This week we got to do one of my favorite things in ministry. We got to OUTREACH! Or to put it another way we got to REACH OUT! We were able to go outside the four walls of a church building and be a blessing to the world and present the Gospel to people that might not ever come to a church building. Many times what we call outreach is when we have a big event at our church and invite the world to come to us. Dr. Roy Fish said it this way, “Evangelizing in the church is like fishing in a bathtub: it’s terribly convenient, but you don’t catch much.”
Sadly to say that most of the unsaved people in our communities will never come to a church building because of pre conceived ideas about churches, like that they are nothing but dead religion or they have become irrelative to today’s society. Many people have had a bad experience at church therefore; they believe all churches are alike. If we are truly going to fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus told us was our job as his disciples to “go into all the world and make disciples.” We are going to have to go to the world. Go into our communities and present the gospel to the world on their turf. It really does not matter what this looks like as long as the gospel is presented. If we can find a need in our community to be a blessing to people, it will open the door for people to hear the good news of Jesus. I have seen churches go to the community and spend upward of $10,000 on an event that was a blessing however; the gospel was not presented. Essentially this equals nothing more that a carnival or a fair that the world puts on for themselves however; it was sponsored by a church. If we are going to make disciples we must present the gospel in a nonthreatening way and give people an opportunity to respond to the message by giving their lives to Jesus. Otherwise, we are throwing money at the wind.
Last Friday we got to partner with a local ministry called React that holds monthly events in our city with free food, prizes, and entertainment however; the Gospel is clearly presented to all that attend. We did a scaled down version of our “What is a Christian” program and were able to lead the ones who wanted to follow Jesus in a prayer to give their lives to him.
This Tuesday we were able to minister at one of our local Elementary Schools at an after school program called “The Sonshine Club.” This ministry does an after school program once a week in many of our city’s Elementary Schools. It provides parents with an hour of afterschool activity for their children including games and bible lessons. This Tuesday we were able to do our scaled down version of our “What is a Christian” program to children that might not get a chance to hear the gospel message anywhere else. After our presentation, we were able to pray with the children who wanted to receive Jesus into their lives.
Each year our goal is to do several programs outside of a local church building. Out where the people are. In communities, parks, schools, anywhere we can get a crown to hear the Gospel.
Someone once said “We’re no longer fishers of men, but keepers of the aquarium, and we spend most of our time swiping fish from each others bowls.”
I pray this changes! I pray that more churches would have us in to do events at a neutral location where more unchurched people will come and give their lives to Jesus and then be invited to a local church to be discipled.
Below are some pics from these 2 outreach events…
Jerry ministering at a React Outreach
in Springfield, OH
a public school outreach in Springfield, OH