As I talk with pastors and ministry leaders there is a reoccurring theme bubbling up over and over again in my conversations.
How do we “do” outreach better?
Common question. However, it’s really the wrong question.
Consider this about outreach. It’s not about “doing” it’s about becoming. Effective outreach is more about transforming who you are as a follower of Christ and as a congregation focused on implementing The Great Commission. To visibly be more Christ like, not do more for Christ.
The competition in the marketplace, home, and our surrounding communities for people’s attention creates a unique challenge for the local church today. Notice I said unique, not new. Trying to take the Gospel message into places where it has never been heard is not new. In reality the strategy for effective outreach really isn’t new either.
Effective outreach strategies involve understanding more about how Jesus lived and taught within the relationships of the people and community surrounding him. Jesus was effective because of his relationships. It wasn’t all about the things Jesus did, although he did some very miraculous things. His greatest teachings took place within the context of relationships.
Effective outreach is not something you do. It’s not something to be delegated to a committee and reported back on at a voters meetings. Effective outreach is about knowing and becoming. It’s about growing spiritually in relationship with Christ, in relationship with others – whether they know Jesus or have yet to come to know him.
If you’re challenged by how to do outreach more effectively consider adjusting your thinking and understanding about your strategy. Do less, and get focused more on relationships. Consider how effective you are at first being a follower of Christ and how effective are you at being in relationships where others can see Christ in you.
If you would to explore effective outreach strategies further, join me for one of our upcoming ministry round table discussions. You can learn more about them here. I hope you will consider joining in on the conversation about how we can be more effective in our relationships to implement The Great Commission.