Posted: 9/11/17 at 2:00pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
I’ve been broken, lost, depressed, oppressed, and weak that I might find favor and gain the weak. I’m flexible, adaptable, and able to do and be whatever is needed for all kinds of people so that in the end I can use every means at my disposal to offer them salvation. (I Corinthians 9:22 VOICE)
How flexible and adaptable are you to reaching new people? In a day when people are mobile and have many opportunities to do other things on Sunday morning, what are you going to do to reach new people? Here are some ideas:
- Know your surroundings. Understanding your culture at work, in the neighborhood, and in the community is the beginning point. There is no silver bullet here; it takes hard work. If you are in the city, churches in the rural areas may have great ideas but not work for you. The opposite is true as well. Start where you are. Where do you see gatherings of people? What are their needs? How can you speak a word into their lives? What would entice them to come to a Bible study or worship service?
- It always starts with friendship. As Bo Prosser would say, “People go where they know that they have been prepared for and cared for.” Inviting people to Sunday School/small groups or worship in this culture will not work for most. You have to genuinely care for them where they are. After building a relationship of care, they will be open to what is next.
- Invite them to a social event. After you have built a relationship of trust, invite them to a class social event. Every class/small group should have a social event at least once a quarter. This is an opportunity for persons to connect to others before you invite them to Bible study. It is more effective than just inviting them to Bible study.
- Cater to a specific need. In this mobile society, most families do not have grandparents nearby. Here is an idea that I am still waiting for a church to try and let me know how it goes:
Grandparent: Back in my days in Georgia, I often listened to a radio station out of Atlanta. One morning they interviewed a senior adult woman who read to children a couple of times a week at a local grocery store. She had a persona about her with a dress from the fifties, an apron, and a bonnet. She would build relationships with the children when they walked in the door by finding out where their family was originally from. She had a map of the world on the wall and would place a pushpin in that part of the world for each child. She was a grandmother figure to children. Parents would shop at that store a couple of days a week at that certain time when she would be there to read to their children! She became a part of their regular schedule.
What if you have a senior adult woman (for instance: Granny Smith) who loves to read to children and who becomes that person for a local grocery store? What if that grocery store was willing to advertise and print at the bottom of the advertisement that they are partnering with the ministry of ______ Baptist Church, and listing your church’s website? After developing a relationship with the grocery store for several months, they might be willing to announce that Granny Smith will be at _______ Baptist Church for Vacation Bible School! Do you see the possibilities? It is building relationships with the community and making it possible to make a difference in the lives of children.
To learn more possibilities, join me for a free webinar about Creative Outreach Ideas on Tuesday, October 10 at 7 p.m. Here is the link to register: