world. Teaching individual discipleship, and personal outreach and evangelism will out produce any structured outreach program a church can have. Instead of being Great Commission Church we find church that I call “field of dreams churches”. Churches that believe building and having bigger better programs and events are the answer to outreach. The cliché “If we build it they will come” is not the answer!

    In today’s churches and in the daily life of most church members, sharing ones faith with others, inviting someone to Christ and His church, or just praying with a friend or co-worker outside the wall of the church is rarely happening, or we might just say almost nonexistent.

    When we talk about church growth we should be referencing growth in God’s church, Kingdom growth, numbers in new salvations and baptisms. True church growth is not measured by the increasing size of a churches congregation or its membership. It is determined by the number of individual conversions by people accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. However, in most churches membership and congregational growth will be directly impacted.

  16. Mark says

    A lot of people fear outreach as it can be related to the liberals’ social justice which many conservative Christians don’t like. The young want to show the love of Jesus to the world. Others seem to want a closed church. The biggest challenge of outreach is to get Christians to show Christianity the other 6 days per week. When Hindus act better and are sometimes more honorable than Christians on all 7 days of the week, Christianity loks like a Sunday-only religion.

  17. Rob Bailey says

    Thanks for your very helpful posts, books, and interactions with us. Unfortunately it is much easier to throw together an outreach program than it is to change the culture of a church. I appreciate all of your points above, especially regarding the front-end membership classes. They provide great opportunities to shape the culture in an outward focused direction.

  18. Becky P says

    I’m so grateful for your work in this area, grateful to have stumbled upon it in the time and place I live. We’ve been blessed in the past to have been in a godly church in which the leadership, though imperfect, LIVED outreach in their everyday lives and by doing so, brought many into the fold. We had a member in his retired years whose passion was (and is) street evangelism, who tirelessly seeks the lost, and a pastor who taught occasionally at a small Bible college and encountered many who had no clue about the genuine gospel of Christ and its effect on the life of a convert. In his teaching prerequisite church history course, the Holy Spirit brought men to our church, who then brought family members and friends and coworkers many of whom heard of and trusted Christ for first time. Some did not stay, but this was not a “program”, these people (and their wives) simply lived and SPOKE the truth. It was and is beautiful, and while the church is still quite small, it is a bright light a dark city. There are many other natural outreaches that occur in this body, to include always inviting newcomers over to dinner, never letting a repairman out of the house without at least a clear reference to the Gospel, and the breast cancer survivor always being ready to tell the gals at the gym how the Lord has provided for her life, health and sustenance, providing some paid work and a family for the poor older woman we met in the coffee shop. In living this way, when more physical needs were discovered, they were then met. I am challenged by the examples I witnessed in this particular congregation.

    We are now stationed (military) overseas in an area in South Korea where there is not a biblical church available. The way we have to look at outreach must differ in the same ways you have stated. We don’t necessarily feel confident that in inviting people to the chapel services we attend, they will hear the gospel. We don’t speak the language of the repairmen. The harvest is RIPE here though! There are dead, hurting, and spiritually hungry people all over the place who do speak our language, and many of them are the ones “serving” in the various ministries offered through the military chapel. It has become clear that a meal with our family and a firmly rooted bible study is a HUGE deal to some in need. As a stay at home mom of littles, I’ve been looking for opportunities to be involved in reaching our community, but it has taken such a different look than I would have considered in the States. I don’t have a church here, but there are para-chapel ministries that the Lord can use. Helping choose women’s bible studies for a non-denominational group that are grounded in the BIBLE and the Gospel rather than the self-help fluff, teaching in the community VBS without a pushing children for an emotionally based decision, but clearly sharing the truth and hope of the Gospel. Inviting many into our home, and asking them to stay for a time of family worship after dinner. Being intentional in speaking of the things of the Lord to everyone we have a chance to talk to, knowing that some, even the true sheep, are starved of edifying conversation in this atmosphere. The outreach programs here tend to be gospel-less, but without a Biblical church to draw people into, we are forced to work within the broken system, and in our time and place, it is where we must serve. With the Lord leading us, we can bring the gospel into these gospel-less programs. In the States, things would have occurred a little more “naturally” for us, we’d meet people in the library story time or have English speaking neighbors to engage in gospel conversation, but here, our community of English speakers is relatively small and the military dynamic adds an unnatural element to many relationships in a small community. So, Lord willing, we will continue to work within these outreach programs to bring the light in. Lord willing, it isn’t a permanent situation for us, we deeply miss our faithful church family, and perhaps He will plant one here!

    I am particularly encouraged by the points you made not only in regards to our outreach in our churches, but also in the improper emphasis on these compartmentalized ministries, and personally, on our “spiritual gifts”. I think your points can be made of prayer ministries, hospitality ministries, discipleship ministries, and individually as having the gift of evangelism, the gift of service, the gift of hospitality, as if we aren’t all called and to be ready to do all these things at all times. In considering all of these things, I am challenged to be ever ready to give an answer for the hope that I have, whether in a designated “outreach” opportunity, or seeing another young mom battling the shopping cart and toddler at the commissary.

