Evangelism is never easy for churches. This week’s Church Leader Insights may help you with outreach events.
Large outreach events in U.S. churches seem to be status quo. Nearly every church I know, regardless of size, has big events throughout the year…Christmas musicals, special Easter services, VBS for the community, and so on. But, how effective are they?
With so many events, and with so many resources being utilized, do churches experience an appropriate return on investment? Are more unchurched folks loving God and others as a result? Are more people becoming Christ followers and fully devoted disciples engaged in the local church? Both research and my own experience suggests “no.” Although there are many reasons why I dislike outreach events, here are the top seven mistakes I see churches make concerning outreach events:
Mistake number one: Churches make outreach events an “end unto themselves”
“Let’s provide bags of groceries for 100 families!” “Let’s put on the biggest and best Christmas drama ever!” These goals are inspirational. The problem, however, is that we often do big events and don’t ask the “why” question. Why are we doing this? What goal do we have? More and more, volunteers will not serve at an outreach event unless they have a clear vision behind the “why” question.
Mistake number two: Outreach events can create a consumer culture
“The church had a Back to School outreach event…why can’t we put on an event for ‘X’?” The more outreach events a church puts on, the more folks will come forward to request that their own project be promoted through the church body.