A Church For Your Community
What came first, the chicken or the egg? We don’t know – we weren’t around then. However, a question we’re more confident to answer is, what comes first, a worship service or the church serving its community? We believe the church serving its community comes first. That is why we train church planters to serve their community before they invite them to a worship service.
Now you might be thinking, “But how are we going to serve our community? We have very limited resources. We have limited money and people. What difference can we make?” You may not have unlimited resources, but if you want your church to serve its community in a big way once you are big, you need to start sowing the seeds of service now. As Jesus said, “He who is faithful with little, will be faithful with much” (Lk. 16:10).
Your church plant might not have a lot of manpower now, but that shouldn’t stop you from using what you do have to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10 reminds us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others” (NIV). You and everyone on your launch team has something to offer your community. Everyone has time, energy, gifts, and passions which can be spent serving others and making an impact for God’s Kingdom.
To help you think of ways to serve your community and lay out an outreach strategy to execute, we’ve filled this month’s newsletter with tools and tips focused on equipping your church to be the hands and feet of Jesus in your community this fall. Enjoy!
-Patrick Bradley, Director of Operations
August 2022 – Contents
- External Focus
- Outreach Strategy Template
- Fall Outreach Ideas
- Exponential Regional Conferences
Every church must fight to be an externally focused church. Naturally, churches tend to have a gravitational force at their center drawing its focus inward. Think about what most pastors spend their time doing: pastoral care/counseling, sermon preparation, worship service planning, leadership training, etc. Most of these activities are internally focused and serve those inside the church.
If churches aren’t careful, many end up functioning more like a country club than a mission outpost. Don’t sow the seeds of a new church country club – a holy huddle. Focus on starting a kingdom outpost that equips people to lay down their lives for the gospel. Sow those seeds early by challenging people to give their time, talents and treasures to serve others.
Learn how and why one small-town church is doing this to make a big impact in their community. Then craft your custom strategy using the template in the next section. Your strategy could even include one or more of these popular outreach initiatives we’ve seen church planters utilize to serve their communities:
- Generosity Feeds
- Celebrate Recovery
- Victory Kids Sports
- Financial Peace University
- Love, Inc.
- Fathers in the Field
Outreach Strategy Template
If you’re a church planter, one of your responsibilities is to not only serve your neighbors, but to inspire and equip your team to do so as well. As a leader, you get to challenge your team members to serve their neighbors in a way that creates energy, excitement, and momentum for the church plant. This requires planning on your part, so all your outreach activities and energy are pointed in the same direction. For instance, when you’re doing an outreach event, is there a clear next step you’re inviting the people you’re serving to take? A next step could be to participate in a home Bible study group, attend a launch team meeting, or even help you organize a future event for the neighborhood.
To help you develop a community outreach strategy, whether for yourself personally or for your church, we’ve developed this Outreach Strategy Template. It’ll ask you several helpful questions to help you develop a custom strategic plan for serving your community.
Fall Outreach Ideas
In his dissertation, Santorum Comminio (Communion of Saints), Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.” Think about that for a second. Does your community know your church exists for others – for them? How would they unless you serve them?
If you want your community to know that your church is for them, start serving them. With the start a of new school year just around the corner, now is a great time to think about how your church can serve your community, especially schools. To stimulate your thinking when it comes to outreach ideas, read Outreach’s 10 Fun Church Outreach Ideas For Fall. Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only reason to look forward to fall!
Exponential Regional Conferences
The single command that Jesus gave his followers before igniting a movement was “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised…” He was telling them to wait for and then move with the Spirit. This fall, Exponential is hitting the road to help church leaders discover a growing awareness of the Spirit’s work and leadership while also realizing that we will always be more effective if we move with the Holy Spirit.
Exponential’s regional events will bring the impact of their global conference in Orlando to a city near you and are designed to equip and inspire your team. Here’s a taste of why you want to rally your team to attend:
- Affordable rates
- A convenient location
- A compact schedule
- A ready-made experience for a meaningful team gathering
- An amazing speaker line-up of local and national speakers
We are hosting the Washington, D.C. conference September 12th-13th. If you’re nearby, we hope you’ll join us for this dynamic event and will invite your key leaders to come as well.