    As a note, I’ve just finished the biography Nomad by Aayan Hirshi Ali, the ex-muslim now atheist, who charges Christians to do what the Bible says and not merely offer Gospel-less service programs for newly migrated Muslims, but to try to convert with the truth of our Good Book because the loving and gracious God we say we believe in is the heart’s desire of most Muslims (except the enlightened ones like herself. ;) Its a very interesting read, and intriguing to hear this challenge from such a good friend of Dawkins and Hitchens.

    I look forward to your video.

  19. says

    One hurdle I discovered this past year is how “outreach” is defined by those serving in that area. My sense is the word refers to evangelism; however, one of the key people who stepped into that part of our church saw it as service projects. We butted heads a bit on it until I realized that was the difference between us. Now, right or wrong, I (as Lead Pastor) have become a primary advocate for the church on this… even though it’s not one of my spiritual gifts. Then again, hopefully by throwing myself in that direction in my own life others will lose their excuses and do the same.

  20. B Schwarz says

    Tom,

    Here is an excellent resource for outreach. There is a conference every fall in Monterey. We brought a team last fall and everyone who attended was so fired up! We are bringing a team of 20 to the conference this fall. organicoutreach.com

  21. Ken says

    The 2 words that I try to live by are “Infiltrate” and “Incarnate”. If somehow we can see that it is our responsibility and privilege to infiltrate our neighborhoods, subdivisions, workplaces, people groups, etc. and then “flesh out” the gospel,l we will make great advances in carrying out the Great Commission. If must become a lifestyle for us.

  22. says

    Great article. I’m re-posting it in the “News” section of the Exponential.org website using your attribution and link guidelines. I have it scheduled to run tomorrow morning (6/10) and appreciate your willingness to share your material with our followers.

  23. says

    We call our outreach program “Invest and Invite.” but it isn’t very programmatic. We minimize the time people spend at the church building and maximize their ability to be the church in their communities. Aside from Sunday morning, the only timet dedicated to “church” is small group night. The rest of the week, we encourage people to do life with their family and friends. It is in that doing life that Christ and what he is doing in our lives gets shared. No Roman’s Road, no EE, no tracks, no bridge diagrams. It is definitely slow going- the building of relationships- but I have to say that the results are worth the cost. There are no classes to teach people how to do this. We just tell people to talk about what Jesus is doing in their lives the same way they talk about the movie they went to see on Saturday night or how the Cubs lost yet another game.

  24. Ken says

    When Dave Bennett was evangelism director for the Missouri Baptist Convention, he said something I’ve never forgotten. He said if an outreach program worked equally well in every church, the program would get the glory instead of the Lord.

  25. Matt says

    At our church, the outreach starts at the top, with the Lead Pastor. EVERYTHING our church does is now viewed through the lens of reaching the lost locally, nationally and internationally. We support several church plants in the area, and partner with the NAMB in their SEND NorthAmerica initiative. We also support plants in several other cities across the country. Finally, we have various ongoing missions efforts. We annually send a team to the Navajo nation, we regularly send a team to Benin, and we send multiple teams a year to Haiti in support of an orphanage there.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that for us, outreach has become more than a program or a ministry. It has become part of our DNA and the lifeblood of our church. That change in mindset has made all the difference in the effectiveness of our evangelism.

  26. says

    I am Downtown Ottawa (Canada). As we look at how to reach out. We have talked about what does it mean to be Jesus in our neighbourhood. A neighbourhood yes has a location, but it can included our other social circles, such as work, sports teams. We have been working at helping people grow in their faith and then building strong relationships with the community by serving at already established events (Community BBQ, Community winter Carnival, community association meeting, etc.) . At the events we have not done a lot of lets say direct preaching. However it has started to build relationships, where we get the opportunity to speak later with people. As a pastor I am trying to network with the leaders of the community to open doors. We are trying to balance empowering of small group and personal outreach with larger but small corporate bridge building events. One relationship that is developing is with the homework club. Next week we are going to provide for their bbq. This is not an opportunity of direct gospel preaching, but builds relationships so that we gain a voice in peoples lives and community.

    I have learned that with such things there are ripple effects. We serve over here in one area or do something only for something to happen in another area. We are also continue to work on encouraging people to get together. So when someone new comes lets say to Sunday morning. Who is going to take them for coffee or visit outside of lets say a staff contact.

    We have lots to learn as we try to turn some hard ground.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Pastors understand that outreach programs are important. Even if Jesus did not command us to, we would need them to keep our churches active. The problem is that only a minority of these programs actually work. I have been there. Great intentions but a lack of results. Thom Rainer offers seven reasons why these programs fail. You can read it here. […]

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