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Holiday Outreach

Holiday Outreach

Should Churches be Doing More to Serve Their Communities?

With holiday outreach activities close at hand, we thought we’d share this six part blog from our archives to kick off the festivities. Trust me, you’ll enjoy the read.

Part 1:

It wasn’t that long ago that the local church was the “center of town”. Look at small town America. Look at cities all over Europe. Churches were built to be a place of refuge and help, not only a place of worship. As people in need came to the church, they also found hope. The church was the spiritual and cultural hub of the city.  …Read More.

Part 2:

Back on the topic of church growth, the irony is that service is the ultimate church growth model. The best church growth plan was the first church growth plan – from Acts. It was about healing, feeding and selling all they owned to help those in need. It wasn’t having a top-notch worship band or the most inspirational sermons. Those all helped then and help now too, but demonstrating God’s love rather than talking about it is far more powerful. Like the old adage says, “Preach the gospel at all times – If necessary, use words.” …Read More.

Part 3:

I once heard a pastor introduce a new local missions program he called “sign evangelism.” As an outreach-minded person who knew that this church was not active in serving the community, I thought, “This should be interesting.” The pastor went on to explain that “sign evangelism” would be taking place next Friday after work, consisting of putting signs on street corners all over the city inviting people to come to their church! Their community service was advertising! Ok, that was an extreme case, but hopefully it illustrates that many churches see the community as a “target market” rather than a place to serve. …Read More.

Part 4:

The point of all this is that the church NOW CAN and should step back up to reclaim its position as the “center of town”. People have real needs. And we’re missing so many chances to step up and show them who Jesus is. In fact, there have been several “movements” in that direction over the years:

  • Many books about getting out of the “4 walls” and “unleashing” the church
  • Countless articles and speeches about being the hands and feet of Jesus, mobilizing the members and other catchy phrases
  • A lot of well-intentioned pastor meetings to talk about church unity …Read More.

Part 5:

When a person asks their church what they can do to serve, what do most pastors or staff members tell them? A typical answer is “sure, we need ushers, we need greeters, or we need folks to watch the nursery on Sunday morning”. The person would respond something like, “That’s not what I mean – I’m talking about that sermon the pastor gave last weekend about serving the poor – I’m talking about that verse I read in Matthew today where Jesus talked about helping the least of these.” At a typical church, the response would be, “sure, we have a backpack drive in a couple months for underprivileged kids when they go back to school”, or “we’re doing a feeding for the homeless at Thanksgiving, and a party for some families at Christmas”. …Read More.

Part 6:

BUT NOW, there is an answer. In fact, the answer has been in the business world for a long time. Business processes and technologies, if brought to this problem, make possible what was not possible before. Meet The Need has spent the past 10 years figuring out how to apply Business Intelligence and Customer Relationship Management (which are all about understanding, valuing and connecting with people) to:

  • Put opportunities to serve in front of members
  • Let members figure out what they can do based on their skills, interests and stuff collecting dust in their garage
  • Take all of the connection and coordination work off church staff
  • Show pastors and staff the impact the church is having in the community …Read More.
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Root cause for the Church's decline & its path to Revitalization

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