My first full time ministry position was an Involvement and Outreach position. It was my job to catch ’em and keep ’em. There are new concepts that describe the position in a way that is supposed to be "seeker" sensative, that meaning that they won’t offend the non-Christian person you are supposed to work with. For some reason "outreach" and "evangelism" make people feel a little icky. My new title at my current location is "discipleship" minister. I’m not sure if it is good or not, but it definitely reflects what my passion is: helping people become more like Christ no matter what their current relationship with Him is.
When I entered full time ministry I brought with me experience as an award winning retail manager as well as a decorated soldier whose specialty was Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare defense. Before you wonder what good that would be in ministry, consider the last major conflict you’ve had at a church you’ve been at. Decontamination and containment are essential parts of successful ministry life. I used the skills I developed in those areas to help me see a different side to organizational and individual outreach and evangelism. These are secrets I’ve long kept to myself, thinking they somehow increased my "market value" as a minister. I’ve since learned that ministers have little market value at all, and that I should share these with as many people as will listen.
The next series may last for a couple weeks. It may also last until the Lord returns, which oddly enough could be the same timeframe. It will loosely follow a document I wrote a few years back on effective modern outreach that can be downloaded from my About Me page.
The document seems cumbersome and a bit drastic for those of us who just want to do simple outreach. The truth is, if outreach were simple all of our churches would be exploding with growth and baptisms. That doesn’t seem to be the case in most of the churches I’m aware of. I still don’t understand why all of it works the way it does, but churches I’ve used this system with have experienced between 50% and 200% growth. Just so you know the numbers aren’t slanted for size (growing from 4 to 12 would be 200%), the best numerical results were growth from 495 to over 1100 in a period of 2 years. It may be cumbersome and seem drastic, but it works.
As with our other discussions, please feel free to share your thoughts and insights as we go along.