Sometimes we think about doing outreach only now and then. But it takes a steady commitment to reach our community if we hope to be effective.
When we have done an effective outreach that is a bit unusual I sometimes hear other churches comment, “We ought to do that next year at this time of year…” My response is, “Are you serious? Wait till next year before you step out? Do something next week or this week maybe.” There is sometimes a Hail Mary football desperation pass mentality present in our outreach thinking. Certainly, there is something to planning for a cool outreach in a year, but we need to “occupy till he comes” as Scripture exhorts. We need to get to work right now.
My discovery is this: for a church to effectively launch into outreach it needs a weekly team outreach for six months straight. That’s 26 weekly outings in a row. At the end of that time, there will be significant enough momentum that your church will be able to sustain outreach long term.
That may sound like a lot of outreach and it is a lot. If you have not been doing anything in the realm of outwardness that is certainly is significant. But keep in mind what you are seeking to happen. You are launching something great. In effect, you are launching an airplane. You are helping something go into orbit. To get the adequate lift and thrust it takes a measure of momentum to get things off the ground.