Deciding to get out there and do something is the first step. So many times the one thing that is missing is the willingness to just get out there and try. We serve a big God, there is no need to be afraid. Get your church staff and leaders behind the idea of serving your community and start a Servolution.
Our world is full of needs. There are countless opportunities and ways for us to reach out to those around us; we simply have to open our eyes. We have to train ourselves to see the world through a new perspective, “What can we do to serve those around us?” Sometimes it is even helpful to ask yourself “What could I use right now?”- Whether it be a piece of gum after a dinner date, a car wash, a freshly painted school classroom, or a complete home renovation. The opportunities are endless, we just have to pause and notice them.
Once you have found a need to meet, it is important to decipher if that need can be met practically. Take into consideration the resources, volunteers, and time that will be required. If this need is something that you can realistically take on or contribute to, go for it!
If the need is something larger scale than you feel can be accomplished by your team, consider partnering with other churches, ministries, or organizations in your area. Pool your resources and manpower to achieve your goal.
Another important element for planning an outreach is the consideration of “quantity versus quality.” There are endless ways to reach people, and it is important to know your goal. What is the bar of quality versus the bar of quantity? In the summertime, people are hot. If we wanted to reach out to them, we might give away 75 handheld fans, or instead we might choose to give away 1,000 bottles of water on that same budget. It all depends on what your goal is. Do you want a high pace outreach that just “gets the word out” or a slower pace outreach allowing more one-on-one interaction and conversations? Both are valuable. It just depends on your goal.
Outreaches work two ways. On one hand the goal is to reach out to those in the community. On the other hand, one of the church’s goals is to infuse the culture of serving into the hearts of its congregation. By creating opportunities that allow volunteers to get involved, we can touch the hearts of both those we are serving as well as the hearts of the servants. It is important for volunteers to feel well informed, useful, safe, that they have a good time, and that they catch the vision.
In everything we do, we must make sure that we are portraying the heart of God appropriately. Outreaches are purposed for the glory of God. It is our duty to keep that standard and mentality. Establishing guidelines and rules for volunteers, purposing the goal for each outreach, and being intentional about the direction we are pointing people are all vital when building an outreach.
These are just a few simple steps that we have found to be valuable when building an outreach. There are so many ways for us to serve the lost, hurting, and forgotten. Let’s make sure that we are good stewards of the calling and opportunities God has placed before us.