As part of our 5 week road trip, we are collecting stories of evangelistic outreach ideas, and learning what some churches are doing successfully or not.
Meeting a Community Need
One community church had heard that a local city council banned people from walking their dogs in the local park.
If you owned a dog and wanted to take the dog for a walk, you were not allowed to legally take your dog for a walk in the city park.
The church took a different action.
Seeing the need in a community, they fenced in their front yard and set up a dog park for the community. Of course, some rules were in place to keep it clean and pet friendly. Benches were provided for people to sit on and visit while their dogs played.
Over the few years, this park has become a vital spot for the community to gather, even though the local council has changed it laws.
People have formed clubs around the type of dog: beagle club, poodle club etc.
Between 5-7pm, when the owners get home, the dog park is very busy with lots of community members gathering.
Sounds like a great outreach idea: it serves the need of the community, allows the church to be more visible.
Does the church connect?
This sounds like a great idea to help a church connect with it’s community, to build relationships with people in it.
- Perhaps the pastor can get a dog and join the club for that breed.
- Perhaps church members can get dogs and start visiting and connecting with people.
- The church can “do life” with the community, providing the grounds for great discussions about faith, for opportunities to invite people to church.
- The church can connect with its neighbors.
- Imagine having hundreds of people and their dogs on your church’s front yard each week.
From the second hand conversations I have had, it appears that people in this particular church do not visit the dog park in their front yard.
A few folks were asked if church members are connecting with people, and no one knew of any.
Perhaps the church is missing a great outreach opportunity that is meeting regularly in their front yard.
Let me ask you this?
Consider how the general public uses your building outside of worship service times: dog park, AA or NA meetings, day care, after school tutoring, etc.
- How are church members connecting with people already visiting your church on a regular basis outside of Sunday morning?
- Are church members inviting these people to your worship services?
- Are church members talking about their faith?
Do you want to discuss your where your outreach to the community is stuck?
I offer a coaching call where I spend time on the phone with you or your committee, up to 90 minutes, where I help you trouble shoot and develop some action plans. I can help you review your systems through a step by step flow chart that I’ve developed. Read more about that outreach coaching here.