Community outreach connects the local church with the people in their city by meeting existing needs. Starting or adding Christian ministry initiatives will help positively impact your local community and grow your church membership. These services will help you engage your community, attract and give help to needy individuals, build relationships with the community and share the faith.
Church outreach ministries look at their community, assesses the needs and say, ‘Our community needs this, and as a church we feel like God has given us the resources and skills, and so we’re going to meet that need and use that as the our vehicle through which we’ll share Christ’. This ministry can have many different expressions.
For example, you have people in communities who are hungry or need help with clothing. Our church saw the toll that the recession was taking on families and engaged Angel Food Ministries to provide quality food items at half the cost. Years ago we identified a need for value priced clothing so we opened the Maranatha Storehouse. Another example would be a church that realizes its community deals with alcohol and drug abuse. That church might want to start a recovery program such as Living Free to address the issue.
Other popular community outreach ideas include jail or prison ministries, after-school programs for children or yard clean up for elderly and disabled. The nature of the ministry depends on the needs of the specific community where the church is located.
Here are some simple steps that will help you plan for a successful start up for your church outreach ministry:
• Develop a detailed ministry plan and share your vision with church leadership.
• Be prepared to resource your vision with time, talent, prayer and even your own money.
• Recruit, organize and develop a team of volunteers to implement your outreach programs.
• Develop a website to communicate your services and success stories.
• Evaluate success and recognize volunteers and donors.
The American church is by some standards losing its influence on society. One way to regain a voice in our communities is to harness the strength of the church through community outreach. For more information, call our Outreach Hotline at (763) 315-7111.