Read a couple of great blog posts from my friend Jonathan about failure. Then I read this in my devotional. I think God is trying to say something to me.
Failure provides the opportunity not only to humble the self, but also to be with the failure of others. If your life or mine were an untarnished success story, an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness, we might never come to understand the human heart.
The website is up for the Pipeline conference. The online registration is active. We are open for business.
I have been talking to quite a few children’s pastors the past few weeks and am starting to get very excited. I think we are going to be be building something different from the ground up and I am so glad to a small part of the amazing things God is going to do. I know that a lot of prayer and planning is going into this conference. I pray many youth and children’s workers will be ministered to.
If you have any questions email me: slu[email protected]
Check out the site. Pipelineconference.com
You thought Jim Carey was flexable. Check this guy out.
I think there are some very fundamental across the board mistakes we make when it comes to outreach.
1. Everyone else does it outreach – I fell into this one with VBS. I am not a VBS hater I just began to judge the effectiveness of what we do and VBS was not working for us. Our goal was to reach kids who don’t come to our kids church on Sunday. We ended up attracting kids from other churches. It was a huge financial and volunteer drain and most importantly it was robbing from Sunday morning.
2. Bait and switch – This is the huge event tons of fun, lights, music, excitement guests. Everyone has a great time many come back the following sunday to a so-so weekend experience. You baited them in and switched the product on them. I hate that when that happens. One of our values is constancy. I feel that in the long run a great weekend experience week in and week out will bring much more healthy growth.
3. Non-demographic outreach – You know this one. The all white starchy church doing a hip-hop concert the reach the kids. Only to yell at them for wearing jeans and playing their music to loud when they come to church the next week. There are many great churches in every town. Don’t be in competition and just be who God has called you to be. Reach the people that God is calling you to reach. If you are a white starchy church and God is calling you to reach out to the hip-hop community then do it. Don’t let trends and fads determine your outreach. Let God do it.
4. Failing to have the right success markers – This is a huge mistake we to often judge our success of an outreach event based on numbers of people who attended. Numbers are one marker but they can also deceive you into having a false sense of success. I know for Uptown and Mt. Zion our goal is to create life transforming environments that reach people far from God. We are not passionate about having the coolest church for all the people who are already saved to come to. We want to reach people who are not being reached right now. Success is not a numbers thing alone but is defined by a church that is healthy, growing and reaching all at the same time.
There are a ton of things you can do. I believe that what you do for outreach should be all about values.
What we don’t do.
Do I hate these things no not at all I just felt that they were robbing from the resources that we had to do what our values say are important to us.
Here is the basics of our outreach philosophy
1. Focus a lot of time and effort into the weekend – We do a lot of outreach focused stuff for the weekend. We want to reach people who don’t attend church somewhere many times special events draw primarily other christians.
2. Get people talking – Not falling in the trap of becoming gimmicky but do stuff that brings people – We are going to do “The Circus comes to Uptown” next summer I can’t wait. Clowns, real circus performers and an elephant. All during a weekend experience.
3. Get people to see what you do and what you value – We are going to be renting our newly renovated kids wing out for birthday parties as an outreach tool. We want families in our church to invite their neighbors to see our church and their kids to see Uptown and who knows maybe they will come see Uptown on a weekend.
Tomorrow outreach mistakes we make….