In case you have missed some of the posts over the last few months let me get you up to speed. We started an approach to outreach at Northwest we are calling “Church Steps”. About two years ago our leadership had a discussion about being more evangelistic. A few of us got together and came up with the “steps” most people go through in order to become a mature disciple of Jesus Christ. These steps start with someone who hasn’t ever attended the congregation (Step 1: Attract). The next step (Step 2: Welcome) is when they come through the door. We have seen them and they have seen us. Our goal is for everyone who is a part of anything we do to feel extremely welcome and cared for. Step 3 is Relationships. Before we feel like the door is open to teach someone the Gospel we want people to get to know them. The goal in this step is to connect them with Christians in the congregation in meaningful ways. Step 4 is transformation. At some point the relationship needs to move to spiritual matters. Here we study the Bible with them (usually using our Jesus 101 study) in order to bring them to Christ. Last (Step 5) is Integrate. We don’t just want to have them baptized. We want them involved in ministry. This is our follow up period with someone to help disciple them.
As we meet people and minister to people we try to work them through these five steps in order to help them become a mature disciple. Basically, they are being listed and ministered to according to their next greatest need. This is not a perfect system but it is a start at meeting people where they are at (not everyone who comes through the door is at the same place in the journey and so would start at a different step).
Now, that information will only take you so far. What do you do with it? We decided that we needed a venue for this that met a few criteria:
- It had to be regular – if you don’t work on this regularly it will get away from you and you won’t get anything done.
- It had to be simple – we knew if we made it too complicated people wouldn’t understand it. You don’t get on board with things you don’t understand
- It had to involve more people than church leadership (elders and ministers) – we didn’t want this to just take place in staff meetings. We had to do this in a place that involved our members in the process
We landed on a Wednesday night outreach ministry. I have given the template of that class in a previous post. See the template here and see it explained here. Over the last few months we have prayed for and reached out to over 100 people. We have had several dozen place membership and have had 4 baptized. I am laying all of this out as a summary to catch up anyone who hasn’t read the previous posts on what this is all about. You can read the previous posts here.
Next, I am going to post some Q & A on Church Steps. Please ask any questions you have had so far in the comments and I will answer them in some followup posts. Thanks!