Hot Ideas for Outreach

Choices. They are all around us. From the mildest of menu choices to the decisions that impact us for eternity, the options are there. Just as tastes vary from flavor to flavor, churches also vary in choosing the Outreach Program that will best meet the needs of the church as well as effectively reach those prospects in the community. From the menu below, you will find various approaches to Outreach. If your church is just beginning an outreach program, you may want to start with the mild version. If you have been doing the basics for a while, consider some of the “hotter” choices. Or maybe you are ready for the Spicy variety! We invite you to taste something new, as well as something traditional. It’s your choice. The only choice that is not on the menu is to do nothing.

Mild:

  1. Develop an outreach climate by…
    • Preaching a series of sermons on the need for outreach, based on Matthew 9:35-37 and 28:18-20.
    • Recognize classes that are growing and reaching people.
    • Talk up the need for outreach in your church every chance you get.
    • Enlist Deacons or other leaders to visit church guests within 36 hours of initial visit to the church.
    • Train Sunday School leaders to keep proper records of guests in the Sunday School.
    • Lead the Sunday School to welcome guests and reach prospects.
  2. Develop approaches to discover prospects. Examples of different types of approaches are:
    • Church guests
    • Parents of children that attend our church programs
    • Inactive church members
    • “I Know a Prospect” card
    • FRAN (Friends, Relatives, Associates (Co-workers), Neighbors)
    • Vacation Bible School prospects
    • Conduct a People Search Survey of various areas of your community asking them if they attend church on a regular basis.
    • Need based prospects such as newcomers to the community, new parents, newlyweds, and other transitions times in a person’s life.
  3. Develop a prospect file. Organize prospects so that the Sunday School class they would attend can contact them and begin developing a reaching relationship with each prospect. Online information may be found by visiting our general section or you can contact the Sunday School Department.
  4. Provide a one-time Outreach training session:
    • Use information from “Share Jesus without Fear” or “The Power to Change Lives” age group series or other training material available through Lifeway Christian Resources.
    • With a Mexican dinner theme conduct age group outreach and evangelism training. Secure a training team from your Association or State Convention.
  5. Enlist and train an Outreach Director for your church. Use the latest Sunday School General Officer Administration book (such as “The Complete Guide to Sunday School,” available from Lifeway Christian Resources).
  6. Have a time for organized outreach once a month, involving as many members as possible. Allow people to come and visit, phone or write cards to Sunday School prospects, members, and church visitors.
  7. Begin Contact Consciousness by asking for prospects through the Sunday School. Ask them to give you a name of a friend, relative, work associate or neighbor they know doesn’t attend church anywhere on a regular basis.
  8. Start at least one new Sunday School class.
  9. Celebrate the outreach successes and recognize those who work in your outreach program.

Hot:

In combination with the ideas mentioned in Mild:

  1. Develop/purchase evangelistic tracts to use in outreach
  2. Develop pamphlets about your church’s ministries to be distributed during visitation.
  3. Enlist and train an outreach director for every Sunday School class or department using the “Power to Change Lives” and the “Sunday School for a New Century” age group materials available from Lifeway Christian Resources.
  4. Have weekly visitation using material such as the G.R.O.W. material. The GROW approach includes:
    • 4 teams enlisted from the Sunday School classes, one team for each week of the month.
    • All church members are encouraged and enlisted to attend one night of visitation a month (12 nights a year).
    • All participants will attend a 4 week training session.
    • Participants will be involved with visits, writing letters, and phone calls.
  5. Do community surveys so that they church can better meet the needs of the community.
  6. Have ongoing evangelism training through Discipleship Training.
  7. Provide a strategy for reaching through building relationships using resources such as Meeting NeedsSharing Christ, orWitnessing Through Your Relationships, available from LifeWay Christian Resources.
  8. Start at least 3 new Sunday School classes.
  9. Celebrate the outreach successes and recognize those who work in your outreach program.

Spicy:

Along with the options listed above in Mild and Hot

  1. Attend a FAITH Training clinic
  2. Implement the FAITH strategy in your church.
  3. The pastor must be involved in the process.
  4. FAITH team leaders may mentor two others in the training process.
  5. The FAITH process lasts for a 16 week semester, then repeated as often as necessary.
  6. Organize the Sunday School so that every class is prepared for outreach by having a trained FAITH team leader. Set a goal to have one FAITH team for every Sunday School age group (class or department).
  7. Challenge every department or class to set goals for the number of contacts reached per month.
  8. Start off-campus Bible studies using material such as Touchpoints available through Lifeway Christian resources. These studies can be in homes, apartments, trailer parks, jails and other areas.
  9. Celebrate the outreach successes and recognize those who work in your outreach program

Please contact the State Sunday School Department for help with resources or implementation of any of these outreach ideas.