Archive for April 2011

Capture Your Outreach Dream State of Being

What is the God’s inspired dream for Servant Evangelism for your church? Count on it. He has one for you. He has something specific in mind he wants to take you toward. He wants to use you and your people to reach out in a great way to your community.
No matter what the particulars, he is up to something great in your midst. Listen to him. Ask him to clarify his goals for you. His burden is easy and his load is light, but it is still exciting!

Make a Minimum Six-Month Commitment To Rigorous SE Outreach.

It takes a while to get Servant Evangelism. It’s a simple idea but it’s a deep idea.
It’s a non-negotiable fact that significant momentum requires time in order to massage it into reality. The most common mistake I’ve run into over the years with launching Kindness Outreach lies here—getting going fairly well in the early days, but then not having adequate follow through. There’s no getting around it – it takes a sustained effort to launch SE in your midst.
What’s the key to getting momentous outreach off the ground? There are many certainly but the main one is this: make a solid commitment for long haul.

  1. 1.Knuckle under to do whatever it takes to go out on a weekly basis for a solid six months in outreach. As the leader you need to show up come what may. No matter what the weather, no matter what the date (holidays included), no matter – no matter – no matter, make a showing and do something to bring the practical love of Christ to others. Six months.
  2. 2.Keep your eyes on the prize. After six months momentum will be developed. There will be encouraging stories afoot. There will be positive chatter going on in your faith community.
  3. 3.Be wise about the choosing of your six-month timeframe. Don’t make five of your six months the dead of winter in Regina, Canada. Actually I’m not that familiar with Regina. Maybe people vacate in the summer there so much it makes more sense to focus your efforts in the dead of winter. You make the call. Know the lay of land so to speak.
  4. 4.Of course, don’t stop at the six-month mark. I’m just saying that at that point your inner flywheel will be spinning rapidly. You will see some encouraging fruit to the point that a culture will have commenced.

Try Your Hand At A Lot of Things To See What Works.

As I wrote yesterday, you will find success in outreach will come down to recycling a few projects repeatedly.
Don’t become too attached to one project, at least not at first. You need to try your hand at a lot of different approaches to serving with kindness. God will bless some of these projects so clearly you will know what his hand is upon.
Know this for certain: God has anointed you for service in particular areas. Your primary assignment is to discover the specific areas he has called you to.

#4: Listen for your starting projects.

Don’t do just one project as you launch out. Try several in quick succession. Servant Evangelism is a lot like fishing but the name of the game isn’t just the culture of fishing. We want to do a lot of catching!
Stir things up. Don’t worry about a bit of chaos. Sometimes the Kingdom of God causes a bit of chaos – or what can appear to some to be that way. When one is used to nothing much happening, authentic momentum can seem to be chaos!
Try for several kinds of fish with several approaches to catching. That is, try several approaches to serving. You will discover a few projects that are golden. Try a number of projects in your hunt to find what works best you’re your people and in your part of the community.

Make News Out of Transformations Taking Place.

I am often asked “How can one create a culture of serving somewhere that has been lacking an outward focus?” That’s a fair question considering how few churches have a truly outward focus. Is it possible to create a shift outwardly, really? It may take a while to see God’s Spirit stir things up in a significant way, but you can aid in the launch of this with wise leadership. The key is to give visibility to the work of God you wish to multiply.
Here’s the principle: what you elevate will multiply. The opposite is also true. What you hide will be impossible to spread. It’s that simple. If you are in the church and are being forcibly hidden you have been buried. There’s no nice way to dress your situation up. It’s just a matter of time until you will cease to exist.
As lives are changed, give visibility to what God is up to in your midst. He is going to do even greater things as you allow more people to read, hear, experience the goodness of God through your communications. For example, in your sermons make mention of outreaches. Use outreach stories as illustrations of your points. Often these are either touching, profound or humorous as we reach out with the practical love of Christ. People straighten up and listen carefully as we speak up.
Capture the great things that are going on through your outreaches with your video cameras to show the footage later to the larger church. Again, you are making news out of the works of God.
“As he is high and lifted up all men will be drawn unto him!” goes the scripture. That’s the principle. Let’s carry that out in creative and consistent ways!

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.

