Ideas for creatively providing opportunities for the people in your congregation to see the people around them and recognize their needs.
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Introduction: Busy lives often get in the way of missional living. How can you get your worshipers back on track and focused on sharing Jesus with those around them?
- The key to creating congregational engagement and encouraging people to live on mission is to get them to see the need around them. This is something Jesus modeled for us. He saw the needs of people around him and he had compassion on them.
- An example of how to increase congregational engagement: One church put up a map in the lobby. It was covered in small square pieces of paper. The church encouraged worshipers to take a piece of paper and pray for the people in that area of the map. They were encouraged to do a prayer walk in that neighborhood and invite the people in those homes to send in prayer requests.
- Any strategy for congregational engagement should be aimed at getting church members to think outside of their own walls, to get out and see the need, and to change their perspective and priorities.
- Purposeful events and programs create low-barrier opportunities for people to get involved in outreach. These opportunities are different than outreach classes.
- Churches can also train those who already understand the method and purpose of outreach. They can then help coach others and be mentors.
- What does missional living look like in a person’s life? No two people look exactly alike. Outreach might be visiting with a person at the grocery store, inviting your neighbors over for a party, forming relationships with coworkers, or making friends through hobbies.
- The message to get people involved is this: Just do something! You don’t have to be an expert! Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you in using your life to point others to God.
- What are the top three needs you see in your neighborhood?
- Make a list of people who understand engagement and outreach. How could you begin a training program so that these people can become mentors in your church?
- The Externally Focused Church by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson
- The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon
- Sermon series by Adam Bowers: http://www.efree.org/howtoneighbor