When we talk about Courageous Outreach, what are we really talking about? What are some things that courageous outreach really entails? How easy is it? What does it take?
Courageous outreach takes…well….courage
A lot of people think that outreach is simply leaving a flyer on someone’s door. While this can be helpful in certain campaigns, like canvassing an area for a specific purpose, it’s not exactly outreach. It doesn’t take much courage. What takes courage? Building a relationship takes courage. It takes even more courage to display Christ in that relationship constantly. It takes courage to live differently than other people every day. It takes courage to act like Christ in the face of an enemy. It takes courage to let God change the way you live every single day. It takes no courage to leave a tract in a spot where you think someone may find it. This is why we encourage relational evangelism. Relational evangelism, the creating of a relationship show Christ to someone, makes sense. Telling someone “you need Jesus” will just lead to the inevitable question of “why?” A relationship gives you a chance to live out and demonstrate the answer to that question. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons we organize any event. We want to create space in order to create relationships. We are creating a space to give an opportunity to form new relationships. Later on, these relationships are used to show Christ. Building relationships and allowing Christ to show through you takes courage.
Courageous outreach takes…well…outreach
What exactly is outreach? Think about it. Reaching…out. Not reaching in. Christ said He would leave the 99 to seek the 1. This means that we have to stop thinking about the 99 within the church and leaving out the 1 lost person outside. We have to fight for that one lost person. We have to go to where they are and stop expecting them to just one day decide “I need this Jesus guy” and come to us. Courageous outreach takes sacrificing what we would like, what makes us comfortable, and “the way we’ve always done it” to reach that 1 lost sheep. We have to do things in new ways to reach new people. Stop reaching in. Stop putting your preferences, your priorities, and your agendas over the good of the lost. Reaching out involves completely putting yourself aside, dying to yourself daily, and living Christ. That’s what courageous outreach is, and it’s what the church should value.