Archive for December 2009

What’s in a name? A simple change can make a big difference.

December 20, 2009

Sometimes people avoid serving on a church’s evangelism or outreach committee because they fear witnessing to their faith. You can overcome that fear with training and experience, however perhaps the word ‘evangelism’ itself scares people away. Effective sharing of the Gospel (evangelism = telling the Good News) usually happens as a believer builds a relationship with an unbeliever. So the church committee is not necessarily the group that does the work, but empowers all members of the congregation to share their faith with family, friends and the community.

There’s nothing sacred about the name ‘evangelism committee’ so why not consider a ‘re-branding’ as the marketers say. Call it the ‘community connection team’ (most people today don’t like the word committee) or faith engagement group. I’m sure there are lots of ideas out there. In a simple name-change, you also establish a focused direction. The goal becomes creating opportunities for members to share their faith perhaps through servant events, Friendship Sunday, special concerts – ways to engage the community in the life of the church. And you can define the various communities: active members; inactives; community-at-large; youth; seniors etc.

Your congregation exists as a community of believers within your larger community. Make 2010 the year you discover new ways to touch the lives of those around you with the love of Christ.


What to do with leftovers

December 17, 2009

Often congregations find they have extra copies of church publications like The Canadian Lutheran. LCC’s mission executive, Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, takes the extras and leaves two or three copies of the magazine on a table in the lobby of his apartment building. By the next day they are gone. He then places another two or three and they to disappear. He suggests if you do this type of outreach not to leave a large number of copies as they are more likely to draw the attention of the cleaners. He is now going to begin including information about a nearby LCC congregation inside the magazines.

You can do a similar type of outreach with Project Connect booklets from Lutheran Hour Ministries ( These booklets focus on topical issues such as coping with cancer, divorce, depression and parenting and provide a Lutheran perspective from God’s Word. There is a place on the booklet to add your church information or even your own information if you want to connect one-2-one with those who pick up the material.

Community outreach tips for Christmas

December 3, 2009

Community Outreach Tips for Christmas
from Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping to Share newsletter

If you haven’t yet made plans to connect with your community this Christmas, now is no time to dawdle. We will help you along by providing the ideas so you can focus on gathering your team and resources to quickly engage for Christmas outreach!

Bring church to the community.
In a community gathering area
-perform a Christmas production.
-conduct your Christmas Eve Service.

Provide Senior Citizens with a ride
-to a lights display.
-Christmas shopping.

Go Caroling
-in low income areas
-on a street corner or out front of a store.
-Hand out hot chocolate and candy canes.

at senior centers.
-Bring the children to sing.
-Bring Christmas cookies.

Offer give-aways on college campuses.
-Hot chocolate
-Christmas cookies
-Candy canes
-Gas cards to drive home

Offer free daycare for community parents to Christmas shop (if licensed).

Bless Business people.
Surprise employees by delivering a basket or stocking of Christmas goodies to be shared by the staff. Include a card that says, “Merry Christmas (or Blessed Christmas)! This is a busy time of year for you. We want you to know how much we appreciate you and to show you God’s love in a practical way!”

Give away Christmas trees.
A week before Christmas, contact Christmas tree lot owners around the area. A few days before Christmas, they may be willing to give away their remaining trees. Deliver these to financially stretched single parent families.

Utilize witnessing tools to spread the Christmas message.
Give out nails or candy cane ornaments with the Gospel message attached and an invitation to your Christmas event.

Perform random acts of kindness in the community.
-Shovel snow for the congregation’s neighbors.
-Provide free gift-wrapping at the mall. Depending on your mall, you may have to rent the space.
-Feed the homeless.

Christmas invitations

December 1, 2009

During any year a congregation sees a lot of visitors or people on the fringe who attend special events. They know where the church is and may even have relatives who are members. Why not invite them all back for Christmas services?

The church will have records of those who were part of baptisms, marriages, funerals and confirmations. And don’t forget all the families who attended your VBS!

Many congregations see outside groups use the building. Invite those people too. Ask the leaders to distribute invitations at AA meetings, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides, nursery school, kids programs—all those who know who you are and where you are.

At Christmas or any other time, we know that a personal invitation is the best way for people to become involved!