The Saturday before Mother’s day is a great time for your church to buy a bunch of  carnations and do a Free Mother’s Day Carnation giveaway. Try dividing into different teams to go to different areas of your community to pass these out. In the past We have sent teams to businesses, nursing homes, hospitals, sporting events and parks. We have even sent teams that go to traffic lights and give flowers to people in their cars when they stop at a red light.

IMG_0243

IMG_0244

flower giveaway

When we started this outreach we focused on women, but we quickly realized that men and kids get as excited receiving a flower to give to their wife or mom as moms do. We coach our teams to simply say “We are serving our community today to show God’s love in a practical way by giving out free carnations, do you want a red or yellow carnation?”

This outreach will quickly become a favorite of your church and one that people look forward to serving at year after year.

IMG_0245

.

IMG_0246

IMG_6147

Last post I talked about how we can start setting up introverts to succeed in reaching others for Christ, If you have not read that post I suggest you give it a quick read before you check out this post. You can find it here:

Introverted Outreach

Here are 5 great Kindness Outreaches that allow introverts to thrive and grow in their boldness while serving others.

1. $1 Car Wash

photo 3 photo 1

This Kindness Outreach is where we hold up big signs that read “$1 Car Wash”. People are already thinking that they are getting a great deal, yet when they pull in, we wash their car for free and give them a dollar to remind them that Jesus’ love is free and it just has to be accepted like they are accepting the dollar. A majority of the team just washes and dries while only a few talk to the people we are serving. 

2. Business Window Washing

photo 2 IMG_0804

Go get some paper towels and Windex and simply go to businesses explaining , “Hey we are washing windows for free today at all the businesses on this strip, and we are not taking any donations” once they agree to letting you wash their windows, have your team get to work.

Looking at this Picture it is obvious that God is working through these children to serve and reach people even though most of them are introverts at this stage in their life. The point here is if they were pushed too far too fast, it would leave a bad taste of what outreach is in their mouth. However, these kids are growing by serving and we have had instances where kids become bold enough to start praying with the people we are serving and even in some instances sharing their faith!

3. Leaf Raking 

photo leaf raking outreach 3

This Outreach is best done in late winter and early spring when there are leaves on the ground. Only 2 or 3 people are required to knock on the door and explain to homeowners that we are leaf raking yards in their neighborhood for free. It takes the other 10 people to do the raking and bagging.

4. Roadside Drink Giveaway

free drink 5 free drink pic

On a warm day take gatorades and waters to a busy red light and have your team hold up Free Drink Signs. Have people simply walk up to the cars at the red-light, and with a big smile simply say, “Would you like a Free water or Free Gatorade?”

At first this outreach sounds a bit bold and scary for some. However introverts make for great sign holders and there is always a need for team members to refill the bags with drinks.

5. Apartment Trash Takeout

photo      photo

Most apartments have centralized dumpsters and the people living there are required to take their own trash out to the dumpster. Have your team of 4 or 5 people go door to door saying “We are taking everyone’s trash out for free today just to show you that Jesus loves you in a practical way.” they will almost always bring you their trash and you can give them a replacement bags.

Introverts love this outreach because their job can simply be taking the trash to the dumpster while the other team members can hand the talking and saying quick 10 second prayers with the people that they are serving.

As you can see all of these outreaches consist of the same formula. 2 or 3 talk, the rest of the team serves. God has done some amazing things in the life of introverts on our teams. We believe by not trying to push introverts too fast, but by setting them up to succeed in reaching out through serving makes all the difference. This will change an inward focused church into an outward focus church that is a dangerous tool in advancing God’s kingdom.

One of the biggest lies the enemy tells us is that we are not qualified to reach out. This lie seems to be prevalent among introverts. When people who would identify more with introverted characteristics think of outreach, they mainly think of people who have characteristics of an extrovert. This lie permeates in their mind, and it is easy for introverts to say, “Outreach/evangelism is just not for me….that is for extraverted people who like that kind of stuff” This; however, can not be further from the truth and church leaders need to start designing outreaches so that introverts and extroverts can equally thrive in outward focused ministry.

