Reaching into the community

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by mcdirector, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. mcdirector

    mcdirector
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    We have been discussing as a church how to get out into the community to reach the lost.

    At this point we have identified organizations to work with and give too. We've been collecting items that these organizations identified as needing. Water, food, clothes, diapers . . . .

    Some of what they needed has been bigger - regular work. People to strip floors, put out newsletters, cook, counsel.

    We already had church members involved in many of these organizations. We had worked at the homeless shelter serving. Several of my friends have been working with the Street school. The class we are service members in already works with the unwed pregnancy center. So what we are doing is stretching those boundaries. Getting more involved in more and different areas. Letting people know of ministry opportunities they may not have known of before.

    I know we got the idea from somewhere. We may have put our special "tweak" on it, but I know it's not unique. I've wanted to mention it before, but I've been hesitant to mention it. But this seemed like a good time because we are entering 21 days of prayer for this ministry.

    Today is day 1. Ready for genuine friendship.
    Titus 3:1-2, 14
    . . . to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men . . . Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.

    So that's my personal prayer today (ok, not just for today, but starting today) - that I engage in good deeds so that I can meet pressing needs.

    Now, I'm wondering what other churches do to to break out of the walls to reach out into the community.
     
  2. bapmom

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    Hi Bitsy! ;)

    our church has 6 bus routes that run every Saturday morning and bring kids in to a Bible club hour. We also have a teen bus route that runs each Sunday morning to bring them to Sunday School and church.

    We have a large and growing nursing home ministry, where we have groups going to several different homes each Saturday morning to visit with and witness to the residents. In this ministry we also hold preaching services at various nursing homes each Sunday afternoon for the residents.

    Our Reformers Unanimous runs each Friday night, it is an addiction program. Through this we are now starting a jail ministry as well.

    And this next month we will be starting a deaf ministry.

    Besides these, each week we have three different times when various groups go out into the community knocking on doors or passing out tracts on the street.
     
  3. bapmom

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    I also just got done with two weeks of Candidate School......Yay!.......but this time was spent at a nearby, very large, well-known church in Indiana. So, due to my time there I learned about some of their ministries I had not known much about before.

    One especially comes to mind, that they call their Sailor Ministry. They bring men from the local naval base out to their church campus and house them for the weekend. They've got a nice building all set up with dorm-like living quarters on the top floor, and a nice dining area with kitchen, and a pretty well-stocked game room for the men to just hang out on Saturday and Sunday afternoon between services.

    They've also got "chapel ministries", small church services that run each Sunday afternoon all around the surrounding area. Some are an hour away from the church itself - maybe more. They've now got one that is at the point where it will soon become it's own self-supporting, self-governing local church body.

    It was really great seeing what's happening there. The spirit is staying hard-preaching, yet the judgemental edge is coming off. It was very nice to see.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Well, for one, our church meets right in the middle of the community. We meet in the local GAA which functions much like a community centre. We are right in the middle of the world and they carry on about us :)
     
  5. rbell

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    We have adopted an area school.

    We have an appreciation banquet for the teachers, we provide help for school events, and we open our facilities for assemblies, emergency/disaster situations, and the like.

    Obviously, that gets our "foot in the door..." but it opens up avenues for witnessing.
     
  6. rbell

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    Another thing....

    One of our goals in our student ministry? We want to be the first place someone thinks of when there's a tragedy/problem/issue. That sounds negative, but let's face it: Many people "don't need" God--then life happens, and they realize just how much they do need Him.

    As tragedies have hit our area schools over the years, the leaders/administrators/students now know they can call on us. And we'll be there...pointing God-ward.

    More positive stuff has happened to our student ministry because of that approach than virtually anything else.
     
  7. mcdirector

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    I think that sounds wonderful!

    Thanks guys for sharing. :)

    What this has reminded me of is a course I took in college - Christianity across the USA - Well, it wasn't really Christianity. It would have been better named RELIGION, but of course some of it was Christianity. What I noticed was that there seemed for so many to be a difficult time between the social and the gospel. Do we do fix social ails or do we share the love of Christ? I don't know why we can't share the love of Christ while we are feeding the hungry and diapering those babies and tutoring those kids . . .

