ONGOING OUTREACH MINISTRIES
Community Outreach through Meeting Physical Needs
Many 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.
Community Outreach through Meeting Spiritual Needs
There 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 Children and Youth
Programs 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.
MORE OUTREACH IDEAS
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.
Action: 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. Check out 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.
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.? Check out Outreach Tools
Hospitality - reaching out to the lonely
Prayer - intercede for your neighbors
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. Check out Outreach Tools
Reach out to single parents
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. Check out 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!
Check out Outreach Tools
How's Your Hearing? - a listening ear
When going through a tough time, it's nice to have someone to confide in.
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! Check out 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.
Action: Offer to watch a couple's children giving them the opportunity of a "date night" while they go out together.
Check out Outreach Tools
Other Free Resources:
Free Bible Studies for New Believers
Additional Community Outreach Ideas are found in "Turning Passion Into Mission"
Other Outreach Tools
Discipleship in Personal Evangelism
www.faithexplorer.com - Clear and concise explanation of Christian faith
Outreach Planning Guide
Turn your 'idea' to 'action'
Part 1: Inspiration & vision casting
Part 2: Planning & strategy workbook
Incorporating Evangelism Into Your Outreach Activities
More Free Outreach Resources
Start a Relationship with Jesus