It's tough for a two parent family to raise children. it's even tougher for a single parent. Time seems to run out before everything gets done. Never a break. The "to do" list seems to get ever longer.
Action: Offer an evening or Saturday to help a single parent. That may include babysitting, fixing things, helping maintain a car, help cleaning the house, etc. Ask questions and be a good listener. Perhaps offer to pray. Make sure to continue to pray for them. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will prompt you to ask if they have ever heard the main message of the Bible, i.e. how to experience life to the full now and forever. They may be open to hearing the Good News and share if they show interest. [Note: men reach out to men, women to women to avoid misunderstandings.] Outreach Tools
Hospitality - reaching out to the lonely
Many people are lonely. They put on a good face of independence and pretend they have no need of others. There are others who have been hurt and are wary to make new friends. Strangely the greater the number of people the lonelier people become. Consider practicing hospitality. In Romans 12:13 we are encouraged (commanded) to be hospitable saying, "Practice hospitality."
Action: Make plans with a neighbor, fellow employee, another student, etc. to watch a game, play a table game or just invite them over for a cup of coffee. Outreach Tools
Helping Hand - serving with the heart of Jesus
Who is someone in need of a helping hand? Someone trying to fix, mow, or clean up something. Have you thought of lending a helping hand in the past but 'find an excuse' instead. Making excuses will cause us to miss opportunities that God can use as we live with faith that is radical and daring. Faith that lets Jesus live through you as you serve others without seeking anything in return.
Action: Pray to overcome excuses. Pray asking God to point out someone doing a physical task (fixing something, carrying groceries, moving in, etc.). Perhaps a neighbor, coworker or other acquaintance. Simply offer your help from a servant's heart. Even if they don't accept your offer, they will remember and it will build on the relationship you have with them. And it will allow Jesus' to develop His servant heart in you. Outreach Tools
Hand Me Downs - cultivating the generous heart of Jesus
You've likely heard, "one man's trash is another man's treasure"? Many of the things that are no longer useful to us may be just what someone else would love to have. As we think about meeting people's felt needs and letting that be a gateway to their spiritual needs (see "Turning Passion Into Mission"), use gently used (not junk) hand me downs to open the door for a potential spiritual hand me down.
Action: This makes a good family activity. What do you have that you don't need but someone else could use and appreciate? Sports equipment, clothes, toys, an appliance, etc.? Then gather it up (perhaps even some things you do need but the God's generous spirit in you frees you to include them too) and prayerfully seek the Lord in who to give them. It may lead to a spiritual conversation. Be prepared with a tract or ready to mention Jesus' generosity at work in your life to give glory to God and follow the Spirit at work. Outreach Tools
Prayer - intercede for your neighbors
There is value in remembering the One who cares for everyone. God listens and is willing to move His loving hand in our lives and in our neighborhoods. We need to seek Him to work in our neighbors lives as well as our own. We don't always know the best way to pray or love our neighbors. Asking the Lord is a good way to start.
Action: Pray for five neighbors on your street. If you don't know there names, pray for individual homes. Be intentional to learn their names, family makeup, interests, etc. Pray for them to come into a personal relationship with Christ and ask God how you might be instrumental in helping them in this. Continue to pray for any specific prayer needs and building your personal relationship with them. Outreach Tools
Hospitality - share a a little extra food
Remember when Jesus multiplied the "fish and loaves" to feed the neighborhood.
Action: Making some bread or something you could make a little "extra". Perhaps you have a new neighbor. Or an elderly person or single parent that would appreciate your thoughtfulness to share it with them. Perhaps you might want to simply invite them over for a meal or BBQ. Outreach Tools
Reaching out to Seniors - listen to experience
Senior citizens have wisdom, truth and humility. Yet they are often neglected. They like to tell their stories, sharing from the heart. They appreciate visiting and enjoy the company of younger people. Focus on being willing to listen to someone who longs to be heard.
Action: Find an older person and let them tell their story. Allow them to share when others are discounting them and their worth. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. If you don't know any seniors in your neighborhood, visit a care facility for seniors where you will find plenty of opportunities. And if you can, take a young child with you to guarantee a smile! Outreach Tools
When going through a tough time, it's nice to have someone to confide in. You don't want 13 different pieces of advice. You just want them to listen. Deep within us all is a desire to be heard. A simple longing for attention and to be appreciated. Often a listening ear serves to build a relationship... one that will lead to discussions about Jesus.
Action: Watch for the opportunity to 'be a listening ear'. As long as you discover at least one need or interest of a neighbor or acquaintance who doesn't know Christ... you're making great strides! Outreach Tools
"Date Night"- watch a couples children
Parenting can be a difficult job. There are many joys but sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, especially parents of little children. Some families have the support of family or grandparents. But in highly mobile world, many couples don't have this luxury. They may have difficulty finding someone they can trust to watch there little ones to have a date night away by themselves to build into their relationship.
Action: Offer to watch a couple's children giving them the opportunity of a "date night" while they go out together. Outreach Tools
Christian Church - Community Outreach
Outreach ministry is important in many churches. A church is most effective if it functions as a beacon of Christ's love to the community. It needs to be a place that welcomes everyone, regardless of racial and cultural differences. Outreach is being mobilized by the Spirit of Jesus to genuinely love and serve others. In so doing it demonstrates God's love to them.
Community Outreach through Meeting Physical NeedsMany churches use outreach programs to meet the material needs of people in the community. For example, providing shelter for those who have been forced to leave their homes during a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster. Long-term outreach ministries are things like food banks, clothing distribution centers or small appliance or ministering to the needs of young mothers with newborns. Some church outreach ministries offer job training for adults or after-school programs for children. These services are offered to the public. They are a way of equipping the unemployed with job skills and providing daycare so parents can work. They also serve the broader purpose of outreach of building relationships while providing Christian service to those in need. As trust increases the message of the Gospel is more readily received. Help in Planning A Church Outreach Ministry Community Outreach through Meeting Spiritual NeedsThere are outreach ministries that specialize in providing services that help people spiritually and mentally. For example, counseling services, prayer hotlines, or visitation to the sick or elderly who are home bound or hospitalized.A prison ministry is an example of a specific spiritual outreach service that strives to make a difference in the lives of the incarcerated. Church members can provide counseling to prisoners as well as comfort and assistance to their family members. If there is a chapel on site, Christians can lead Bible studies to witness and help inmates grow in their relationship with Christ. In many cases they will help many come into a personal relationship with Jesus. Community Outreach through Reaching YouthPrograms that reach out to youth and children are an important ministry of any church as they are the future of the church. Youth/children outreach must include activities that are young people-friendly and take place both inside and outside of the church. It is important that teens feel welcome and comfortable so they will encouraged to return and invite others to come with them. Some examples: sports activities, video game tournaments, youth booths at local fairs or community events, opening of youth centers, etc. These activities can lead to more value orientated activities and incorporate Bible study. It is important they see God's people working together and that He can and does make a difference in our lives... both in or out of the church building.Additional Community Outreach Ideas are found in "Turning Passion Into Mission" Other Outreach Tools Discipleship in Personal Evangelism