I am continuing my series of posts on life in a smaller Church (under 300) in a smaller town (Under 10,000). I have already wrote about the Pastor, the Past, the Leadership and the Senior Adults. Today I want to talk about the outreach of a smaller Church.
As a believer in Jesus I feel I am commanded to share the gospel of Jesus with the whole world. I take that command seriously as a person but also as a Church leader. Now, I also believe there is no one way to share our faith. That belief has led me to try everything I could to reach out and tell people about Jesus and the ministry of the Church I was leading. I have held revivals, put an ad in the phone book, held big events, done mailer cards, participated in community service and the list could go on and on. Some of these have been a great success, we brought people in the door and introduced them to the Church and to Jesus. They returned and eventually gave their life to Jesus. Unfortunately some things did not work too. I once held a coffee night outreach and had set up for over 50 people to arrive to only have 6 people show up, none of whom every attended my Church.
With all that said, I have found that in a smaller Church there is one form of outreach that always works. It is the single best way to share the ministry of the Church and introduce people to Jesus. In fact, I think this might have greater impact in a small town than anything else the Church can do.
What is this magic outreach system? WORD OF MOUTH.
Small Churches in small towns grow when people start talking about their Church. I would take it a step further and say that many other events have had success only because people invited their friends and family. I think that in a big city a Church needs to make a statement that says, “We are here, do not ignore us.” In a small town everyone knows the Church is there people just need to hear that they are invited to be a part of it.
The question for each one of us is very simple, “Am I telling people what is going on in the Church for the Lord, and then inviting people to come and be a part of it?” It is still the best way to reach people with the message of Jesus, especially in a small town.