The National Outreach Convention is a great event for small churches. On Wednesday I led the Small Church Discussion group and we had about 50+ participants with great ideas and opportunities for ministry. Today I led the Small Church Idea Forum where we walked through the process of designing, conducting, and evaluating small church outreach events.
Small churches continue to do great things to become indispensable to their communities. Some of the ideas shared on Wednesday and today are:
- Jobless ministry. One church in New Jersey identified those who had lost jobs or were out of work, providing training, support, and encouragement.
- Home repair and upkeep. Another new church plant selected 50 homes in proximity to the church and took two Saturdays to offer to do home repair or maintenance projects. Because this is an urban church, neighbors were at first reluctant to accept the church’s help. But once assured that the church had not agenda other than to be helpful, some of these neighbors allowed the church to help them. One homeowner was so impressed, she hired 5 church members to work in the hospital where she was on staff. Both the church and the community benefited from the church’s outreach.
- Teen bootcamp. Teens were invited to participate in a “bootcamp” experience complete with obstacle course, a gospel presentation, and some good clean hip hop thrown in for good measure.
Outreach magazine also announced their revamped website, outreachmagazine.com where church leaders can join the site, and then tell the story of what their church is doing in outreach. If you have an interesting outreach story about your small church, please go to outreachmagazine.com and tell them about it. Plus, I’m looking for churches to profile in the 2010 issues of Outreach magazine in my column, Small Church, Big Idea.
One thing small church leaders told me at NOC09 is that they are glad to see major Christian organizations like Outreach paying attention to small churches. I think you’re going to see more attention to small churches in the near future. I know of one great small church book coming out in 2010, plus I met with a major Christian publisher today to discuss a couple of book ideas I’m working on for small churches. So, stay tuned because not only is NOC a great event, but there’s more coming soon!