What can you do to bring change to a church that didn’t begin in an outward direction? Here are a couple of practical first steps to take.
…senior leadership (esp the senior leader) can begin to regularly participate in outreach – IE once a week. This one step will transform a congregation more powerfully than any other. As this person (people) go, so goes the church. Sure they are busy, but who isn’t! Pastor Timothy was plenty busy when Paul exhorted him to “do the work of an evangelist.” Most pastors are naturally inclined to do the work of a teacher rather than outreach. That’s okay. You can determine to do outreach and God will grant you favor and fruit.
I am a living testimony of that. Of course, these leaders need to be persuaded to do this. For most pastors, it takes no significant empowering to stand up and teach each week – that comes naturally to them. Outreach is another story. Lean into the empowering of the Holy Spirit and stand back to see what God does as he shows up in surprising ways. He will change your life and change your church.
…begin to reach out regularly – on a weekly basis. Begin to show others that this is fun and doable. Bring back encouraging stories. Take pictures and videos with your phone to show others the power of simple but profound acts of God’s generosity. It will take about six months of weekly outreach to properly launch a momentous outward ministry at your church. Don’t give up before you are off the ground!
…set aside a percentage of the local church’s budget to a local ministry to the Poor that will be distributed by local church people. There is nothing more transformational to a church than engaging in care for the needy.
…practice one-on-one prayers with outsiders. Begin with ten-second prayers for those you reach out to. As you pray you will find open doors to bring the Gospel to hearts that are wide open and hungry for God.