From Me to We Outreach

Written by Keith Doornbos
April 13, 2023

A shared culture of outreach is more important than the singular activity of an individual.  We churches view outreach as a team sport.

Lifeway Research published a post-pandemic church growth article entitled “4 Factors That Predict Church Growth”. The author notes that the average Protestant church has 85% of their pre-pandemic attendance.  Still, surprisingly, several churches grew.  What was their secret sauce? Four things were shared among growing churches: effective evangelism, intentional assimilation, small group discipleship, and, often, a larger membership.  Let’s talk about the first, evangelism.

According to the article, the average Protestant church celebrated 15 new commitments this past year.  The Christian Reformed Church (similarly, the RCA) saw less than one per church.  How could this change?  An important beginning is shifting outreach thinking from me to we.

Me outreach assumes evangelism is, primarily, the investment of an individual. On the other hand, we outreach assumes that evangelism is the collaborative investment of the entire faith community.   In other words, a shared culture of outreach is more important than the singular activity of an individual.  Outreach, to say it plainly, is a team sport.

Here are some investments of WE Outreach
We Decide

We churches collectively create a culture of hospitality.  They direct every resource, decision, behavior, and practice in support of that culture.   Additionally, they develop a shared outreach strategy.

We Pray

We churches join in praying for persons who are disconnected from faith and faith family.  They encourage everyone to identify individuals within their relational orbit for whom they can pray specifically.

We Invite

We churches create excellent opportunities to invite friends and neighbors to special services, neighborhood events, small groups, various support ministries and age/life specific programming.

We Welcome

We churches are sticky because they focus on a warm welcome extended to all no matter their story or life circumstance.  This welcome moves beyond Sunday morning and includes both heart and home.

We Mentor

We churches develop an intentional process that assists those on a journey towards a deeper faith and toward richer faith relationships.   This thoughtful mentoring process must be a collective commitment.

We Monitor

We churches focused on being an oasis for God thirsty guests.  They are so committed to this that they identify specific progress towards that goal including the creation of dashboards that measure progress.

We Celebrate

We churches celebrate milestones on faith’s journey.  They celebrate professions of faith and baptisms.  They celebrate new mentoring relationships.  Especially, they celebrate stories of life change.

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