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4 Steps to Start an Outreach Ministry

Are you a church staff member or pastor with an outreach heart? If you're looking for a way to serve your community and share the love of Christ, why not start an outreach ministry at your church? Whether you're on staff at a church or a passionate volunteer, starting a new ministry doesn't have to be daunting. In fact, it can be quite easy to do.

Here's four steps that will help launch and grow your outreach ministry - and a free outreach-ministry-in-a-box solution for your church.

Step 1: Recognize a need

Creating a new outreach ministry can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. You're already on the right track by reading this. Most outreach efforts get stifled because the needs feel too distant or too big to address. 


The first step is to identify a group of people or a specific community need that your church can address. Can you start small by focusing on just one or two needs within your neighborhood? Maybe you've seen needs in your local school, or know some foster families that could use a hand. 

3 Ways to Identify Needs:

  1. Contact and partner with a local nonprofit

  2. Talk to people in your church to identify needs of people they already know

  3. Use our free CarePortal tool to see local needs of children, vetted by social workers

There are many opportunities for churches to get involved in their communities through outreach ministries. By starting with one need and meeting it with love and excellence, churches can make a difference in their communities and expand their impact.

Step 2. Get the buy-in you need

Whether you're a passionate volunteer or the lead pastor, there are key stakeholders to bring into this process. The key to successful outreach is getting everyone on board. From staff members, elders, and volunteers, it's important that everyone be aligned on the vision for the ministry.

Important questions to discuss:

  • How involved does the pastor need to be?

  • How will the outreach initiatives be supported by leadership or promoted from stage?

  • Will you focus on serving those within your community or abroad? 

  • How many volunteers are needed?

Aligning on these questions will ensure your team sets appropriate expectations and is set up to succeed.  This is an opportunity to share the vision, get feedback, and ultimately, their support to reach your community for Christ. 

We have a free outreach-ministry-in-a-box solution that makes your ministry simple, tangibly powerful, and easy to manage. Check it out below.

Step 3. Gather resources, and volunteers to help

Now that you have your vision and buy in from the team, it's time to get moving. For whatever your vision is, begin gathering all of the resources and supplies you need. Begin recruiting volunteers and promoting your outreach initiative in services. Share your vision for where the outreach ministry can serve. How can people serve? How can people give? How many volunteers do we need? What training and tools should we give to them?

The best way to cast vision is by connecting with different teams in your church. Ask everyone what they think about the idea and see if someone wants more information or can volunteer their time for this cause! 

Step 4. Organize and hold your outreach opportunity

We know that churches rely on multiple avenues to grow over the years. It's time we think outside of just one-off service events, how can outreach opportunities become a recurring experience for our congregations?

You may take outreach opportunities on social media, have weekly 'office hours at your church where children might stop by for tutoring if they want it, and host regular service opportunities with local partners. All these actions give your congregation the chance to live out the gospel - and demonstrate a real commitment to make our cities better tomorrow than today.

The local church can be a powerful force for good in our communities. As outreach ministries, we must show love and care with every opportunity we have to share from God's amazing grace.




Written in partnership with Reach The Lost.


CarePortal is a completely free platform that gives your group instant opportunities for vetted, local, and simple ministry with tangible impact... without adding another job onto your plate.

See how over 115 churches are doing over $5 million in economic impact.

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