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Archive for October, 2013

Turning Outreach on It's Head

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that outreach is important to the church. It’s one of the ways that we try to engage with folks and fulfill the Great Commission.

What we're going to talk about in this blog isn't intended to downplay personal outreach and evangelism - those will always be important and probably the most effective methods. But what we're talking about here is church-wide outreach.

Forgive the following over-simplification, but here’s something of what it usually seems to look like. A church wants to meet some folks in the community, so they hold an event or open house. People come, say “hey”, and hopefully decide to return to your church the next week. But maybe, in today’s “show me” culture, it’s time to look at that model again, or at least supplement it.

What if your church could offer a critical service and meet the community at their own front doors, literally?

And what if outreach was the community looking to your church for desperately needed help and inviting you to their homes? Think about that last part. Outreach = people inviting you to come to them. In their hour of need and on their own ground. Sounds pretty compelling, doesn’t it?

2011_4I think that a lot of churches have that opportunity and aren’t even aware of it. The opportunity I’m talking about is a home repair ministry. Most churches probably have one or two guys (or ladies) that can be called on when something goes wrong with someone’s house. By taking that informal team and ramping up a bit, you can be a vital part of the community that gets turned to when a local non-profit agency has an elderly widow with a leaky sink. Or, when someone recently disabled needs a wheelchair ramp in order to get in or out of their house. With a few community connections, or maybe even by joining up with another church or two, you might even be able to find a low or no cost option for a senior whose heater breaks down in the deep of winter.

And do you think these people might possibly be receptive to discussion and/or prayer after you’re done?

Making a Great Volunteer Experience

Do your volunteers leave feeling fulfilled?

I used to think that people served because they thought they were needed. However, over the years, I have come to the conclusion that there are many things driving volunteers. Based on these driving forces, here are a few things l keep in mind:

    Skilled HRM volunteer
  • Have I asked the Lord for the right volunteers?
  • When the volunteers arrive at the worksite, have they had the opportunity to meet the homeowner or nonprofit staff we’re serving?
  • Am I ready to make assignments and have them start as soon as we kickoff the day with a short devotion and prayer?
  • Are the needed tools and materials on site?
  • Is the project laid out so there isn’t any down time while someone figures out how/where it goes?
  • Are the needed skills available so I’m not asking people to do things that are beyond their capacity or beneath them (though a reasonable challenge is acceptable, we don’t recruit certain skilled carpenters to paint or do yard work)?
  • Have I planned to break up a large project into multiple days so as not to go too late in one day (unless they expect to go longer than usual)?
  • When the volunteers leave at the end of the serving day, do they feel like their time was invested well (with little standing around), that the “client” was “truly needy”, and though tired, feel like they want to do this again?

HRM Group shotI let the thoughts above shape whom we serve, what size and type of project we tackle, who we recruit, and I try to project how I would feel as a volunteer on the project.

Lastly, when a project blows up in your face due to circumstances you cannot control, handle the situation with a smile to your volunteers, learn from it and move on to the next opportunity with a positive outlook. We live in a fallen world and Jesus is coming to restore God’s Kingdom to perfection unstained by sin – it is why He died! “. . . in this world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 quoting Jesus.

Categories: Volunteers Tags:

Why Are These People Helping At Your Home?

The following blog is a short excerpt from an evangelism booklet that we created with the same name. The booklet explains the gospel in simple terms, both as God's mechanism of salvation and the motive for our volunteers to serve others in need. If you want to know more about God's plan of salvation and would like a copy of the booklet, please email us.

Do you wonder why these volunteers are working at your home today? Is it to feel good? To do a good deed and make the world a better place? To earn favor with God? The answer may not be what you think!

For most of your volunteers, the answer to the question is not to feel good or do a good deed. While that is part of the reason, it’s only a small part! What about earning favor with God? Believe it or not, that’s definitely NOT the reason! Why? Because the Bible teaches that people cannot earn God’s favor. It’s impossible for us to do that!

Why Are These People Helping at Your Home - Evangelism BookletThe real reason we are here is - God has already done everything needed for us to have a right relationship with Him! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for the wrongs we have done (sin) and offer us a wonderful life with Him that begins the second we accept His gift! Romans 5:8 says - ”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of that great news, we are serving you to say, “Thank you!” to Him and to show you His love in a real, practical way.

A special "thank you" to volunteer Bill K. for his help with putting this together.

Categories: Evangelism, The Gospel Tags: