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.

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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”

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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!

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# 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.

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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.

Halloween is one of those nights that sets up perfectly to reach your community due to the excitement, plethora of families, and openness of free kindness that exists. Whether you serve your community consistently or If you have been wanting to start Kindness Outreach in your church, Halloween night outreaches are a great way to make a splash, get your feet wet, and create a buzz in your community. Here are 5 great Halloween Outreaches:

 

1. Glow Necklace/Bracelet Giveaway

For this outreach you just need to find a neighborhood that is extremely popular for kids and families to go trick or treating in. About 30 minutes before sunset, Take about 6 people per team, Grab a few tables, a couple signs that say Free Glow Sticks, a ton of outreach cards, anywhere from 300-2,000 glow sticks, and get ready to be swamped. Kids and families will start flocking to your Free Glow Stick tables. We buy all of the same color glow sticks (bright yellow) and coach our teams to simply say to families, “Would you like a free glow bracelet or free glow necklace”. We have found out that it is cheaper to just buy all glow bracelets and if they want a necklace we just connect two bracelets together to make a glow necklace.

Parents have come up to our teams during the outreaches and thanked us because when it gets dark, the glow necklaces help them keep track of their kids. On other outreaches people have asked our teams if we are the “Free Glow Stick Church”. It can be very easy to reach 1000’s of people in just 2 hours through this outreach and it has become one of the favorites of many churches and a way to identify that your church is committed to serving others in simple, yet practical ways.

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2. Reverse Trick or Treat

A fun way to reach people that are giving out candy on halloween night is to do what we call a Reverse Trick or Treat. The idea is to go to a neighborhood that there are a lot of houses giving out halloween candy, knock on doors, and instead of receiving candy, give something away to the people in the home instead.

We used to go home to home giving out dum dum suckers as our reverse trick or treat; however, we quickly realized that it is better to go door to door with something different than candy since they have an abundance of that. So now we coach teams to go door to door giving away popcorn packets and free red box promo codes glue dotted on the pop corn packets so those that we are serving can get a free red box movie on us. (see pic below.) We coach our teams to thank them for giving out candy to the community and ask if we can say a quick 10 second pray for them. God has allowed our teams to say prayers about everything from lost dogs to cancer right at the door step of the homes of the people we are serving. This outreach is a refreshing twist to trick or treating and is a great way for parents to teach kids about giving rather than receiving.

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3. Business Reverse Trick or Treating

There is nothing worse than having to work on Halloween night because you miss out on all the free candy!!! This simple adaption of our reverse trick or treat is a simple and effective way to serve employees of businesses working on halloween night. For this outreach all you need to do is pack some small bags of various candy, insert an outreach card, and go to an area of the city where businesses are still open. We coach our teams to enter businesses and say something like “Hey guys we know it stinks to work on Halloween night, so we wanted to bring you some free candy to show you God’s love in a practical way.” Sometimes if the business is busy we will just go to one person, ask them to get a count of employees and leave that many free bags of candy with them.

Our teams have been able to give out around  a 1000 of these free candy packs very quickly.

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4. Halloweenie Outreach

In the buzz and excitement of getting kids out the door and trick or treating, many families forget to eat dinner. This is where we come in. Find someone at your church who lives in a highly trafficked trick or treated neighborhood and send a team to their home with a grill, a couple tables, a few Free hot dog signs, drinks, and a bunch of hot dogs and condiments. As families pass by just simply tell them you are cooking free high quality hot dogs (we get the pure beef Hebrew Nationals) and everyone is welcome to them.

During this outreach our teams often get the comments from moms who tell us they completely forgot about dinner or that they are glad their kids are getting some protein to counteract the sugar coma that is surely to come later that night. Many times people that we are serving stick around so we can connect with them on a deeper level. They almost always ask, “who are you guys!!!”

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5. Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin Outreach

This outreach is as simple as going and buying a huge pumpkin, setting it on a table, with a sign that says, Guess The Weight Of The Pumpkin. When kids come up to the table, we give them 3 guesses, tell them higher or lower each time, and if they are within 5 pounds they receive a prize (its a good idea to let every kid win in the end). in the past we gave out free gift cards to everyone that one which can be pretty expensive so just pick a prize that works for both your church and those that you are trying to reach.

This outreach is designed to reach families with kids. Strangely enough, one church that did this now has a family that is in their 60’s without kids that is now connected with the church because of this outreach. They saw what the outreach team was doing, were touched by it, and came to be a part of the church family because of the kindness they were showing others. God’s kindness is contagious and while we serve others it permeates even those standing by and observing. 

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As we reach out on halloween night remember to keep things simple, fun, and creative. Whether you try one of these outreaches or all five, God’s kindness will move through you to reach those you are serving.

With the change in seasons, comes a change in how we approach to display the love of Christ to our community in practical ways. The season of fall always brings excitement and there are plenty of specifically seasonal outreaches you can do during Autumn. Here are 3 outreaches that you should consider doing during the fall season:

1. Free Coffee at Starbucks

The crispness of Autumn weather draws coffee lovers to Starbucks like nothing else. One of the best outreaches to do is to send a team to Starbucks or a local coffee/donut shop, buy a gift card with usually around $200 on it, and give it to the employee at the cash register so when people order, they can tell them that their coffee has been payed for. Have your team either sit at a visible table inside or the tables right outside the door. Have them ask the employees to simply point to the team’s table and say, “The people at the table over there paid for your coffee today.” Excited customers instinctively come over to thank the team and ask why they are paying for everyone’s coffee. This is a great time to give them your outreach card and tell them that you are displaying the free love of Jesus in a practical way today by buying coffee for everyone. 

Over time, the employees of Starbucks will really get excited when you do this outreach. In fact some employees even ask our teams if they can tell customers why they are buying everyone’s coffee, give out the outreach cards, and tell them what church the team is with! We love to let them do this so they can experience the life changing power of advancing God’s kingdom through tangible, practical kindness.

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2. Leaf Raking

I love the fall, but the thing i hate the most about the season, is having to rake my lawn. Leaf raking can be very burdensome when you are doing it all alone. When outreach teams do it as a group and do it for other people it becomes a blast. Kids, teenagers, and adults can all work together at this outreach. Simply grab some rakes, gloves, and trashbags and go to a neighborhood with a lot of leaves. Tell the homeowners you are raking the leaves of the entire neighborhood, just to show God’s love in a practical way! Make sure you mention it is free and you are not taking donations. Spend time talking to the homeowner and after you are done ask to pray a quick 10 second prayer for them!

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3. Nursing home Pumpkin Giveaway

For this outreach send your team to nursing homes with small pumpkins to decorate and write kind/encouraging words on the pumpkins with the residents. From time to time teams will even bring a friendly dog or two. Many times the churches doing this outreach will get a letter back from the family members thanking the church for the pumpkin with a simple decoration and an encouraging sentence on it. They mention that it not only touched the family member living in the nursing home, but the entire family.

There is something moving and touching about serving those who could never attend your church gathering. When we serve with no expectations or no strings attached, we are projecting the light and life of Christ on those we are serving in a pure way. To serve in a way Jesus did always moves, and deeply touches those we are serving, families of those we are serving, and those of us that are serving God by serving others. Anytime teams do something at local nursing homes, they always come back humbled and encouraged.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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 

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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