Outreach After Programs

How do we reach out when programs fail?

About this time last year, our outreach committee (of which I am a member) began planning our church's participation in the community's Fourth of July parade. It's a big deal. Literally everyone in town shows up. Consequently, it has been a priority event for our church for years - a chance to connect with the community and tell them about church ministries.

So, after all our planning, a record breaking four people showed up to build the float. Three of us were on the committee. Complete disaster.

Our initial complaint, of course, was that we few folks had to build the float alone; and we just knew that although no one else showed up to help, we would nevertheless hear our share of criticism: What's that supposed to be? Oh, I would never have guessed? More significantly, the lack of participation suggested that this years-old tradition was losing its importance in our congregation.

Many commentators argue that church programs are a thing of the past. People don't want to be kept busy serving ...

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