In my estimation, for what it’s worth, our congregation excels in most avenues of ministry, except in ministerial outreach. We give generously to outside causes, but we seem out of practice in intentionally reaching out to our friends and neighbors in order to connect them to our congregation.
I’m no expert in ministerial outreach. I’m certainly not personally well-practiced in such endeavors, so I don’t want to come across as finger wagging, since I’m no model minister in outreach. Frankly, I need someone to help me learn how to be the conduit that connects outsiders with our congregation.
But let’s try this for starters. Is there someone in your own mind that you have identified for connecting them with our church? Our congregational growth will be proportional to such thinking. If we don’t think of specific individuals or families from our own neighborhoods or workplace in the first place, we are likely not to bring them to our church.
I think most of us want our congregation to grow. So, let’s each one consider this approach: Pause a minute to think of friends and acquaintances from your neighborhood, from your workplace, or even from your own family. If you don’t know them very well, make intentional efforts to engage them—enter into their world through acts of lavish love. Earn the right to speak to them as a genuine friend. Get yourself into a position with them that you can invite them to church. Better yet, be the Church’s personal representative to them.
We’re blessed well enough that you can invite people to our worship without offering apologies like “The service is a little long, but it’s worth it,” or “The choir is not very good, but they do make a joyful noise to the Lord.” No, our services are very inviting and engaging. So, all you need to do is get into your neighbor’s or friend’s world through lavish love, and open your heart when the opportunity arises.
People often ask, Why is that church over there growing? What are they doing to attract so many families? Most often the correct answer is that they know how to connect people to their congregation.
Think of a specific friend that you know from your neighborhood, or from the workplace, or in your own family.