Reaching Out – Outreach – Part 3
Pastor Rex Deckard
For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.
Twofold purpose of the Church’s existence
Worship and fellowship with God
Impact the world with the message and experience
3 Things to Compel Us
We believe that everybody does
We believe that everybody lives forever
Only Jesus knows what the other side truly holds, a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun.
Laws of Effective Outreach
To have an effective outreach, we must then connect attenders to the church.
The church is a community; we are a family. This is why we call each other brother, sister, spiritual mom and dad. We can express and receive love, security and a sense of belonging in a family. Usually it is the weakest person in a family that receives the most attention.
We are living in an increasingly mobile society. Things that anchored people for thousands of years are being changed, almost overnight.
Consider cell phones…
There is a connection between the idea of place and the reality of cellular telephones. It is not encouraging. Places are unique–or at least we like to believe they are–and we strive to experience them as a kind of engagement with particulars. Cell phones are precisely the opposite. When a piece of geography is doing what it is supposed to do, it encourages you to feel a connection to it…. Paul Goldberger,
People feel Isolation
“out of the loop”
lack of identity
lack of purpose
Jesus connected with people.
There was just something so clear
and powerful about Jesus
that old rabbis would marvel at his teachings,
young children would run up and sit in his lap,
ashamed prostitutes would find themselves
weeping at his feet,
whole villages would gather
to hear him speak,
experts in debate of the law
would find themselves speechless,
and people from the poor
to the rugged working class
to the unbelievably wealthy
would leave everything … to follow him.
When we reach
out to people
“They are not the enemy- they have been taken captive by the enemy!”
For most of us it’s been a
long time since we put
ourselves in the place of a visitor. After a church becomes so familiar it’s hard to even remember how intimidating it can be to walk into a new church.
“Am I early?” “Am I late?” “Will my children be comfortable and safe?” “Will I know what to do in the service?” “Will there be people here like me?”
While it is difficult to quantify, outreach experts believe that visitors may determine whether they will return to a church based on the experience they have in the first five minutes. This is before they hear the wonderful praise music, see the multi-media, or experience an anointed sermon.
Does anything stand in the way of guests having a positive experience at our church?
Approach our church from all possible directions. Are our signs clear and inviting? Is it easy to know where to park? Is there special parking for guests? Once you’ve parked, is it easy to find the entrance?
A clean, safe, positive children’s experience can be the key to a family’s future involvement in your church. It’s essential to have clear direction on our policies regarding children. Some other questions to consider: How clearly are our instructions and classrooms identified? How are the children welcomed?
It’s important to communicate to a visitor where their children should go and when. Do the kids stay for the service, or go right to Sunday School? If they stay for the service, do they stay the entire time? What about babies—can they come to the service?
Does our greeter team represent different age groups & ethnicities? Are we positioned at every possible approach? Are we very knowledgeable about the various classes and resources of the church? Are we really focused on visitors, or are they just talking to their own friends as they arrive?
Our first impression of a church is often based on a visual assessment. Are there signs? Are they attractive and professional, or homemade and shabby? Are they purely informational or do they add to the visual identity of the church?
Is the lobby cluttered with old literature and miscellaneous junk, or is it attractive and inviting?
What will someone’s impression be of our bulletin, brochures and information area? Often visitors arrive early and have lots of time to collect and evaluate our church’s brochures and other informational material.
Are these materials attractive and well written? Is the information designed to help visitors connect with ministries and future involvement? Are the contacts clear and current? Will guests know what to expect in the service?