A key ingredient in your mission for your church is outreach. You share the gospel to save souls and because it is what Jesus asked you to do in the Great Commission. But these days, outreach is getting harder. What worked in the past is no longer effective. Within the church, people aren’t signing up and, honestly, when they do there is very little positive response, if any.
It’s tempting to table outreach in favor of investing in those who come to you. Many churches have and the result has been catastrophic. Without intentional outreach, the church becomes inward focused. Church becomes social instead of spiritual, cliques form, an “us and them” attitude keeps newcomers from finding a home there. Sermons settle into confirming ideas instead of challenging them, essentially providing what itching ears want to hear. The church ceases to be an epicenter for transformation. Instead of growth, numbers dwindle.
Outreach is clearly essential and clearly needs a new strategy.
A Natural Flow of Outreach
What if you start from a different place? The evangelism strategy that isn’t working comes from exploring what you can do. The result is your own effort. What if you flip the script and start with your own experience of God?
Notice I am using “you” instead of “they” or even “we”. It starts with you. The mission of your church will fail if it is not alive in the church leadership. It has to start with you.
Throughout the gospels and the book of Acts, you see people encounter Jesus… and then they reach out from there. It seems natural, inevitable even. A man was healed and he went rejoicing, telling everyone he knew. The woman at the well met Jesus, then went and told everyone.
Your lived experience of God is the real launching pad for outreach. It’s your experience of God that launches your mission. If you’re not actively on mission, you need to ask: Have you really experienced God?
Empowered by the Spirit, your actions become vehicles for the gospel. It’s not just you, but the power of God in you that compels you.
Where Discipleship Fits
You begin making disciples when you are growing as a disciple. It’s a natural and almost instantaneous outcome. You don’t grow, wait, then reach out—because you’ll never grow that way. You grow only in the context of your experience of God and your corresponding response to him. It’s that which compels you to serve others.
Here is how it works: The Holy Spirit prompts and guides, you respond to and experience him in a variety of ways, God develops his heart in you, you become more aligned with his mission, you respond in action… not in your own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how the gospel moves forward from person to person and from place to place. Your lived experience of Jesus overflows into engaging the mission Jesus gave to you.
The Discipleship Cycle is a six-stage discipleship cycle begins at the top with focusing your vision. It then guides you through the essential steps of implementing discipleship in your community… all as you journey together in the footsteps of Jesus, following wherever he is leading. The Discipleship Cycle is a FREE downloadable resource!
The Discipleship Difference* lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are and help them take their next best step toward God.
The Guide for Discipling is an individual or small group study based on the 8 areas that Christ helped the disciples grow. Instead of fill-in-the-blank answers, it’s filled with open-ended questions that allow personal reflection and application.