What would you classify as outreach? As a church, we would mention our clothing giveaway, jail ministry, and the numerous home Bible studies that take place. Every once in a while we will add an event like a potato feed or summer picnic. Outreach could simply be defined as reaching out. Are these events ways that we are reaching out to non church members? When we look at outreach with these eyes, it seems so limiting.
In my confusion, I consulted Google (of course!). When I Googled “church outreach”, I found many events similar to the events listed above. There are so many ideas for events in performing outreach, but this effort still seemed… limiting!
The planned events can, and are, beneficial forms of outreach as long as reaching out is included, but if we look at scripture, we will see outreach through different eyes. In Luke 12, Jesus is instructing his apostles on true outreach.
And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God. -Luke 12:8
In Luke 12, Jesus warns not to get stuck in the box. He challenges to live higher than the expectations the world has for us. He reminds us that we have great value in God’s eyes. Outreach can’t be limited to structured events. Outreach is imparting spiritual words and actions to friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. Outreach is included in the messages we post on social media. Outreach isn’t an every once in a while thing, it is giving the truth about Christ to people every moment of every day.
Congregational outreach is tremendously influential because so much can be accomplished when we choose to work together for the purpose of discipleship, but let us not limit outreach to structured events. Outreach also includes every moment we are interacting with others, in a large group or just one on one. You are of value to both God’s heavenly kingdom and His earthly church when it comes to outreach. May you seek to respond to God’s placement of outreach in your daily life in directing the world to Christ and His church.