TIPS ON STARTING A COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
Starting a community outreach project can seem a bit overwhelming. However, you may find it easier if it’s broken down into simple process steps.
So, where do you begin?
1. PRAY – Seems quite simple but a very important initial step! Pray for God to guide your steps and to lead you to the organization or in the project that He wants you to do. A successful community outreach project is one where we allow God to lead and we follow; God knows where the harvest is ripe. So, our job is to have an open heart and mind, being careful not box God into our way of thinking. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
2. IDENTIFY STRENGTHS/GIFTS –Where is your heart leaning towards? Do you enjoy working with kids, singing, ministering one-on-one or in group setting, sharing your personal testimony, working with homeless or prison inmates, etc. If you don’t know yet, that’s ok. Continue to ask God for guidance and He will direct your steps; be vigilant for the doors that God opens.
3. IDENTIFY INFRASTRUCTURE THAT’S ALREADY IN PLACE – For example, within a church setting, do you already have a praise and worship team or Sunday school class? If so, a simple next step would be to identify a Community Outreach venue where God can use your group. This can mean locating the nearest nursing home with low quality scores, coordinating with the activity director, and having the Sunday school kids do a singing program for the nursing home residents. The residents love seeing kids! Many have no families that visit so having the kids present is an extra special treat.
4. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OUTREACH PLANNING COMMITTEE – The group can help with exploring, discussing, planning, organizing and supporting local Community Outreach missions. Since one of the Committee’s goals is to encourage individuals, we do ask that all the Community Outreach opportunities be made available to everyone interested in participating, rather than to a specific local church membership.
5. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OUTREACH LEADERSHIP GROUP – Coming soon! The group will provide education and support for leaders. Some of the issues that will be addressed in the group setting will be barriers or challenges that leaders face. It will be an all teach, all learn setting!