We have an outreach week planned for the week of July 7th through the 11th. The word, outreach, is one that comes with many different perceptions. Since this is the first event labeled “outreach” that we are going to do since becoming your pastor, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thoughts about it.
Defining outreach can be a bit tricky. A google search revealed a basic definition: 1) the extent or length of reaching out; 2) an organization’s involvement with or activity in the community, especially in the context of social welfare; 3) and the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits (google & Merriam Webster online). According to google, it’s also a word that has gained significant usage since about the 1960’s and 70’s. So what does it mean for a church to have an outreach event?
Well, let me share what I think it means for us to do outreach. I believe outreach is when we look past ourselves, our needs, our schedule, and our rhythm of life, and we intentionally reach out to others in our community placing their needs above our own. Specifically, as a follower of Christ, I believe that the greatest need people have is to know the Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, outreach must be done with a mindset of seeking to share the good news of life in Jesus with those who may not have received it or even heard it yet.
There are countless ways to do outreach even as I’ve defined it above. I like to keep it simple. This year’s outreach week will have the theme “it’s a gift.” The things we are going to do (scheduled in evenings for each night of the week) will be focused on demonstrating what a free gift is. I will publish a schedule in June for the exact times and plans. We are planning some service projects, car washes, and a barbeque in the park … as a free gift to anyone who wants what we are offering.
To give an idea of how we will communicate the good news using these gifts, here’s an example. The car wash will be entirely free to anyone who chooses to take advantage of the offer. Even if someone offers a donation for our efforts, we will all turn them down saying something like, “no thank you, you can’t pay for a gift. It’s kind of like what Jesus did for us by dying on a cross, rising from the dead, and offering us eternal life. We can’t pay for it, nor are asked to. We wanted you to know what that gift is like.” Perhaps the LORD will open doors to further conversation with people about their spiritual state.
For some the gesture will be about the only message they hear, others will get the gesture and a conversation, and for some it might be all the above and an invitation to church, and still others might even come to the point of faith as we share with them. How awesome would that be? So, if you haven’t already, make plans to participate with us during our outreach week of July 7th – 11th. And, please plan to attend one of the preparatory meetings (dates and times tba).
Justin began serving as the pastor at Faith in February of 2013. He is passionate about people having the opportunity to hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus Christ.