Over the past 2 weekends we have had outreaches during our youth group’s DNow, and a church wide outreach that consisted of teams that washed business’ windows, payed for and washed cars at a self serve car wash, and gave out free bubbles at parks. Here is what we did and some highlights of the outreaches.
1. DNow Outreaches
The last several years we have actually built into our youth group’s DNow schedule a time to go out and serve our city in practical ways. I think this is a fantastic way to either introduce Kindness Outreach to a group or to get students that don’t come to the regular outreaches more familiar with the concept of showing God’s love in a practical way. I know most DNow schedules are already packed; however, we have seen a tremendous benefit in scheduling outreaches. From meet up to finish we schedule in just 1 hour. One of the beautiful things about serving in this way, is that it can be quick, yet still effective. Even on normal church-wide outreaches, we keep actual serve time down to an hour or an hour and a half.
We broke up our youth group into three groups by grade and sent them out. one team passed out free dum dum packs, another team took out trash at an on campus apartment, and finally a team washed toilets of businesses.
My favorite story from these outreaches comes from a student in our church named Austin. I asked Austin how his outreach went and he said, “it went awesome. I prayed for someone for the first time in my life. It was scary, but it was awesome!” I love the fact that Austin got to experience the power of praying for someone for the first time. We have seen God take those that are timid, those that are scared, and those that are hesitant to step out and slowly mold them into powerful communicators of the Gospel. Sometimes all it takes, is saying that first prayer.
2. Bubble Giveaway
At our church-wide outreach this past Saturday, we had a team take free bubbles (bubble wands work best) to all of the parks in our community. I had never been on this outreach, but it is fantastic! Our team simply went up to parents and told them, “We are going to all of the parks in Weatherford today giving out free bubbles to show God’s love in a practical way.” parents were always ecstatic and would quickly call their kids over and give them the bubble wands we passed out. Many times we were asked who we were, and why we were doing this.
The who are you guys? question comes up at almost every outreach. We have noticed that if we aim to lift God’s name and kingdom up first and take a step back marketing our own church name, people respond with more interest in who we are, and the convo about our local church and giving people an invite is much more organic. For this reason we don’t blurt out that we are with Greenwood Baptist Church every time we start a convo on an outreach and we don’t have big signs with our logo on it. We do wear Greenwood outreach t-shirts and have outreach cards (the smily face one’s I’m sure you’ve seen) that have our info on the back, but the primary focus is that we are Christ followers that are displaying Jesus’ love in practical ways to a community that desparately needs to see believers and churches loving with no strings attached.
Many people that come to our church from the outreaches claim that they came because we weren’t out to simply just grow our church, but we were lifting God’s kingdom up before our own. This reminds me of a a promise of Jesus:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
3. Business Window Washing
Window washing is a staple outreach at our church. We simply take window cleaner and paper towels, send a few people in to the business, and tell the employees that we are washing windows today for free without taking donations. This outreach is great for so many reasons. It’s cheap, effective, fun, and gives those that might be hesitant to talk on outreaches a place to serve, even without speaking. Much like the story i shared about Austin praying for someone for the first time in his life, we have seen God grow and move people out of their comfort zones if we are patient with them, and still give them a place to serve. For those that don’t want to talk just quite yet, i say great, you are still needed, why don’t you just wash today. We have found out, over time, God takes the same people from a place where they almost vomit at the thought of talking or praying with people and moves them to being Gospel presenters at their jobs, schools, and on our outreaches.
4. Quarters at Car Wash
If you read our last highlight post you are familiar with this outreach. Basically, the idea is to go to a self serve car wash and bring a bunch of quarters so that when people pull in, we are there to pay for them. We tried this outreach out last time and it went great. This time we even added the option of washing their car.
We were able to connect with the people that let us wash their car on a deeper level. We even prayed for several. This outreach is new to us, but i can tell that it is going to be one that we do all spring and summer. Next time we do this outreach we are going to bring a cooler with drinks to offer to those we are serving! I can’t stress enough to just go out and try ideas you may have. Ready, Fire, Aim. Try outreaches out and then adapt from there. 3 weeks ago this was just an idea. Now, since we just went out and tried it, we are making it better and better each time.