Taking Every Opportunity

Welcome to 42 Great Outreach Ideas

These ideas are all now posted. Some are short, some expand on ideas appearing elsewhere on this website and some are very full. Idea41 gives full bibliographies for all the sections of Taking Every Opportunity. If you would like to discuss any of these ideas or share your own please do get in touch. Email […]

Idea1 PRAYER WALKING

This is possibly the most significant idea in this collection. To prepare the ground for outreach by prayer. Here is a simple guide to Prayer Walking. We do not have to be in a church building for God to answer our prayers. We do not need to be on our knees or have our eyes […]

Idea3 “PRAYING FOR YOU”

When we care for other people and listen carefully to their needs and aspirations, then we will naturally begin to pray for them. “Praying for you” simply encourages us to TELL people we are praying for them and INVITE them to suggest subjects for prayer. We can by pray for specific individuals, peer groups or […]

Idea4 “GRILL THE VICAR!”

Choose an interesting topic. Arrange a date with the Minister or another church leader. Invite half a dozen or a dozen friends round for morning coffee, afternoon tea, evening nibbles, or arrange to meet in a coffee shop, or a local hostelry, in order to discuss the chosen topic. Use suitable “Grill the Vicar” invitation […]

Idea6 “MEET JESUS” DVD COURSE

A relaxed gathering to explore the truth about Jesus Christ through watching parts of a suitable video and then discussing anything the participants would like to talk about. We have used Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth (starring Robert Powell) as Jesus but you could equally use e.g. “The Jesus Video”, “The Miracle Maker” or even “Jesus […]

Idea7 “THE GOOD LIFE CAFE” (on church premises or in a local café or pub)

OVERVIEW: A café style evening in the church aimed at our existing fringe with worthwhile activities designed to build relationships. Thursday or Friday evenings open 7.00-9.30 pm focal point activity at 7.30 or 8 pm. Monthly on published programme / invitation cards. AIMED AT:  church members and congregation bringing their neighbours and friends; fringe contacts […]

Idea8 AN “OUTWARD-FACING” CHURCH NEWSLETTER

Church newsletters carry a cost in money, time and energy. How much better to produce something not only for church members but aimed primarily at the many more fringe contacts and the wider community. A monthly or seasonal “outward-facing” church newsletter is an invaluable tool for outreach. Containing gospel messages and Bible teaching, prayers and […]

Idea11 “WELLSPRINGS” COURSE FOR LADIES

Wellsprings is an eight-week course of refreshment and pampering, looking at issues women face today from a Christian perspective. The Wellsprings Book and DVD will help you to offer a Wellsprings course at your church for women in your community. Developed and written by Rev Leesa McKay, Wellsprings offers a ‘pre-Alpha’ evangelism course for churches to […]

Idea13 WORK TOGETHER WITH OTHER CHURCHES

Very many outreach and evangelism events and activities work better if churches cooperate in them. Here are just a few of the kinds of opportunities churches in a locality can grasp better by working together and few could achieve on their own. A Christmas message from the churches to the 10,000 people gathered as the […]

Idea14 WEBSITES ESPECIALLY FOR INQUIRERS AND SEEKERS

As well as including suitable material on your own church website you may wish to point Contacts, Inquirers and Seekers to some of the websites specifically created to present Jesus and the Christian Faith. Here are some I am happy to recommend. Rejesus www.rejesus.co.uk Christian Enquiry Agency www.christianity.org.uk Christianity Explored http://www.christianityexplored.org/ CrossCheck from Beaconlight http://www.crosscheck.org.uk/ […]

Idea15 A CHURCH BOOKSTALL AND/OR LENDING LIBRARY

Christian books and booklets are “written testimony” of the many and varied ways Christians have experienced God. It is good to have a CHURCH BOOKSTALL to serve Christian interests but it is especially important to have titles which will be helpful to not-yet-Christians, and maybe to select and promote those separately in contexts where non-yet-Christians […]

Idea16 BOOKLETS AND LEAFLETS TO GIVE AWAY

Churches will have their own preferences for evangelistic booklets and leaflets they can give away to visitors and folk with particular questions. Many like to invite guests to take a booklet as a response to an appeal, for example at a baptism service or an evangelistic event. Some use a booklet as a way of […]

Idea17 FILMS AND DVDS

DVD players at home and multimedia projectors in church make it easy to host Film Nights or Film Teas. The aims can be purely social, entertainment and building relationships. Or the film or television programme can be used more deliberately as a discussion starter. Either way, time for conversations is always enhanced with cake. The […]

Idea18 MAKE DISCIPLES

As well as focussing explicitly on equipping Christians to share their faith churches should all the time be encouraging believers to live a life of discipleship. The most contagious Christians are those who are walking close to Christ! There are so many books and DVDs on the topic and out of my last Sabbatical in […]

Idea20 PROPHETIC EVANGELISM

A number of authors rightly suggest that we should be open to God the Holy Spirit inspiring and guiding our evangelism through spiritual gifts such as prophecy, discernment and words of knowledge and wisdom. In particular this is a feature of the ministries of evangelists (Baptist) Chris Duffet in Big Hearted (Gilead Books 2012) and […]

