10 Steps to Building a Church Outreach Program
As a pastor, your primary mission is to spread the word of God. As you know, this involves delivering an effective sermon, being a model Christian, and developing an effective church outreach program. However, there is another essential part of ministry life that many pastors struggle with, and that is developing their donors. But donors are necessary because without them it will be much more of a challenge to grow your ministry. If you feel a little awkward about approaching potential donors and aren’t sure about what you should say, DonorWerx can guide you through the process. DonorWerx online courses teach church leaders effective communication skills that you can use to attract and keep those all-important financial supporters.
Building a successful church outreach program requires some planning and preparation to both equip and mobilize your congregation. Here are 10 ways to reach the wider community.
1. Free Lunches
Who doesn’t enjoy a free lunch? Offering a free lunch to your community provides a great opportunity to get to know people better. Christians have been “breaking bread” for 2,000 years and some of the most profound conversations have happened over the dinner table. What better way to listen to the concerns of the community while spreading the gospel message?
2. Parent and Toddler Groups
Many churches offer parent and toddler group sessions because they provide that all-important opportunity for parents to talk to other parents while the children play and have fun. Many stay-at-home parents consider these groups a lifeline because they help them feel connected to others who are going through the same experiences. You could offer these sessions once or twice a week during school hours so parents with school-age children can easily attend.
3. Babysitting Night
Having a family is a blessing from God. There is no greater privilege for a parent than to watch their children grow into young independent people. However, the only downside is that parents rarely get to spend much time together as a couple if they don’t have people they can trust to watch their kids every once in a while. This is where you come in. By hosting a babysitting night with trusted volunteers, you get to provide a valuable service to families. And if people can trust your church with their children, they may also be open to attending a service at your church.
4. Movie Night
Hosting a family-friendly movie night can be an open invitation to all age groups. This way parents can bring along their children while others, whether single or elderly, can also be part of the event too. You could sell refreshments and discuss the film afterward.
5. Collaborate with Organizations
Many church leaders recognize the importance of reaching out to like-minded organizations. And the advantage of permitting established groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to host their classes at your venue is that it requires very little planning on your part. Contact your local Girl Scout and Boy Scout regional managers to find out if one of their troops needs your facilities.
It’s also a good idea to reach out to people who can help you grow your ministry like DonorWerx. We can help you attract new donors so your church can improve its outreach program.
6. Host Recovery Groups
Christian churches have an amazing track record for supporting people at their lowest points in life. So by offering recovery groups a calm, safe space in your church to host their sessions, you would give vulnerable people the opportunity to change their lives for the better. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous, and Divorce Recovery give much-needed support to people battling addiction, disorders, and marital breakdowns. Also, when anyone is going through a tough time, they are more likely to turn to the church for help, and by allowing recovery groups to host sessions at your church, you show you are available and that God is within reach.
7. Community Service
Look for mercy ministries in your local area that your church could support. For instance, you could arrange for some available members of your congregation to help at a homeless shelter each week. You could also contact other local Christian churches and ask if they need any help with their community service initiatives. This way, you will get to connect with other Christian groups in your area and help with a good cause.
8. Financial Courses
Many people are struggling financially at the moment. So as part of your church outreach program, you could host financial fitnesses classes. There are some good DVD classes such as Dave Ramsey’s financial solutions course: Financial Peace University. The course offers solutions to becoming debt-free while saving money.
Another idea for improving finances is cooking on a budget. You could get some volunteers to host a cooking class in the kitchen at your church where finance-friendly recipes can be both shared and enjoyed.
9. Mindfulness Groups
Mindfulness practices benefit everyone, and they’re a great way to improve your community’s mental health and well-being. You could find a wellness expert whose techniques are in line with Christian teachings and allow them to host a class once a week. The Mayo Clinic also offers sound advice on how to increase mindfulness.
10. Community Gathering
According to an article in the New York Times, loneliness is now a significant issue for many Americans. You can make your ministry part of the solution by offering community get-togethers at your church. This could include some suggestions mentioned earlier, or you could host some other get-togethers like having game nights where members of the community can play chess, dominoes, and their other favorite games.
DonorWerx offers a communication strategy to improve church giving and engagement. To find out more about how we can help you achieve your ministry goals, get in touch — we would love to hear from you!