In the early stages of developing Outward OPC, one of our goals is to share the stories and ideas of what churches are doing to reach people. Last week at the Regional Church Extension Conference in Orlando this need was again discussed. The chairmen of the Presbytery Missions Committees and our Regional Home Missionaries suggested it would be a great help to hear what churches are doing, what churches are learning, and what’s working and what’s not.
We are working on new ways to curate what churches are doing and gather those stories. In the meantime, this week we will highlight four New Horizons articles that are fuller explanations of things churches (or pastors) are doing for outreach and evangelism. These are concrete examples, not just ideas. In the busyness of life and ministry it’s easy to miss or overlook articles. Sometimes it’s helpful to have them curated in one spot. So, here they are:
1) The most recent New Horizons (November 2017) has an article by Al Tricarico about his time visiting with Lowell Ivy in Virginia Beach. Lowell has made it a pattern (a family pattern, actually) to visit the neighbors around the church and introduce himself, the church, and strike up conversations. You’ll want to read the article to hear some winsome examples of how to do this effectively. You may have recently received the hard copy of the issue or you can get a digital pdf here: November 2017 New Horizons Virginia Beach
2) Earlier this year, there was an article by Brad Peppo, church planter in Springfield, Ohio about engaging skeptics. Brad has been able to become an invested part of some student groups on campus who, shall we say, aren’t coming from a Christian worldview. Eventually, he was able to bring them to his home for group discussions. Check out the details and stories here: Engaging the Skeptic – Brad Peppo
3) Going back a couple of years, but no less relevant today, Jon Shishko discussed how the church in Queens seeks to “turn the church inside out” including a successful series called BBQ&A in a NYC park each summer. Check it out here: Turning Church Inside Out – Jon Shishko
4) Also a couple of years ago, John Shaw wrote an article about how church and community intersect in outreach. In this article he gives examples from his church in St. Paul as well other examples from OPC churches. Read them all here: Church & Community Intersect – John Shaw
In the future, we want to follow up on church attempts and hear how they went. We also want to keep you informed of other ideas and ventures from churches. For now, this refresher gathered in one place will give you an in-depth look into a couple of ideas and a quick look at several others. All for just about 15-20 minutes of reading. Maybe it will spur some thoughts. Maybe you can follow up with one of the pastors mentioned if you are drawn to one of the ideas. Enjoy!