7 Ways to Make Your Church Outreach Program More Effective
Church outreach is one way congregations work to fulfill the Great Commission. But other than sharing the Gospel in your neighborhood, city and through the world, how do you care for others and point to the love of God? Get some tips below to make your church outreach program more effective.
Want to grow your programs but not sure how to be more inviting to those within the community? Get 10 tips for being a welcoming church.
1. Consider the Practical Needs of Your Community
Did you know that almost 40 percent of 8th grade students are below the reading proficiency level for their grade? In fact, around 27 percent fall below the most basic reading requirements for the grade.
This is just one example of practical community needs that church outreach programs might focus on. Some other common needs include:
- A lack of food or hunger
- Families struggling to find appropriate childcare
- A need for safe, wholesome activities
- Lack of transportation to important appointments, jobs or even church services
- Isolation and loneliness, particularly among seniors or marginalized individuals
- A desire to find Christian friends, support groups or mentors
Church outreach is definitely about sharing the love of Christ with others, but Jesus himself fed the masses before he preached to them. Think about the specific needs of people in your area and how your outreach programs might meet them.
2. Provide Ways Anyone Can Be Involved in Your Church Outreach Program
According to Statista, more than 64 million people in America engaged in volunteer activities in 2017. It’s a number that hasn’t changed that much over the past decade or two.
Middle-age adults are the most likely to volunteer, and college-age adults are the least likely to volunteer.
People don’t volunteer for many reasons. In some cases, they simply haven’t been asked to get involved or don’t know where to start.
Make sure you publicize the needs of your outreach program and provide pathways to entry. These might look like simple, one-time jobs so people can get their feet wet or training sessions so congregants can serve more confidently.
3. Create Outreaches for Various Age Groups
Ensure your church programs cover people of all ages. Some options to consider include:
- Activity days for children
- Tutoring for teens
- Appropriate social options for older youth
- Support groups for college kids who may be far from home
- Women’s and men’s groups for people of all ages
- Programs that partner companions with seniors for weekly meetups
4. Come Up With a Few Strong Annual Events
Big events can help you increase the reach of your message. These present a great opportunity for congregants to invite friends and family to get involved and can give the entire community something to look forward to. They might even be featured on local or regional news channels.
You might host a fall festival, drive-thru nativity or spring ice cream social, to name a few examples. Choose one or two events your church can realistically support annually and that are designed to bring people together for an enjoyable, friendly time.
Social media is a great technology tool for church outreach. Find out more about some social media tools your church can use to increase engagement and reach out to the community.
5. Ensure Church Outreach Programs Think Small Too
Going big can be expensive, both in terms of money and the energy and time required of your staff and volunteers. Instead of striving to remain relevant and helpful within your community with constant fanfare, remember that small programs can also generate large results.
Hosting a dinner for older adults the first Friday of each month, supporting weekly Bible study meetings or organizing a group to do lawn care for people once a season are all smaller ways your church outreach program can make a big impact.
6. Use Community Outreach Programs as Invitations
Church outreach is a form of marketing, and strong marketing always includes a call to action. Make sure your outreach programs include invitations.
Put signs up at the fall festival and information in any programs that let attendees know they’re welcome at worship services. If you’re tutoring children, send home packets that invite families to spend time learning more about the Gospel together. Train volunteers to respond with helpful information when someone indicates a desire to join in on the mission of the outreach.
The goal may not always be to get people to attend on Sundays. But every event should support the opportunity for a closer walk with Jesus in some way.
7. Ensure Every Effort Is Biblically Based
Finally, ensure that all your church outreach efforts are Biblically based. It can be easy to get caught up in the doing and forget who the doing is for. As a church, committee or leadership team, always pray about the purpose of programs and ask the Spirit for guidance. You might also want to make it a habit of finding a verse or two that can be used as a Biblical theme for your events.
How Can DonorWerx Help?
DonorWerx helps churches do purposeful work that impacts lives in a positive manner while sharing the Gospel with others. Our tools range from online coaching solutions that help you grow a team ready for church outreach to donor software that makes it easier to raise the funds to support those missions.
If you’re ready to level up your church outreach programs but know you need more leadership or funds to do so, we can help. Find out more to Get started today.
EMAIL TEASER: Striving to reach out to others as a church but falling a bit short of your goals? Your missions may be worthy, but if your church outreach programs aren’t using the right tools and tips, people may not even know about them. Get seven tips for making your outreach efforts more effective.