Outreach Ideas for Men
By Larry Moyer
When asked, “What is the best way to reach the masses?” D. L. Moody answered, “Go for them!”
Consistently evangelistic churches are those who “go for them.” Their leaders and their lay people recognize that there is one message (Christ died for our sins and arose), but a variety of methods whereby that message may be communicated to a lost person. As Arthur P. Johnston expressed in The Battle for World Evangelism, “Methods of evangelism are as diverse as those who are to be reached, and as those that reach them”
Recognizing the many ways by which the unsaved can be approached with the gospel, Evan Tell wrote to over two thousand church leaders and asked them to share any idea they had found effective in evangelism. The response was encouraging. Within several weeks a couple of hundred ideas were received.
We share these with you with two goals in mind. First, that you might know what other brothers and sisters in Christ have found effective. Not all of the ideas will work in your community, but many of them will.
Second, our hope is that these ideas will be a springboard to cause youto think of ways you may have overlooked to reach the lost. They are not meant to be an end in themselves but to stimulate you to do your own brainstorming. We believe these ideas will encourage you to buy up every opportunity to
influence the unsaved for Christ as Paul admonished the Colossians (Col. 4:5). You will notice that not every idea gives you an immediate opportunity to present the gospel. Some simply establish the basis from which you can come back and present the gospel later.
1. Have church members give testimonies at services to reach the unsaved. Select those who make the gospel clear and relate well to their friends and associates. For their benefit and yours, have them write out their testimony and share it with you before giving it. Give them feedback that will help them enhance the communication of their testimony when they give it in public.
2. Have special, evangelistic services at times such as Christmas Eve, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, and so forth. Use high-quality special music and sing familiar songs. Have no offer ing. Serve refreshments after the service.
3. Conduct a week-long evangelistic crusade. Using an evangelist who is clear on the gospel, address the unsaved at each service. Start your preparation a year in advance, especially instructing the people on how to build relationships with their lost friends. As with other outreaches, the leaders excitement and example in bringing the unsaved is a key to the success of the week.
4. Have a “Friend Day” in the church. For three months ahead of this, encourage the people to build relationships and invite their friends to this service. Present Christ as the one whose reputation was that of “a friend of sinners.” Visit those who attended the service the weeks following.
5. Once a quarter have a special Sunday service that would appeal to the unsaved. Everything from the music to the message should be directed to the unsaved. Prepare your messages with the unsaved in mind, using clear terminology and helpful illustrations. Provide an attractive flyer for guests to introduce a special or new preaching series. Consider topics such as “Do you have to be good to get to heaven?” or “How do you know Jesus Christ was who he said he was?” or messages that address current issues such as abortion, AIDS, pornography, stress, and family relationships. Explain passages that speak to these areas and show how these are symptoms of a deeper need met through the gospel. Consider canceling Sunday school that morning to make it easier for believers to bring their friends with them to the service. Encourage them to invite the unsaved to dinner afterward.
6. Have a special service recognizing children in a particular ministry of the church and invite their parents. For example, have a youth Sunday.
Invite parents to the service with a potluck to follow. Use the opportunity to explain Christ’s concern for both children and parents.
7. In camping or resort areas, hold an outdoor ser vice on the front lawn of the church inviting vacationers to join you. Use a microphone to allow easier hearing. Provide for fellowship afterward.
8. Have a yearly film series in place of evening ser vices and invite the unsaved to attend. Give out tickets to neighbors and friends and train counselors to respond to those in need. You may even want to rent a theater and invite all church members to attend with their friends. Use films such as Caught, Twice Pardoned, Cry Upon the Mountain, and Turn Your Heart Toward Home.
9. Sponsor a church friendship dinner at a nice restaurant, the more formal the better. Each person who attends must bring an unsaved person or couple with them and pay their way. Have a light time of singing and entertainment (ventriloquist, music, and so forth) and an evangelistic speaker to give a message.
10. Have Sunday-night-caring groups hold block parties with games and refreshments, inviting the unsaved to attend.
11. Organize a six-week-volleyball league, having church couples invite unsaved visitors. Use it as an informal way to meet couples and single parents. Hold a potluck banquet at the end and follow-up on those who appear interested in talking about spiritual things.
12. Sponsor a musical concert at a neutral location. Have local Christian businesses underwrite the event and have extensive advertising. Allow musicians to give testimonies at intermission; evangelistic literature may be given out afterward at an auto graph table.
13. Provide a skating night at a roller rink. If appropriate, include an evangelistic message during the lunch following the skating.
14. Sponsor a volleyball game. Encourage each person to bring a non-Christian. Don’t put undue pressure upon yourself to have an evangelistic message at the game. The contact with believers and a wholesome time may make the unsaved very receptive to an invitation to attend a church service or
welcome a visit to their home. Recognize that best results may be seen after doing this several times.
15. Rent a booth at the local or regional fair and provide evangelistic tracts for those interested. Set up a booth providing ice water for the people. When they come by, give them literature on issues of special interest (parenting, time management, finances, and so forth) as well as the Gospel of Mark. Consider using surveys to move into the gospel. Invite them to a special service at church.
16. Have a yearly barbecue and invite the community to attend so they can relate to your people informally.
17. Invite someone from the Sheriff’s Department to join you for a Home Safety potluck. Other possibilities include fire prevention, child safety, and drug prevention. Invite outsiders, especially single parents, with whom you can build relationships.
18. Challenge your local fire department to a softball game, followed by a cookout to express appreciation to firemen. The same could be done for the police force, city council, and so forth. Schedule it prior to a special evangelistic event the public will be invited to attend.
19. Sponsor an after-school day-care center for elementary school children whose parents work. Follow up by inviting parents to special programs and church-sponsored dinners.
20. Have a key Christian speaker hold a sports clinic (golf, tennis, jogging, and so forth) with instruction and a testimony. Follow up on interested people.
21. Rent a big screen TV and show the Super Bowl at the church. Send out printed invitations and have a key athlete speak at halftime, giving his testimony.
22. Hold a community activity such as a film or pup pet show in a neutral location and invite the unsaved. After the gospel is presented, the believers can interact with their friends and solicit their thoughts.
23. Set up a booth in a shopping mall once a week where people can come, unsolicited, to interact about spiritual matters and ask questions. Use laypersons to staff the booth.
24. Hold a yearly family conference with an evangelistic focus. Promote this through leaflets, mailing, and personal contact.
25. If possible, during a mission’s conference obtain permission for the missionaries to show slides and artifacts in local schools to enrich pupils, knowledge of the country. No mention of the Christian character of the work will be allowed. However, students may be told of after-school meetings at the
church involving songs, games, and a gospel message.
26. Cooperate with other evangelical churches for an outdoor worship service in a park with an outside speaker.
27. Have a regular “Friendship Dinner” with a good meal and program to which church people invite their unsaved friends. If possible, reserve a room in a restaurant a minimum of thirty miles from the homes to allow time for interaction on the way home. Christians should pick up their guests and pay
for their meals.
28. Have a special seminar dealing with critical family topics such as parenting, finances, or estate plan fling. (Example: “Making My Will” seminar with the speaker a qualified attorney from the church.) Use the opportunity toexplain how the Scriptures relate to these areas.
29. Sponsor an evangelistic picnic asking each family to invite another family to join them. Have time for the families to be together and have a few organized group activities, particularly for the children.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”