Idea21 INQUIRERS’ COURSES

Some Inquirer’s courses are much more accessible than others. In Evangelism which way now? Mike Booker and Mark Ireland evaluate contemporary strategies for evangelism. Courses for Inquirers like Alpha and Christianity Explored can be very helpful but both are long and demand significant prior understanding. Emmaus Nurture from Church House Publishing is more accessible. Courses […]

Idea23 “MIND THE GAP” COURSE BY AGAPE

Available from http://shop.agape.org.uk/mindthegap.html which also gives many more details. This 6-session DVD and discussion course comes somewhere between an Inquirers’ Course and training in personal evangelism. It helps churches and small groups think through principles of outreach and evangelism in the light of the gap between churches and the communities we are seeking to serve […]

Idea24 THE JESUS VIDEO PROJECT

Another excellent resource from Agape. The publicity says, “The Jesus Video Project is a simple, proven way for churches to bring the story of Jesus to every household in their community. Over 2,000 churches in the UK have used this low-cost strategy to make meaningful contact with homes in two steps: Offering a DVD of […]

Idea25 YOUR OWN CHURCH WEBSITE

One half of all internet activity via mobile phones is on the one website – Facebook. Without a church Facebook Group and a church website your church is invisible, particularly to the generation of under 35s who are tragically under-represented in church anyway. The vast majority of first-time visitors to our church of all ages […]

Idea26 HEALING ON THE STREETS

Healing on the Streets is a simple, but beautiful way, to reach out to the lost and hurting on the streets of your town or city. It enables you to connect with your community every week, powerfully expressing God’s love in the market place, whatever the weather. We simply invite people to sit on chairs […]

Idea30 WORSHIPPING OUT OF DOORS

If your premises permit, hold a service outside sometimes. Jesus taught the crowds out of doors and when we surround ourselves with walls and a roof we shut out the glories of God’s Creation. Alternatively you could make arrangements for an event in a local park or on your High Street!  

Idea32 MEALS WITH A MESSAGE

We want our Contacts to experience overwhelmingly generous hospitality. Popular choices are anything from a Men’s Breakfast or a Women’s Breakfast, to an Austerity Lunch, to a Barbecue or a Pizza Party or a Curry Night, from Coffee and Desserts to a lavish evening Dinner. The message can come from a prominent speaker, entertainer or […]

Idea33 LABYRINTHS

One ancient devotional aid has become very popular with this generation: the Labyrinth. Youth for Christ offers resources at http://www.yfc.co.uk/shop/labyrinth-journey-cd.html and much more background is available at http://www.labyrinth.org.uk/ Similarly, although not necessarily a form of spirituality which Baptists are used to, “Stations of the Cross” and different forms of Icons can still be very helpful […]

Idea34 “ALTERNATIVE WORSHIP”

In recent years many new (and some very traditional) forms of reflective and participative worship have spread into mainstream church life. From Celtic liturgies and Taizé chants to silent or guided meditations, or using music and dance, art and sculpture, worship is expressed in very many forms. And many of these spiritual activities are actually […]

Idea35 “SEEKER-SENSITIVE SERVICES” or “GUEST SERVICES”

Churches will want to build periodic evangelistic events and activities into their programmes. The Barna research indicated that more than a quarter of practising Christians believe that “attending (a) church service(s) (other than weddings and funerals)” had positively influenced them in becoming a Christian. Highlights will be services of Believer’s Baptism which will normally surely […]

Idea36 USING ARTS AND CRAFTS

  Churches have a reputation for flower arranging, harvest displays, banners and exhibitions of paintings and photography. Many churches have groups where these kinds of activities and suitable refreshments give wonderful opportunities to talk about Jesus. One particularly popular approach in recent years has been Messy Church. See Idea40

Idea37 TAKING EVERY OPPORTUNITY AT TODDLER GROUPS

These fringe folk can be the principal focus for the church’s evangelistic events and activities and well as the primary audience for a regular outward-facing church newsletter – see Idea8. Some groups include telling Bible stories, singing Christian songs and some even a Thought for the Day spot. Art and craft activities can be based […]

Idea38 WHAT CAN WE GIVE AWAY?

We can give away FREE GIFTS to contacts and visitors to particular special events. Could be the gift of a New Testament, or a DVD such as Viz a Viz “More to Life” and “More to Christmas”. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has produced a number of excellent DVDs cheap enough to give away. We […]

Idea39 SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES OF OUTREACH

Some fundamental principles about outreach emerged particularly from works such as Sowing, Reaping, Keeping (L.Singlehurst) and Finding Faith Today (J.Finney). They have been assumed as the basis for the approaches to evangelism and outreach in “Taking Every Opportunity – Conversations About Jesus”. It may help some people if I spell out some of these underlying […]

Idea40 AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT – CAFÉ CHURCH, MESSY CHURCH AND OTHER FRESH EXPRESSIONS OF CHURCH

For more than 20 years Christians of all backgrounds have been attempting adventurous outreach in forms which have come to be known as Fresh Expressions or Emerging Church. A Church Army study in 2013 identified 21 different varieties in Anglican churches, 12 of which are discussed in full in the earlier book Mission Shaped Church […]

Idea42 ISN’T IT OBVIOUS?

Why “42”? Ask your not-yet-Christian friends, “What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?” Be prepared to share with them the answer you have found in Jesus Christ. You will understand exactly what all that is referring to if you are familiar with the radio and television series, books or film of Douglas […]