Doing Outreach or Reaching Out?


When we do outreach by serving – servant evangelism (kindness outreach) – to give away bottles of water at a stoplight or clean toilets – to simply go through the motions of serving.

We can do these things actions with all good intentions in an effort to connect with lots of people as quickly as possible…as if the name of the game is sheer volume. God does care about the masses, but that care has to be done with the right heart.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

It’s one thing to do outreach – it’s a different thing to reach out.

It’s possible to do outreach without the love of God in our hearts – to go through the external motions of what looks like love yet to miss the point of connecting with people’s hearts.

It’s not possible to reach out unless God’s love is at the center of hearts. When we reach out we extend our hearts to others who are in need. We show vulnerability to others who are in need of being touched by God who dwells in us.

Bottom line: Let’s do both – let’s touch lots of people…at the same time it’s essential that we connect with them profoundly at a heart level.

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.


  1. Steve, I’ve heard you make the link many times between the heart of service and the success of our outreach efforts. The impact that you have had on the world isn’t because of the bottles of water you’ve given away or the toilets you’ve scrubbed. It is because you cared enough about those people to let them know that God loved them and to do so in a way that would make an impact. Keep it up! As you taught me to say, the best is yet to come!

  2. Instead of “reaching out,” have you ever considered just being friendly?

  3. Philip Thompson

    to Lucky Dog; The first step to reaching out is to be friendly. God even instructs us to “Be kind to each other”, but the whole purpose of SE is to make an impact on people and that means getting down and dirty in their world and at the same time, magnify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can be nice all day, and people will say “oh, wasn’t that a nice man”, but I’d rather go beyond nice and be kind in the name of Christ. Then, He is magnified and I am just a servant.

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