What type of outreach ministry/program fits your church?

Published: 04th July 2009
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Just as all churches are not the same, outreach programs also vary. Some outreach programs take place on the church's premises while others are in conjunction with another community agency. When thinking about the type of outreach program that your church will take part in, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

Size of your church. The physical size of your church as well as the number of members, are important factors in determining what type of program to implement. Smaller churches may want to work with outside agencies to provide outreach services if their facility or available bodies do not allow for hosting a project of their own. Instead of starting their own program, smaller churches may want to help the local American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, or Boys and Girls Club. Larger churches, on the other hand, might have the staff, size and resources to host an outreach program on its premises. Larger churches may be able to host a reading program, afterschool program, or senior day activities.

Time commitment. Starting an outreach program requires additional time of your outreach committee and congregation. When considering an outreach program think about the time that it requires. Does your congregation have time to devote four hours per week to an activity or should it occur once per month? Only take-on what your congregation can handle.

Expertise. If your church decides to host an outreach program (i.e. implement your own program), make sure that someone in the congregation has experience in the program area. If you're considering an afterschool program, for example, do you have any teachers in the congregation? While the community will be grateful for the extra services, you should only provide services that can be administered appropriately.

Cost. Each outreach program will come with various expenses. Outline the projected expenses for the different outreach programs that you're considering and choose the option that best fits the budget of the church. By only taking on what your church can handle, you will be able to sustain the program over the long-haul.

Outreach programs should be approached honestly. The outreach committee should be honest about the capabilities of the church before starting a program. An evaluation of the church's human, financial, and structural resources will reveal what type of outreach program it can handle.

Katrina Daniels is a Nonprofit Specialist for ChurchNet USA, a division of BizCentral USA. ChurchNet USA's mission is to serve as a "one-stop" resource center for churches and charities nationwide. As the nation's number one provider of nonprofit services, ChurchNet USA offers assistance in all aspects of establishing, operating, and sustaining a religious or community-based nonprofit. In addition to the diverse products ChurchNet USA makes available, the organization also provides charities and churches with free tools and links to resources for nonprofit organizations. For more information on ChurchNet USA please visit www.ChurchNetUSA.com.

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