It seems that the effectiveness of your outreach and evangelism is always governed
by your creativity and commitment to the final result—not the
method. It’s easy to get sidetracked with past success, institutional dependencies
, and personal preferences. There are ways you can protect your
church from this threat of inaction or distraction. And that is why digital
engagement and Experience Design are valuable resources and catalysts
for current and future growth.
There are seven changes that I believe will make a tremendous difference in
your outreach and evangelism efforts, and none of them are what you're
likely expecting to be referenced.
Outline clear, organizational objectives and provide derivative measures
that are relevant for every team and role.
Every person in your
organization needs to know how they are part of the solution.
Identify your most engaged people and study their behavior,
movement, and engagement patterns.
This will help you build a definition
of what success looks like.
Build personas for every segment of your church.
Make your congregation
human and representative of the people you are reaching and
want to reach, then use those personas to humanize how you talk about
engagement, connection, and commitment.
Design teams around segments or cohorts.
When you bring a holistic,
team-based approach to problem-solving, you’ll identify changes faster and
adapt continuously. You will also hedge against the risk of personal bias
Identify opportunities for continued feedback loops.
You’ll need both qualitative
and quantitative feedback provided in real-time to make the best
decision. One of the massive benefits of digital systems is that they provide
continuous feedback about what’s happening right now.
Manage the skills gap among your team.
Some team members will bring
a systems and data-driven approach to their work. Many won’t. Account for
this in your planning, hiring, and talent optimization strategies.
Identify progress or milestones along your discipleship pathway. This will
help you visualize where people are today and how effective you are at
moving them across a continuum of engagement that is most likely to
lead to committed believers who are, themselves, engaging with the gospel
as well as engaging others.
My mentor and friend, Kevin Penry, asked me this question a long time ago that has always stuck with me. In Ephesians 3:20, it says that God is willing to do immeasurably more than we can dare to imagine. So if God is willing, why is He not doing it? It’s because He chooses to use us.
The greatest obstacle to outreach and evangelism moving forward is you. If you are willing to be more committed to the “reaching” than how you “reach,” you’ll remain flexible in your approach and strategies as new information is available. If, however, you lock yourself into what is most comfortable and familiar to you, you’ll minimize your ability to live into the full potential for life change and impact.
The Great Commission is a big project, but technology, like air travel in previous generations, will rapidly increase the capacity of Jesus’ followers to deliver on the final command to go, tell, and make disciples. I’m in. Are you?
Are you interested in learning more? You can download Alan George's newest eBook, Discipleship for a Digital Age, for FREE today!