Why is Local Outreach So Hard? 20 Reasons:
As church attendance declines, we must look at our communities as a mission field. Why don’t we? Here’s some reasons, assumptions, & excuses I’ve heard, said, felt as a church leader:
- As churches, we have turned inward & focused on campus.
- As churches, we have “hired it done” by church staff instead of equipping people for the work of local outreach.
- Witnessing means inviting people like me to my church.
- The compelling call to “Go” (Matthew 28:19-20) begins at the borders of our own country.
- Assumption: “Everybody has a church already.”
- Assumption: “They know where we are if they need us.”
- Assumption: “The needy around here get plenty of help from the government.”
- Assumption: “We don’t have enough money.”
- Assumption: “The city won’t let us share the gospel.”
- As church leaders, we feel tension between “Go. It’s about the people out there” & “Come. What’s going on in here is vital.”
- It takes a lot of energy to maintain the on campus ministry.
- If we challenge people to reach out & serve in non-traditional ways they may go to another church.
- Local outreach = Advertising.
- Excuse: “Our area has some dangerous neighborhoods.”
- Excuse: “We will one day.”
- Excuse: “We tried that already.”
- Excuse: “We might get taken advantage of.”
- Excuse: “My people are not ready.”
- Sinful unspoken assumption: “We don’t really want ‘those people’ coming to our church.”
- Sinful unspoken assumption: “It won’t help our bottom line.”
What other reasons, excuses, assumptions could you add to this list? How does your church reach out to your local community?