Deciding on an Outreach Ministry for Your Church
Outreach ideas that have impact
If your church has decided to start an outreach ministry, one of your most important steps is deciding what type of outreach ministry to start. A lot of variables play into this decision including the talents, size, and passion of your congregation. Other factors include available funding and the time that your staff and volunteers can devote to your new Christian outreach endeavor. A great first step is to gather interested members together to discuss the goals of your church and how you can achieve those goals through a church outreach program. Your meeting should also discuss the assets of your church and the limitations or obstacles that you will need to overcome to achieve your goals.
The number of members in your church is crucial in deciding what type of church outreach program your church will implement. A large church may have more opportunities for what it can do but may have more difficulty organizing the vast amount of volunteers. Smaller churches may be limited in its programs but can often be more versatile in a variety of projects. Along with your size; you should also consider what is already going on in your community. Churches often overlook partnerships with other nonprofit organizations in the community. There may be an organization that is already doing something similar to the Christian outreach program your church wants to start. In many cases, especially for smaller churches, joining forces with an organization such as this may greatly increase the effectiveness of your program. Even if you do not join together with them, you should still seek them out for advice, guidance, and outreach ideas in implementing your own church’s program.
Your church members’ talents and community outreach ideas are an essential determinant in what type of outreach ministry program your church can implement. Through a written survey or in-person meeting you should find out what types of skills your members have. This may come from their employment, previous volunteer experience, or hobbies. For example, if your church is seeking to set up an afterschool program for youth, it would be beneficial for you to have teachers in your congregation. Just as important as talents are the passions that your members have. Any project will end quickly if your members do not get behind it. Also, because not everyone will have the same passions, make sure that it is explained clearly to the entire church the need that your church outreach program will meet and why it is important. In addition to considering your members’ passions and talents, you should also consider the time that your members can put into your new outreach ministry program. Calculating weekly “man hours” can be as easy as taking a poll of your volunteers to see how much time that can commit on a weekly basis to your outreach ministry activities. Overall, take this time to evaluate the outreach ideas and suggestions your congregation and community share with you.
Another important factor to discuss is the amount of funding your church can devote to its Christian outreach program. This will include the initial start up costs as well the cost to maintain the program. In order to make your church outreach program meet its fullest potential, you will want to make sure that you are able to sustain the program financially. If this issue is what is holding your program back, think about looking outside of your church for funding to run the program. This can come through private grants, public donations, or fundraising events.
During your decision process it is extremely important that your church stays honest about what it can accomplish through careful examination of all the church’s capabilities and limitations. Once a decision is made on which outreach ministry program to implement make sure that you bring the whole congregation in, not just a small group. If some of your congregation is unable to put in the man hours for running it, make sure that they are involved through prayer and financially supporting the new outreach ministry program.
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