Let’s start with this: Outreach can be a very scary word! In fact in my time I have found that about 75% of Christians dislike the idea of doing anything outwardly focused. This I believe is because we have the wrong view and definition of what outreach is. We think of outreach as either a preacher traveling around spitting out Fire and Brimstone to a congregation or we think of the crazies that stand on street corners and yell at people to get saved. I like to define outreach as this:

Outreach = Anything that you say and do that draws not yet believers to Christ

Lets remember that Jesus told us that No one can come to Him, except those who God draws (john 6:44). This automatically takes the responsibility off of us and on God to draw people to Christ.However, with that said, God uses us as tools to reach people with the Gospel and no one is exempt from that calling. Now we can understand it is not us who saves people, but it is God who uses us in outreach (anything that is said and done that draws not yet believers to Christ) to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Keeping this in mind and having a revamped definition of what outreach is, it opens the door for everyone to have endless opportunities and ideas for us to reach out and transform our community. We believe that through serving people with no strings attached just to let them know that God loves them is an extremely effective way for God to use us to draw people to Christ. Furthermore the idea of serving speaks to and motivates introverts. I have also found in my time that the same 75% of Christians that disliked the idea of outreach, like the word and idea of serving. So lets combine the two!

What i mean by this, is that you should design outreaches where there are those on your team who serve without speaking, and those on your team who are up front, telling people that you are serving them with no strings attached because that is what Jesus would do today. For instance when we go to businesses to wash windows only a few people out of a team of 10-15 will go and tell the business owners that we are washing windows to display God’s love in a practical way with no strings attached. When the store agrees to let us wash their widows, the entire team gets washing and when we are finished the same few people go in and give the person they spoke with an outreach card and offer to say a quick 10 second prayer with them. Everyone else on the team played an important part in allowing the “few” to speak and pray with people by simply washing the windows of the business.

IMG_0804

IMG_0805

This is something that we have found introverts identify with and thrive in: Reaching out through serving!

The pictures below of a free leaf raking team are a great example of this. Notice that everyone is simply serving by leaf raking, while one person took the time to speak, reach out, and pray with the homeowner of the yard that the team was leaf raking.

photophoto 2

The truth is that God wants and can use anyone no matter who they are, what their age is, or if they identify as an introvert or extrovert. In fact we have seen God grow people from almost vomiting at the idea of sharing Christ with others into being bold Gospel presenters that I trust to share Christ with anyone in any situation. Don’t push your introverts too fast. Give them a towel and some window cleaner, or a rake and some bags and let them know they are a valuable tool that God can use even if they are not speaking or praying with people. I will guarantee you they will grow in their boldness through serving others!

In my next article I will write about which outreaches are best for introverts to serve on.

Valentines Day can be extremely lonely for some people. We like to go around passing out packets with Valentines day candy and an outreach card packed in them to businesses to let people know that God loves and cares for them in a practical way. We usually simply tell people what we are doing, thank them for working on a holiday, and after we give out the candy packs we ask if we can say a quick 10 second prayer for those we are serving.

One lady that we met on this outreach reached out to us and said that she actually threw away the candy due to her diet, but she remembered the kindness and 10 second prayer.

This is a profound statement. Many people are reminded that they are alone on valentines day, but when we step out to love through simple acts of kindness done with no strings attached, even if those we are serving aren’t wanting what we are materially offering, God’s kindness and love moves through us to reach those that are hurting and lonely.

A friend of mine that has been doing Kindness Outreach around Waco, Texas lead a group that went out around midnight on valentines night last year and gave out brownies to those having to work. He said this created a big splash in the community. You can read about that here: Brazos Meadow’s Church Valentine’s Outreach Recap. Love that idea.

