"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth"Here's three "must-dos" for effective outreach:
- Go with an event that you do well and one that meets a need.
There are several things that might attract people to visit your church, but focus on the Big Thing that your church does well and meets a need in the community. Now you're on your way to engagement. An "After School" program, a fun Fall Festival, an Easter Egg Hunt, a Meet and Greet with food and drink, a Food Drive - these events get attention and meet needs in tangible ways.
- If you want to reach 30 people, connect with 1000. Every which way and often.
Do it any other way and you'll be wasting your resources. Two rules of advertising apply here. One is that an average response to direct mail to a household list is about 3%*. The second rule is that a person must be exposed to a message three times before it sinks in. That's why we are plagued with the same commercials many times over.
Here's the lesson. It's better to send a card to the same people three times than to a larger number of people once. For further impact, use multiple media channels. Send the postcard, post the message on your sign, include it in your bulletin and give cards to members to distribute to friends. Not all of these require added expense, yet go far in supporting your efforts.
- Know what to do with the people God brings you.
When your outreach achieves the response you are looking for, take full opportunity to show them the love of Christ. This means doing the Big Thing well, as well as having a plan on how you'll meet visitor's needs.
Make sure there are plenty of people on hand who represent your church well. Consider training staff and members on the vision of your church or non threatening methods of evangelism.
Ultimately God will work in people's hearts. Our job is to represent Him with love, sincerity and warmth.
These are just three of many ways that churches can help to advance outreach efforts. We know there's many more "must-dos" that you have found to be helpful in effective outreach. Care to share the knowledge?