A few weeks ago, I shared an outreach strategy to touch every household in your city that was inspired by the missional communities led by my friend Alex Absalom at RiverTree Christian Church. While the primary ideas behind the strategy could work for both missional community churches and small group churches, I realize that not every church is capable of implementing the strategy.
A few days after writing the post, I ran across Three New Trends in an Outward-Focused Church by Dr. Thom Rainer, which highlighted three ways your church can remain outward-focused even if you’re not set up to implement some of the most recent outreach trends like missional communities.
As I read through his ideas, I noticed that each of them could be implemented through various Church Community Builder features. Today, I want to share Dr. Rainer’s thoughts, along with a few Church Community Builder User Tips that will help our churches use their software to make these ideas happen.
Even if your church isn’t set up to launch outreach programs such as missional communities, here are three ways you can maintain an outward focus and reach people:
- Add an additional worship venue
Dr. Rainer found that churches that have added an additional worship venue, whether it be a new campus, a different venue in the same facility, or video venues, tend to grow faster and reach unchurched persons more effectively than they had with just their existing services.
Church Community Builder User Tip: If your church wants to implement this strategy, there are several features you’ll find to be beneficial, but they all begin with the utilization of the Multi-Site capabilities found in the Deluxe version of our software. These capabilities allow church leaders to manage and measure ministry strategy at both campus-wide and ministry-wide levels. The data plots feature could be a crucial part in helping your church moniter the effectiveness of new campuses and identify possible new worship venue locations.
- Implement ongoing community ministries
Churches that want to maintain an outward focus must send their members into the community to minister to those who live and work there, whether it’s through missional communities or creating teams for Loaves and Fishes. Even if your church isn’t set up to launch missional communities, members must be going into the community on a regular basis for the church as a whole to become outward-focused.
Church Community Builder User Tip: With Volunteer Matching and Needs Management, you can find the right people to serve and inform everyone about the needs you identify in your commnunity. Combining these features with surveys and spiritual gifts testing can ensure your church is consistently providing opportunities that align with your members’ strengths and interests.
- Promote inviting with accountability
It’s one thing to tell your members to invite their friends and neighbors. It’s an entirely different thing to promote inviting while providing accountability. Churches that have successfully remained outward-focused do a great job of creating accountability with their members in the process.
Church Community Builder User Tip: Developing an organized system that can account for the number of people invited to church each week. The Process Queues feature can be used to track how first-time guests were invited and how they respond to your follow-up activities. Taking that information and using it to encourage others to invite their friends provides a level of accountability to continually reach the community.
How is your church doing when it comes to implementing any of these outward-focused ideas? What are some other ways your church has maintained its focus on reaching the community despite certain challenges?