The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Outreach Ministry in Your Church

Outreach ministry is one of the primary goals of any church and doesn’t require a lot to get started. This common practice helps churches spread God’s word and share his love. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of outreach ministry you can have and how to start one in your church.

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The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Outreach Ministry in Your Church

outreach ministry

Outreach is one of the primary goals of any church. Churches participate in outreach ministries to share God’s word and how his love can benefit others’ lives. This article discusses the types of outreach ministry you can have and how to start one in your church.

  1. What is an Outreach Ministry, and Why is It Important?
  2. 5 Types of Outreach Ministry That Your Church Can Have
  3. How to Start an Outreach Ministry in Your Church
  4. 3 Ideas to Encourage More Interest & Participation in Your Outreach Ministry

What is an Outreach Ministry?

Outreach ministry is a common practice that helps a church spread God’s word and share his love with the community and the world at large. It remains a critical part of most churches, however, doesn’t require a lot to get started.

Churches can do this by sharing stories and teaching lessons from the bible. They can also share his love by living by his example. Jesus showed his love throughout the Gospels. The tale of Jesus sharing loaves and fishes with his followers addresses his desire for us to reach out and support the community.

The purpose of an outreach ministry

Churches can share God’s love in many ways. Before you decide what types of outreach ministry to include, you must research and learn what your community needs. Every town in the United States has one or more churches, but each region has different concerns.

Some of the more common issues we see affecting neighborhoods include:

  • Poverty
  • Drug addiction
  • Homelessness
  • Access to public transportation
  • Crime
  • School quality
  • Racism
  • No access to doctors and hospitals
  • unavailability of high-speed internet
  • No grocery stores

Some neighborhoods are struggling with many or even all of these. Your church is responsible for learning what issues affect those in your church and the surrounding community.

Once you know what issues need your help, churches have several ways to support their community.

  • Reach out to imprisoned, hospitalized, and home-bound individuals.
  • Send out surveys or have one-on-one conversations with church members to understand their concerns.
  • Teach God’s word.
  • Lead by example and live a Godly life.
  • Provide services and goods to needy populations.
  • Connect with nonprofit organizations in the area.

Depending on how your church chooses to minister, it may cost your church little money. There are several ways to fundraise for these ministries. We have written an article to help you get started with ideas.

5 Types of Outreach Ministry That Your Church Can Have

1. Direct evangelism

God’s followers must prepare all for Jesus’s return. Followers teach and share God’s word with other Christians and those who don’t know him. Christians take this responsibility to heart and live every day of their lives with this in mind.

Churches participating in direct evangelism spread God’s word and seek an immediate response. Activities included in direct evangelism are preaching, Sunday school classes, streaming services, etc.

The Total Member Involvement is a full-scale evangelistic initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, working to change how people view evangelism.

church outreach ministry

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2. World missions

Christians learn about people in countries like China, Russia, or North Korea being forced into hiding their faith. This entices action as people fear it could happen anywhere. World missions send disciples worldwide to preach, teach, and support these individuals in any way possible.

Many churches regularly collect funds for mission activities during regular services and with external campaigns. Here’s an example of a fundraising campaign to help Christians in China.

what is outreach ministry

3. Outreach ministries to the poor and homeless

Outreach is more than just teaching and sharing his word. Jesus also expects his followers to lead by example and provide charity to those who need it most. That is why many churches are safe locations for homeless individuals, the hungry, and needy families who need help with clothes, books, and other items.

Families with children made up 30% of the homeless population in 2020. Homeless children are in greater danger of hunger, health problems, and poor education. Many homeless families are single mothers who left abusive homes and cannot find a safe home for their children.

Churches can help these families by providing a secure location, feeding the homeless, providing free preschool and after-school care for parents, and more.

Dallas International Street Church helps the homeless with food and shelter until they’ve learned the skills to become self-sufficient.

ministry outreach

4. Prison ministry

The general public and churches often ignore the prison population, but these men and women can benefit from outreach ministries in many ways.

Many in prison feel isolated and distraught over their situation and may be more open to God’s teaching than before. Others suffer from addiction and other debilitating health issues and need the support of those who lived through it before. Your church can build a group of prison missionaries and schedule regular visits.

5. Senior ministry

The youngest Baby Boomers are hitting their sixties. Within the next decade, they’ll all be old enough to receive medicare and social security. As the largest generation ages, more services will be needed, and churches are in the best position to help.

Churches that start a senior ministry can provide transportation for seniors, deliver food, and provide other services that make seniors’ lives easier.

The Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church has included several ministries, one of which is a senior ministry to reach and support the seniors in the community.

outreach ministry

How to Start an Outreach Ministry in Your Church

1. Start with a plan

Planning your outreach ministry before you begin will help start you off on the right foot. Before taking tangible steps, you must better understand the community’s needs and your ability to help.

Once those basic steps are finalized, you can create a strategic plan and build a team to help carry it out.

2. Create a leadership committee

You should never start an outreach ministry alone. Creating a team can help you come up with creative and unique answers to any problems that may come up and make it easier to follow through on your plans.

