Building Outreach In

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Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

(John 5:8–9, ESV)

This past Sunday we studied the story in John 5 where Jesus offered healing to the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. This man did not ask or show faith, but Jesus came to him to serve.

One of my musings this week has been around how we build outreach into all we do. Instead of leaving outreach up to each of us to figure out on our own, instead of forming a team to cover all our outreach efforts, how can we build an outreach mindset into all we do?

Church growth is important to us, but if it is only transfer growth from another church to ours, it is not growth of the Kingdom. To grow the Kingdom of God, people need to encounter Jesus; it is our responsibility to lead people to Jesus … and this happens by reaching out to them.

Outreach means “reaching out” … which requires action on our part. How are we engaging with our community, being an active part of it, going to them instead of expecting them to come to us? This is often uncomfortable. It requires a combination of wisdom and generosity; true benevolence gives without expecting anything in return.

The challenge goes out to our Ministry Teams (formerly Committees) to incorporate outreach into what they do. Hospitality goes the extra mile to make people feel welcome. Worship leaders work to engage not only ourselves but also our guests. Our Christian Education Team goes beyond Sunday School and Youth Group to offering events like Family Fun Night and Vacation Bible School (beginning this Monday!) - all to draw in searching families and children.

What door of outreach opportunity is opening for us? Whose life can we serve? Are we actively serving others (those within and outside our natural sphere of influence)?

Come and serve this coming week in VBS! We still need crew leaders and preschool child-care volunteers.

Volunteer to make pancakes and work to make meaningful conversations with those who attend our annual pancake breakfast on April 19!

Pastor Ryan