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Nursing Home Outreach

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 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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This past saturday we had around 30 people divide into 3 teams that went out to serve our community in practical ways. We had a free leaf raking team, a team that provided a local laundry mat with a free laundry day, and a team that gave out blankets to nursing homes. Here is a brief summary of what we did and some highlights of each outreach:

1. Blanket Giveaway at Nursing home

This team took 100 blankets that we either purchased at Wal-Mart or had donated to local nursing homes and gave them out. One of our leaders noticed on a previous nursing home outreach that many of the people living there did not have their own blankets, so we thought this would be a fun and practical way to show Christ’s love. We went door to door giving out the blankets and saying prayers for those we were serving.

Our team met a sweet lady who was turning 98 and we were able to give her a blanket as a birthday gift.  Our team said this lady was deeply moved that we were showing God’s love in such a practical way, and it just happened to be on her 98th birthday!

When we love on our local nursing homes we always notice that God is also using us to impact the employees that devote their life to this type of service. We have been able to develop relationships, encourage, and pray for the employees of the nursing homes as we have committed to serving there on a consistent basis.

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2. Leaf Raking

Usually on this outreach we just show up to a neighborhood that has a bunch of leaves and go door to door telling people that we are leaf raking front yards for free to display the love of God in a practical way and knock out 5 or 6 houses in an hour and a half. However, this Saturday we went to the house of an elderly woman who’s daughter goes to our church so we could bless her by raking her leaves. Our team worked tirelessly and when the hour and half that we planned on serving was gone, they had raked more than 50 bags and made the front, side, and back yard look great.

I was a little worried because i thought our team was going to be frustrated that they only got to one yard, but after the outreach, they were all very excited and saw the purpose in taking the entire time to serve someone’s mom within our church who needed it. A large part of reaching the community that is around us is to show them that we love, serve, and take care of our own. We do enough leaf raking outreaches throughout the year that taking this weekend to serve in this way was well worth it.

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3. Free Laundry Day

Our Free Laundry team went to a local laundry mat with $200 in quarters, donuts, and coloring books to bring some fun to a very mundane task. We simply tell everyone in the laundry mat that we are providing a free laundry day to show Jesus’ love in a practical way.

The best part of this outreach is the time you get to spend with people while they do their laundry. Our teams are able to make connections, get in deep conversations, and many times share the Gospel in a very organic way. 

On this Saturday I was on the free laundry team and I was able to meet and connect with a man named Jason. We talked about our families, his job, and our struggles. I felt the Lord prompt me to share the Gospel with Jason after some time talking with him. Kindness Outreach provides a great Segway into the Gospel since we tell everyone we are there to love, serve, and give a free gift with no strings attached. Among other things I explained to Jason that just like the quarters were our free gift to him, God’s free gift of salvation is through Christ and just like he accepted the free laundry day we were providing, all God requires of us is to accept His Son Jesus and to surrender our lives to following him. Jason kept saying, “I know God sent you here to talk to me today” (this is very common on our outreaches by the way). Jason told me that He received Christ 5 years ago, but since then he has strayed away and gotten into some things that has hurt his family, his job, and his faith. I was able to encourage Jason that we serve a God that is abundant in mercy and shared with him the story of the Prodigal Son. I told him that God is waiting for him with open arms and He will show him nothing, but kindness when Jason returns rather than requiring him to do religious acts to get back on His good side. God used this to impact this man deeply. We exchanged phone numbers and he told me that he did not have a church and he was going to come to ours either Sunday or Wednesday. Pray for Jason.

We serve a God that is not random and i know God had me there specifically for Jason. Many people from our church have felt this same way when they connect with individuals in our community during outreaches. God does the hard part, we are simply called to be obedient and to go out and serve!

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I will continue to post outlines and highlights after each of our outreaches. I hope they will encourage you to start living an outwardly focused life and give you some simple tools to use as a church and as individuals. Please contact me if i can assist in any way.