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|This is Discipleship
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In This Issue:
- What is Outreach
- Why Outreach
- Sowing and Reaping
- The Big Question
- Good News
- Outreach Workshop Dates
What is "Outreach"?
How would you answer that question?
First, let me tell you what outreach today is not.
Outreach is NOT:
Knocking on doors
Arguing about religion
Shoving Jesus down someones throat
Outreach is one word we use to describe our activities in following Jesus on his mission.
Jesus said, "Go!" The mission to the church is to go. Unfortunately too many of our churches have been trained to "stay" and the results are disastrous, resulting in declining and dying congregations and a growing number of people who do not know about Jesus and God's plan for salvation through the local congregation.
Outreach is the people of God taking the good gifts in Christ they receive in worship and giving them away to those who don't yet know Jesus in their community.
Outreach occurs in our vocation, where we live, work, and play. Outreach also occurs when the congregation intentionally creates opportunities for the development of relationships with people outside the church building walls.
- First, because Jesus told us to.
- Second, because God designed it so that the only hope our family, friends, and neighbors have of hearing the Gospel flows out of the local congregation.
- Third, because a congregation that does not reach out will die.
Sowing and Reaping:
God provides seed to the sower. We sow the Gospel seeds and water the crop, God causes the growth. If a farmer doesn't sow seed the farm will go out of business. God designed our life together to work in a similar relationship, If you and your congregation don't sow Gospel seeds you won't have a harvest.
Many congregations think they cannot afford to do outreach. In fact, you cannot afford NOT to do outreach. If you aren't reaching out, sowing seeds, you can't expect a harvest and your congregation will be in danger of going out of "business".
The Big Question:
The big question is, why aren't our congregations and individuals reaching out with this great Good News we have in Christ? The answer may require some soul searching and repentance. Could it be that our love has grown cold?
I have been meditating on the messages to the churches in Asia found in Revelation, chapter 2. I see myself, and many congregations in our Dist., represented in these messages. May I suggest you meditatively read Revelation 2 for yourself. As you do, consider which of these congregations you and your congregation most associate?
The good news is your congregation can turn around. You can repent and return to your first love. You can open the door to Jesus and allow God to change your hearts, mind, and actions, and begin to reach out to those around you with the great gifts of eternal life Jesus has given to our congregations through the means of grace!
Many pastors and individual Christians do not know how to connect with the community outside the walls of the church building in outreach.
To help you and your congregation reach out, your Southern District Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Eric Johnson, is holding Outreach Workshops around the Southern District.
These Workshops are designed to teach you how to develop an outreach plan that is simple, practical, and doable.
This process works best if lead by the pastor. Ideally a pastor would recruit an outreach team of people from the congregation interested in helping lead outreach. He would bring that team to an Outreach Workshop where you will develop an outreach plan for your particular congregation, in your particular community with your particular gifts and abilities.
If the pastor is not available, the next best thing is for a group of interested lay people to come and learn how to work an outreach plan that they can then bring back to their congregation and pastor.
Workshop cost is $5 per person for lunch.
All other materials are provided free of charge.
Outreach Workshops are scheduled on the following dates:
- January 9, Immanuel, Bossier City, LA.
- January 16, Trinity, Monroe, LA.
- January 30, Bethany, Slidell, LA.
- Feb. 6, Good Shepherd, Gardendale, AL.
- Feb. 20, Jehovah, Pensacola, FL.
You are welcome to join us for any dates near you, or you are encouraged to contact Eric Johnson to schedule to host an outreach workshop at your congregation or circuit.
I'm Eric Johnson, your Mission and Ministry Facilitator.
My job is to support you and your congregation in your mission & ministry within the walls of your church building and especially outside your walls in the community where people who don't yet know Jesus live and work.
Areas where I can be helpful include, but are not limited to, Small Groups, VBS, Sunday School, Confirmation, Building Bridges to the community around your church, Outreach/Evangelism, Youth, and Stewardship.
I Live To Serve
My specialty is helping congregations grow by building bridges in their communities to reach people who don't yet know Jesus.
When you find that you and your congregation can use some suggestions with ideas and resources, I'm here to help.
You can reach me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling my direct line @ 985-796-7175
Your Servant In Christ's Mission,