What you Need:

Small Plastic Bag

Valentines Day Candy

Connection Card

Where To Go:

Businesses

Parks

Apartment Complexes

 

 

All around the continent people gather together to watch the Super Bowl. In fact research tells us that 1/3rd of America watches the Big Game and it is growing increasingly popular year by year in Canada and Mexico. Super Bowl Sunday has become a pseudo holiday and a great opportunity for your church to connect with the community. My favorite outreach to do on the day before or the day of the Super Bowl is to go to apartment complexes, duplexes, or neighborhoods where the houses are close together, going door to door giving away free soda and popcorn (or whatever is popular in your context). We coach our teams to knock on the doors, and when people answer say, “Hey guys we know its Super Bowl weekend, so we are showing Christ’s love in a practical way by giving out free soda and free popcorn, so how many do you need?” Our teams give as many cans and packs of popcorn as there are people at the Super Bowl party. We have also done this outreach simply giving away 2 liters.

We have seen this outreach touch many people. I still remember doing this outreach as a junior high student and seeing a man our team served and prayed for at church the next weekend. A friend of mine, who is a pastor, told me that a lady they reached on a similar outreach came to their church gathering 4 years later, with the empty can of free soda exclaiming how powerful this gesture of kindness was to her. This same woman ended up Surrendering her life to Christ and became a staff member at the church in which served her in a practical way.

One of the beautiful things about reaching out and serving in practical ways is how cheaply your outreaches can be. This is good news for most church planters, churches just getting outreach started, or even families looking to serve in creative ways in their community. Kindness Outreach can be done on a budget, and still be very effective. Here are some of our favorite cheap or even free Kindness Outreaches:

1. Trash Takeout  

This idea is simple. Go to where people have to take their trash out to a centralized dumpster and offer to do it for them. This is best accomplished at apartment complexes where there are hundreds of units, many stairs, and several centralized dumpsters. Go door to door explaining that your team is showing God’s love in a practical way by taking everyone’s trash out for free today. The best part about this outreach is that this costs your team/church absolutely nothing. We got to the point that after we took someone’s trash out we would give them a replacement trash bag, but even those are super cheap.

If you live in an area that doesn’t do trash take out like this, consider going to parks or parking lots with your team and start picking up trash. Get some cheap vests or shirts that say “Kindness in Progress” for your team to wear. This is sure to get people asking who you are and why you are doing this.

2. Free Car Wash

Washing cars for free is another great outreach you can do on a budget. The initial buying of hoses, towels, soap, signs, etc. might seem a little pricey, but once you have bought these supplies, they will last a long time. For this outreach, have it arranged with a local business (maybe somewhere you have seen carwashes done before) and explain that your church wants to do a car wash for free, without taking donations, as a way to show kindness to the community. We have found most businesses, especially the ones that know you from outreach, are excited about this new twist of a church washing cars without asking for something in return.

If you live in a warm weather climate, I would suggest doing this outreach as much as you can which will make the initial start up cost of buying the materials even cheaper.

3. Window Washing

Business window washing is a staple outreach in our church plant. You can serve 100’s of businesses for very little cost. For this outreach we keep it simple by using cheap window glass cleaner and paper towels. That’s it! You can alway get carried away by buying large squeegees, ladders, cloths, etc. but we truly believe in this case, less is more.

We simply go into businesses and tell them that we are cleaning all of the windows in the business park for free to show God’s love in a practical way. We make sure we tell them this is not for donations and simply ask if we can take the smudges off. Some businesses will so no, but most will say yes.

I’ll never forget the manager of a business who had his windows washed by us pulling me aside and saying, “There are a lot of churches that talk, but you guys SHOW!” What a powerful compliment that was.

4. Water/Coffee Giveaway

Water or Coffee Giveaway stations have become one of our favorite outreaches to do with our church. We have a great trail system that hundreds of people hike every day. This allows us to do water giveaways during the spring and summer, and coffee giveaways during the winter and fall. Water is of course cheaper than coffee; however, if you are needing to save money, you can always brew your own pot. Bus/train stops and parks are great places to try a water or coffee station as well.

