There are several benefits to getting your church in the regular rhythm of intentional community outreach. I’m not simply talking about one-off events. I’m talking about opportunities to make a difference in the local community in practical ways.
When people in your church are regularly involved in doing something for the community with people from their church, it’s a controlled lab for building habits that carry over into their daily life. Many Christians do not think evangelism in their community because they have never had a chance to practice it. Regular outreach with others gives them the opportunity to grow significantly in this area. The benefits is that they begin to see the world through eyes of compassion, invitation, generosity and can gain a kingdom first mindset.
If you want to recruit and develop leaders in your church and get a glimpse of peoples natural gifts and abilities, working in situations focused on servanthood is a great place to start. As people serve you will see their strengths and weaknesses in ways that you can’t in the context of Sunday Services, Classes, Groups, or relaxed relational environments.
Jesus style discipleship focused on participation. As the disciples were involved in ministry they had the chance to debrief after the fact. These moments of activity and debriefing situations through a community oriented memory helps people learn a lasting lessons they will have for years and years.
If you intentionally look to make a difference in your community in ways that no one is, you will be able to be part of the solution to solve a problem. This has tangibility that creates a memory in people’s lives and lasting life change.
When you are involved in serving the community it creates community wide awareness of your church and builds on the positive view of your church. We don’t trust people we don’t know. Outreach builds trust as we faithfully serve people over a prolonged period of time.
If you serve long enough and work to solve a problem, you gain influence in a community for good and for God. Your faithfulness is often seen as essential to the wellbeing of your neighborhoods and city. By invitation, you gain access to a seat at the table of decision making.
Serving the community builds a network of connections that you might never have guessed. It builds connections with people who you are serving, the surrounding community, business people, those in power, and those who may not be followers of Jesus but just as concerned about the issues you are. In addition to this, community service builds a network of relationships inside your church. As people work together, lasting bonds are created.
Ultimately we reach out to see life change. Reaching out helps us do that. Church people are changed. Those skeptical and hurt by the church are healed. People who have never heard about Jesus are given an opportunity to hear about him. New people begin attending church. People are baptized. Lives are transformed.