    Bapmom - you made me think of an outreach that my hairdresser did. She got a group of her friends together and they invited women who's husbands are stationed overseas to do glamour-type shots. Sounded exhausting to me. They did a group in the morning and a group in the afternoon. They set up stations fo fix up the gals and got a photographer to donate his time to take the pictures. They did it in the church. I've got to check with her to find out the results. We've got a really big church and I think any time we can get people into the building and comfortable with it that alone is a plus. Often people use the fact that the building is big and they are afraid they will get lost as an excuse not to come.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Here in Japan many missionaries teach English to make contacts. My wife teaches several classes. Maybe this approach would help reach out to immigrants in the States. :type:
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Kid's Klub, Teen Time, summer Bible "camps" (VBS), Mother Daughter Tea, Carol service - helping everyone in the church to see their "job" for what it is - a ministry...
     
  10. mcdirector

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    Devotion for Day 2 - Conversation with authentic concern
    Colossians 4:6
    Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

    Wow! I've been known to be a bit salty tongued - ascerbic, tart, quick with a come back, but I know that's not what Paul is saying here. I frequently think at school that I may be the only face of our Savour that someone sees - even at a Christian school and I know I fall so short so many times. AND here I am looking for ways to share Christ in the community. What an awesome responsibility! to be the salty seasoning, to know how to respond so that I can share the gospel!
     
  11. Brian30755

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    I really admire you and your church for doing this. It's so easy to forget about the elderly folks in the nursing home (just like many of their families have forgotten all about them)...but most of them can't get out to go to church. What a blessing it is when someone brings church to them.

    I was involved in the nursing home ministry at the Church I attended before we moved a few years ago. I even preached a few times (and I'm no preacher). I remember holding the hands of those sweet little ladies and praying with them...and how the tears would run down their faces. I remember one who, as soon as I finished praying for her, squeezed my hands and started praying for me...and she prayed, and prayed, and prayed...every sort of blessing she could think of. Then I was the one with tears running down my face.

    It's a ministry that goes unnoticed. There's no glory in it. There's no recognition. It's tiring. But when you can pray with those folks and see them cry, when you can see them sing those old hymns without needing a song book, and when you see one of them raise their trembling, feeble hand in praise to the Lord, it makes it all worthwhile.

    May God bless you and your Church in this ministry.
     
  12. Bro. Williams

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    Some of the things that we do out in the community at Battlefield:

    1) Street Preaching (dont on a weekly basis, as well as at community gatherings: football games, graduation, etc)

    2) Jail Ministry

    3) Tract Distribution (Fairs, Local Festivals such as Fourth of July and the Christmas Parade)

    4) Active Day Center (an adult day care facility

    5) Visitation (door to door witnessing)

    6) Church service aired on local tv station

    7) an effort to be bold, audible, visual witnesses to the community through one on one evangelism and tract distribution on a daily basis

    All of these are vital aspects of our ministries at Battlefield. We all have our favorites of course, mine being street preaching, visitation, and the jail ministry. The jail ministry has been quite effective, as well as the visitation (door to door evangelism)

    One thing we are considering is being a part of some of the parades as well.

    Oh, and we have custom Chick tracts with church information on the back as well... and then of course, the website.

    Hope any/all of this helps.
     
  13. exscentric

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    1. Teach the people the idea that they are to evangelize where they are. That automatically does the job.

    2. I think the mentioned ideas indicate you need to know your community and its needs. When you know that the outreach is rather obvious.

    Some ideas I've heard of that haven't been listed.

    1. Computer classes
    2. Playing on community ball teams
    3. Model airplane club (gas powered or others)
    4. Photography club
    5. Opening your media center to the public (realize the cost and count it as the Lord's money :)
    6. Motorcycle/car repair classes - maybe services to the poor on car repair
    7. Anything some of your members can do can translate into community contact.
    8. Our city has neighborhood associations that work with the city officials to relay needs, concerns etc. Several churches have gotten involved with these as resources for the association to assist problems in the churches neighborhood - food, housing, training etc.

    Realize as well those involved need to know how to share their faith.

    Our son (youth pastor) was in a church where the community pre-drivers rode bikes. The church opened a center and supplied donated bikes to kids. The church supplied parts etc. and the workers were able to share Christ with the neighborhood kids as they fixed up their free bike. They had simple video games, pop machine etc - a hang out with a purpose.
     
  14. mcdirector

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    This is key to me and something I see sadly lacking. Many church members are involved in the community -- all over the place -- and yet don't know how (or are unwilling or don't see the opportunity or I guess the list is endless . . .) to share their faith.
     

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