5. Serve With Your City

One free way to make a big splash in your community is to help the city out with already planned events. Whether it is volunteering to pick up trash,  volunteering to set up, or simply manning booths, cities are always looking for volunteers to help out at city wide events.

Churches that do this overtime have seen God grant their church favor even in hostile cities from offering to serve with the city with no strings attached. Check out your community calendar and try to grab a coffee with the city’s volunteer coordinator. City wide events like festivals and trash pick up days are easy and free ways to serve with your city. Consider volunteering to do the job that no one else want to do.

 

The truth is that our culture has kicked Jesus out of his own Birthday Party. Christmas is no longer a time that the world celebrates Jesus’ birth, but has become a time of self indulgence, hording materials, and treating other people poorly. Christmas has become a politically correct holiday in which the word Christ is deemed offensive, and we are forced to say “Happy….whatever won’t offend you”

Many in the Christian circle have realized this and have tried to fight back. We have people that boycott buying presents, people that boycott businesses, people that Capitalize CHRIST in Christmas on every post to fight off the evil Xmas shorthand (even though the X  in Xmas means Christ). We have people that put up huge billboards that say JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!, and people that quite honestly have lost sight of the meaning of Christmas by trying to win it back for Christ.

I am convinced that one of the best ways for us as Christ Followers to show our not-yet believing communities that Christ is at the very center of the holiday is to serve in simple, yet practical ways with no strings attached, and to proclaim that Jesus cares for and loves all. 

 

Here are 3 outreaches to try during the holidays to accomplish this:

#1 Christmas Day Donut Giveaway

To really make a splash in our community we have to be willing to serve people on Christmas day. One of the best ways to do this is to deliver donuts to people having to work on the day of Christmas. Simply order a bunch of donuts and take boxes to where there are people that are working. Tell them that you wanted to remind them that God loves them and thank them for working on the holiday. Drop off the donuts with a connection card that says, ” Just for you just because… We hope this small gift brightens your day, there are no strings attached, we just wanted to let you know  that God loves you” and offer to say a quick 10 second prayer for them.

donut giveaway zanedonut giveaway

donut giveaway3

We have led and coached churches that have done this outreach on Christmas Eve @ 4pm & Christmas day @ 10am for years and it has become a favorite among everyone who participates. Families use this outreach to teach their kids that Christmas is not about us, but its about Christ and serving others. Furthermore, Businesses have told our teams that they wait eagerly to receive the donuts and prayers, and that they can always count on our teams to be there on Christmas Eve and Christmas day!

# 2 Free Gift Wrapping

Another great holiday outreach is to set up free gift wrapping booths in stores where people are buying presents for their loved ones. Find a business that will let you in and wrap. Usually privately owned businesses are the best candidates for this outreach instead of corporations. If you have the budget for it try renting a space in the mall and set up signs that say, “Free Gift Wrapping, No Donations Accepted”

free giftwrapping IMG_0981 IMG_0982

We coach churches to try to wrap both weekends before Christmas at the store they are serving at.  Some churches focus only on the Saturday before Christmas and some wrap every day from Black Friday to Christmas Eve! Find out what works best for you and just try it. We coach teams to wrap from open to close and have 3 people serving in 3 hour shifts. This outreach really speaks to people (especially husbands!) and is a super practical and fun way to serve others during the holidays!

free giftwrapping1 free giftwrapping2

# 3 Hot Coco Giveaway

Some of the best outreaches happen when we just love in simple ways to make sure people know that there is a God and He cares for them. A simple hot coco packet delivered door to door, to people having to work in the cold, or at a holiday parade is an easy and cheap way to share Christ’s love.

hot cocofullsizerender

Jesus ushered in his kingdom primarily through serving others and revealing who he was not just with his words, but with his acts of service. Again I am convinced that one way that we as believers will get our communities to celebrate Christ on Christmas is through simple acts of kindness done with great love during the holidays.