Team members can include your church’s members and other parishioners. In the beginning, you should meet with church leadership and include them in your search for volunteers.

You may also want to form partnerships with external nonprofit organizations and social organizations.

3. Understand who you want to help

Your church may have the best intentions, but without truly understanding who needs your help, you may make terrible mistakes that have unexpected impacts. This is where partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and social groups can come in handy.

These groups will have more resources and experience dealing with a specific issue and population. They will help you lead the way when you have questions or concerns.

4. Determine how you can help

Your church’s outreach ministry can use spiritual, personal, financial, and other material resources. If you have a location that isn’t used during most of the week, you can support other community groups and nonprofit organizations by providing free or affordable rental space. Many churches do this with homeless organizations and addiction groups.

5. Fundraise to help your community

To be able to meet some needs such as feeding homeless people or helping poor kids with education, etc., you’ll need to raise money. The best way to do this in this world of technology is to adopt online fundraising methods. Check out how Donorbox has been helping thousands of churches accept online tithes and offerings with utmost ease and effectiveness –

You can start a recurring donation program in your church and ask members to donate a few dollars to this program every month to help your outreach ministry.

During your Sunday services, ask attendees to text to give. Anyway, most people do not carry cash anymore. Giving them an easy and fast way to make a donation would be appreciated.

Donorbox Text-to-Give is a quick and powerful solution for churches. All you have to do is share a unique campaign code and the texting number with your attendees. They text the code to the number. In turn, they receive a link to a mobile-friendly donation page. There they can easily make an online donation. Repeating the donation would be even easier. No need for opening the donation page again. Here’s how it works –

outreach ministry

Explore Donorbox Text-to-Give

You should also enable peer-to-peer fundraising for your church outreach ministry. Your members and volunteers as well as staff members can help you raise funds with their own fundraising pages. This helps boost donations and support to meet an urgent need in the community.

6. Promote your outreach ministry

Your church must promote your outreach ministry to encourage participation. An easy way to do this is by developing a webpage for each ministry and including posts and updates in Sunday welcome flyers, emails, and social media accounts.

You can also create signs and flyers to post around your church and community. Finally, you should always include an update on outreach ministry for your congregation during weekend services.

3 Ideas to Encourage More Interest & Participation in Your Outreach Ministry

As you form your outreach ministry, there are a few ways to encourage more interest and participation.

1. Join other churches

Outreach ministries can reach more people if you join other churches to carry out your plans. Each church can bring new members, leadership, and resources to support the group’s efforts.

Churches can fundraise together and on their own to raise money for the ministry. Ask other churches if they have someone on their team who can help you raise more funds. They may have prior experience with peer-to-peer fundraising and It’s also an excellent way to connect with their networks. It will boost your ministry’s outreach and help receive more donations.

Donorbox Peer-to-Peer will help you get started in a few minutes. You can create a peer-to-peer campaign and invite your supporters from the tool. You can also keep it open to people to choose to fundraise for your ministry. All donations from all peer campaigns go to your original campaign. It is super easy and convenient for you as well as your fundraisers.

When you involve and engage the whole community, they feel more at one with your ministry and its work.

2. Make it a part of your church membership

Most outreach ministries need financial resources to continue. The best source for this funding is the members of your church.

Add an additional membership tier to your online membership page. Let members know that they can give to your ministry and enable you to continue the good work in the community.

Have your leadership talk about this new membership tier, any benefits that come with it, and how it helps spread God’s word or people in need. See how Kabogoza Gospel Ministry does it using Donorbox Memberships.

outreach ministry

3. Reach out to the local media

People may not understand the needs of your community until a larger story captures their attention. If your outreach ministry appears in the news or as a trend on social media, you can use that as a way to promote your work and raise funds.

Reach out to the local media and ask if they can do a story on how your ministry is striving to help the community. Let them know about your work, who all are involved, and how you’ve created some impact already.

A piece of news of this kind on the television or an article in the local newspaper will surely grab many eyes. Remember to share a way they can connect with your church, be involved, and help.

Final Thoughts

Church ministries can impact your local community or followers worldwide. Each church has a responsibility and the ability to make a significant difference in the world.

Whether your church’s strengths lie in your ability to form partnerships with other churches and organizations in your community or in raising substantial amounts online, you can find ways to spread God’s love with your outreach ministry.

As you work to strengthen your ministries and raise more funds to help your community, Donorbox is there to help! 50,000+ organizations including churches across 96 countries are using our simple-to-use features to accept online donations and manage donors. These features include Recurring Donations, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, Memberships, Text-to-Give, Events, QuickDonate, Donor Management, and more.

Donorbox Premium has been designed specifically to help you take your fundraising to the next level! Have expert industry knowledge, guidance, and technical help at your fingertips at all times. Pricing is personalized as per the needs of every organization. Learn more.

Explore the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog and read insightful church fundraising blogs. Additionally, get downloadable resources, fundraising tips and ideas, and excellent guides to help boost your fundraising and donor management efforts. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a curated list of the best Donorbox resources in your inbox.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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