When God is up to something exciting we naturally get excited. That thrill can go in an odd direction if we take our results too seriously. There is a thin line of difference between us rejoicing in the great things God is up to and us owning the responsibility for what he is up to. The key word here is what he is up to.
It’s important that we keep steady before us the arrangement – that we are all a bunch of recovered spiritual mess-ups who have happened onto the fabulous mercy of God. Amazingly he has seen fit to draft us into his plan for changing the world. I don’t understand his thinking in choosing you and me. If I were brought in to consult God I would encourage him to use more stable materials for his work – more together people other than us (as if such exists!) A quick glance at Church history makes it clear he doesn’t take me very seriously. Starting with Peter he has typically chosen notorious people to do his bidding.
As God moves don’t take your results all that personally. He is at work! More often than not, he is doing great things in spite of us rather than because of us.

Make Heroes Out of Many

Make heroes out of as many people as you can as you start outreach. You will need a large team that feels celebrated to successfully reach your community. Give lots of people stage presence as you start into this new part of your church’s life. You want to send the message that there is room for many here and that their contribution will be celebrated. Part of this presence will be in the videos you shoot. Feature lots of faces, not just the predictable ones we already know are participating.

Assignment #3: Just Start!

There isn’t much to mess up in this equation except your lack of action. Just begin! All sorts of reasons will pop into your mind as to why you should hesitate to reach out. We can dismantle those one at a time…or we can just say, “That’s all hogwash” and move on – which is the bottom line. Your greatest error isn’t beginning poorly. It is in delaying obedience to God. People’s everlasting lives are on the line. This is serious business. Take him seriously. Just take a small step and God will meet you. Tip well and tell your waiter you are showing God’s love in a practical way. A friend of mine buys the meal for those behind him at drive thru lines – then he tells the person at the window to give them a card from his church and to say, “This is to show you God’s love in a practical way…” Another friend gives away BBQ sandwiches and asks if he can bless the recipients. They invariably say Yes. He touches their outreached hands and says, “I bless you in the Name of the Father, and in the Name of the Son and in the Name of the Holy Spirit.” It’s that simple. You can memorize that prayer if you need to! Often people engage in tears. That’s over a BBQ sandwich. You can do that!

Make News Out of Transformations Taking Place.

I am often asked “How one can create a culture of serving somewhere that has been lacking an outward focus?” That’s a fair question considering how few churches have a truly outward focus. Is it possible to create a shift outwardly, really? It may take a while to see God’s Spirit stir things up in a significant way, but you can aid in the launch of this with wise leadership moves. The key is to give visibility to the work of God you wish to multiply. What you elevate will multiply. What you hide will be impossible to spread throughout your church. It’s that simple. If you are in the church and are being forcibly hidden realize you have been buried. There’s no nice way to dress your situation up.
As you do outreach people’s lives will change. Those you reach out to will come to Christ and will be eternally impacted. Those who do the reaching out will be changed mightily as well. As lives are changed give visibility to what God is up to in your midst. He is going do even greater things as you allow more people to read, hear, experience the goodness of God through your communications. For example, in your sermons make mention of outreaches. Use outreach stories as illustrations of your points. Often these are either touching, profound or humorous as we reach out with the practical love of Christ. People straighten up and listen carefully as we speak up.
Capture the great things that are going on through your outreaches with your video cameras to show the footage later to the larger church. Again, you are making news out of the works of God.
“As he is high and lifted up all men will be drawn unto him!” goes the scripture. That’s the principle. Let’s carry that out in creative and consistent ways!
All the best to you as you reach out!

Fund What Works.

Invest your outreach dollars wisely. Don’t give your leadership blessing willy-nilly to all things that appear on your radar screen. Decent ideas are not necessarily the calling of the Spirit. Open doors are not assignments from On High. Allow God to speak to you. He will clarify what is working and what to check out further before you bless with funding.
There are people watching you as you start out doing outreach at your church. They aren’t necessarily overly critical, in fact, they have every desire to see you succeed. They want to see evangelism take hold. At the same time, if you fail, they are taking note. You can’t fail an unlimited number of times and think you will continue to receive unlimited favor—or financing. Thus it is important that you be willing to go back to the drawing board before you release some projects for prime time.