Episode 5 of the Infuse Leadership Podcast is now available on iTunes and on our website HERE. The title of this episode is “How A Burger Can Change A Life” and we are interviewing Steve Doolin. Steve is one of the associate pastors at Element Church who leads our outreach and outreach team at Element. Part of Steve’s ministry involves serving the homeless and street population here in Cheyenne. Steve’s passion to serve the homeless is connected to a time in his life when he too was homeless, living out of his car. In this episode we talk about creating a culture of outreach in your church, some nuts and bolts about outreach as well as telling an amazing story about how serving someone a burger changed their life. The iTunes and online links are below as well as some highlights from the episode. If you use iTunes, please subscribe to the podcast, and you can rate and review it for us as well.
Apple iTunes link HERE.
Online link HERE.
1. We are here for you, not the other way around — If you want to create a culture of outreach in your church then the church has to model to its community that you are here to serve not be served. Here at Element, before we ever held a public worship service we got out and served the community to model this. It’s been a part of our DNA since before we started the church.
2. Our past problems can lead us to our greatest passions — I love Steve’s passion for outreach and serving. If you’ve ever met Steve, he bleeds with passion to serve the community. But more than his current passion, I love the fact that one of his greatest problems led to that passion. Because of his previous time living in a homeless situation, God birthed in him a passion to serve the homeless. Don’t ever downplay your problems, they might be God’s set up to your greatest passion.
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3. “We have seen life change, not by preaching Jesus or handing out tracks but by living like we think Jesus would.” — I love that quote from Steve, and it’s so true. Life change can happen in a number of different ways. Yes, the Gospel needs to be communicated to someone so they can respond, but sometimes the key to unlocking someone’s heart to the Gospel is by giving them something they need.
[Tweet “Sometimes the key to unlocking someone’s heart to the Gospel is by giving them something they need. “]
4. We don’t serve because there is a return, we serve because it’s right — This has been a mantra of ours from day one. It started when I was celebrating with some friends from another church about an outreach we did at Element before we launched. I was telling them what we did and encouraging them to try something similar. (At the time, there wasn’t much outreach happening at this church) When I told them what we did, their response was, “Well yeah, but how many people came to church because of it?” For them, the only reason to spend the kind of money we did and sacrifice our time and energy was if there was a return on Sunday. My answer to them was that statement. We don’t serve because there is a return, we serve because it’s right. Serving our community is the right thing to do whether anyone ever comes to church because of it or not.
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5. To create a culture of outreach in your church you need to fund it, celebrate it and empower people to do it. —
A. Fund it: From day one here at Element, we have chosen to put 10% of every dollar given to God through our church into a separate outreach account that can only be used for outreach to our community and God’s Kingdom around the world. Because we set aside the money, we are set up to serve the city.
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B. Celebrate it: I love what Jared shared about celebration. Before he was a part of our staff he mentioned how helpful it was to him as an attender that we celebrated from the stage what happened through our serving. Every dollar that people give matters. When we shared the story about how that BBQ burger helped change a dudes life, people could tie their dollar to the result. “Because I give, the church was able to purchase the supplies that served that guy, and now he is saved.” If you want to create a culture of outreach, celebrate and state what happened through the serving.
C. Empower people: Steve said, “If we don’t allow people to serve their own sphere of influence we will cap the impact of the church.” That’s so true. At some point, event based serving has a limit. If we truly want to be a movement of people, we need to equip and release our people to serve inside of their passions and among their peers. All of our outreach ideas can’t come from the platform, they need to be born in the people. Because of this, we started setting some of our outreach funds aside to be given to our community groups so they can serve in their own way.
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