Our outreach plans must be viewed as what George Hunter describes as “links in a chain.” We are only part of the process, but we never know when or if our link will be the one that fastens them to Jesus. I suggest the following be kept in mind as you develop your outreach plan:
- Connection: People connect with others on a regular basis in the workplace, neighborhood, and home.
- Conversation: In life’s journey we share who we are and Whose we are.
- Community: We invite people to join us in our communities of faith (church).
- Conversion: Somewhere through the fabric of connection, conversation, and community involvement people come to Christ.
- Commitment: After their conversion, they are led on a journey toward deeper commitment to the one (Jesus) they have engaged in authentic relationship.
Steve Sjogren reminds us in his book Community of Kindness, “We believe the power of God’s love is what brings people to Christ—not slick programs, not telling people how bad things are, not evangelism and not theology.”
Phil Stevenson, 5 Things Anyone Can Do to Help Their Church Grow, You Can! (Indianapolis, IN: WPH, 2007), 18–19.
I have just completed a series of lessons based on becoming a welcoming church. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.