In the current climate, more than ever church leaders are working hard at making their churches relevant, community-connected, healthy, growing…and the list goes on. Some leaders may even say “all of the above” when we list the possible goals for the church at large. Making bricks without straw is what outreach and church growth can feel like when giving is down, and membership is lagging.
Perhaps it’s helpful to “get back to basics” instead of chasing after the wind and ideas that may not even be right for your church right now. What are the basics? I would like to suggest that building a viable, growing church could be achieved by: “Identifying who you are and who God has called you to reach. Then connecting with them and equipping them to go back out and serve/connect with others.” Sounds really simple – but just like the laws of aero-dynamics – leave out one of those pieces, and the system breaks – nothing works right.
Back in 2001, Outreach kicked off a massive nation-wide training initiative to bring The Four Laws of Effective Outreach to our churches. With a dynamic training team – over the years, we trained nearly 20,000 pastors in one-day seminars in major cities. After a few years, though, it became difficult for the pastors and the trainers to invest time in live seminars. I have to say that I’m relieved not to put our trainers through the grueling travel schedules in today’s airline security situation.
The Four Laws of Effective Outreach remain your basics though. Maybe we don’t come to your city to teach you – but you can get a training kit for you and your team and do it in the comfort of your own church (or school, or pastor’s home, for those who don’t yet have a building!) With complete DVD presentation and handouts – you can receive all the same content.
Getting back to basics means figuring out what’s working and what’s not. Use the Four Laws to do your own assessment. The put together an action plan and strategy unique to your church – make outreach a foundational focus this year – the results may surprise you.