Success in outreach isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. After coaching lots of leaders over many leaders – many of them who were previously convinced they couldn’t possibly do it – here’s a summary of some of what I’ve learned.
1. Believe You Can Be A Success In Outreach.
Exert the faith God has given you to reach your community. That faith is already there, just believe as an act of your will!
2. Imitate Others Who Are Successful In Outreach As Much As Possible.
I sometimes hear, “Oh that stuff that so and so is doing is his approach. He’s already done that…” My thought is “What in the heck are you thinking? It’s sheer lunacy to think that you need to be original.”
I like what Robert Schuller says about these things – “The first time I use someone’s stuff I mention that they’ve said it. The second time I say ‘Like someone has said.’ The third time I say ‘Like I’ve always said.'” I love that! Take my stuff. You don’t need to mention me – just plug my books!
…on other hand,
3. Tune In To What The Spirit Is Uniquely Saying In Your Backyard.
He is at work right around you, that’s for sure. Your job is to tune your heart and ears to what he is doing right here, right now. Do some prayer walking. Slow down your pace a little. Look people in the eye. Ask God to let you feel their pain.
4. Begin Your Outreach With The Poor.
The poor are ideal place to begin to reach out to. It is cruel to only verbalize the Gospel without meeting physical needs with them so find creative ways of connecting. The book 101 Ways To Reach Those In Need (Janie Sjogren, NavPress) is a great, creative tool to kickstart your outreaches. Convey the message of the Gospel along with meeting practical needs. As your people succeed here they will grow in their confidence and ability to share elsewhere in more challenging places in town.
5. Bring Children Along.
Don’t forget the promise, “The children will lead them.” Often their faith will spur the faith of your adults.
6. Start By Serving In Practical Ways.
Kindness Outreach opens doors and reduces the risk so that more straightforward means of communication can take place. Serving in practical ways is an easy way to build your faith for greater levels of outreach.
7. As You Serve, Verbalize The Gospel.
To only serve is to miss the point and to chicken out. Show AND tell.
8. Begin To Share The Gospel By Telling The Story Of How Jesus Has Changed Your Life.
9. Pray For, Then Look For, People To Share With.
He will bring people to you. Just open your eyes.
10. Look For Mentees to Bring Alongside You.
Even when you’re brand new, part of the point to this is train others. As you train others, as little as you may know, you will grow deeper and faster.
“Ready, Fire, Aim”
12. Work Really Hard At Having Big Fun In All Of This!
Don’t forget the famous verse, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is fun!”