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Window Washing

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

https://cooperaustin.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/1253/

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 in our church (By the way about 70% of church members in the U.S. are introverts). 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 Satan 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 evangelism, 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 evangelism.

Let’s start with this: Evangelism is a very scary word! In fact 90% of Christians dislike the word evangelism. This i believe is because we have the wrong view and definition of what Evangelism is. We think of Evangelism 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 Evangelism as this:

Evangelism = 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 evangelism (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 evangelism is, it opens the door for everyone to have endless opportunities and ideas for us to reach out and evangelize 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. The same study that found that 90% of Christians disliked the word evangelism found that 90% of Christians 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 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: Evangelizing and 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!

Next week i will write about which outreaches are best for introverts to serve on.