Easter Outreach Ideas

Here are some Easter outreach ideas that can be used in your church and community.  Please share some of yours as well.

Updated 4/2014:

1. The JESUS Film- Get the new fully restored and re-mastered “The JESUS Film” on Blu-ray and DVD.  ”The JESUS Film” is the most viewed and translated film and a great ministry tool for Easter.  Click here to find out more information or to purchase the “The JESUS Film” Blu-ray or DVD.

2. Film Festival- show films that depict the story of Jesus- His life, death and resurrection.  You can find a listing of films about Jesus from the Bible Film Blog.

3. Art Exhibit- have local artists or artists in your church draw or paint pieces about Jesus’ life death and resurrection.  Have an exhibit where the community can come and view the artwork and interact with the artist to hear their “story”.

4. Music concert- select musical selections and Bible readings that touch on the life, death and ressurection of Jesus.

5. Backyard Easter Bash- Using the colorful eggs found in Resurrection Eggs host an egg hunt for the children in your community or church.

6. Easter Experience- A new DVD-driven group study that uses narrative drama and challenging teaching.  To find out more check out the Easter Experience website.

The “Overflow Show” Podcast

Here is a great resource to check out.  It is called the “Overflow Show“.  The Overflow show is a free 5 minute audio podcast for christians which teach us how to natuarally “overflow” into our non-Christian friends’ lives with the gospel.  Each show is different and brings new and helpful ideas. Topics include: how to transition to talking about Jesus; intellectual answers to objections about our faith; and many more.  From answering questions, to removing doubts, the Overflow Show seeks to give you confidence and connect you better with non-believers.  You can visit the “Overflow Show” website to listen to the show and find out more information.

International Web Focus Day for Churches

“I recently discovered that over 500,000 of the population of my home town use the networking website Facebook,” writes a surprised computer user. Remarkably, 1.5 billion people now access the Web for a wide range of activities. A new internet service called ‘Twitter’ recently enabled eyewitnesses to pass on to thousands of other people their firsthand accounts (with pictures) of the jet that ditched in the Hudson River, well before TV and radio could tell the story. The digital world seems to change every time we blink!

How can Christians use this bewildering mix of technologies to share the good news? One place to find answers is Internet Evangelism Day’s website. It provides detailed resources, ideas and strategies to help Christians use what many leaders have called a ‘God-given medium’. These include a self-assessment tool for church websites, enabling them to better reach out into their communities.

Internet Evangelism Day – as the name suggests – is also an annual web-awareness focus day. Churches and other Christian groups can build a short focus spot into their meetings on 26 April, to explain to their members more about the potential for online evangelism, and how anyone can be involved in this rewarding ministry. A customized presentation (anything from 5 minutes to 50) can be easily created using free downloads from IE Day’s website: video clips, Powerpoint, handouts, music and drama.

One surprising fact is that online evangelism is for anyone, not just the technically gifted. “There are many ways to share your faith online, without any technical knowledge at all,” says IE Day Coordinator Tony Whittaker.

Church leaders who have already used these materials are excited.  “This is a huge help for small churches such as ours,” writes a minister from California. “I am glad to commend Internet Evangelism Day,” says elder statesman John Stott.

IE Day’s website is at www.InternetEvangelismDay.com

Using Volunteers To Maintain Your Church Website

There has been some great feedback on the last post about church and ministry websites.  Most of those who left comments said that they utilize volunteers to create and maintain their church’s web presence.  This is great.  This is sharing and giving ministry away to those in your church who can use their gifts and abilities.

Church and Ministry Website Poll

I am amazed at the number of church and ministry website companies that have popped up over the last few years.  It seems like there were only a handful of companies a few years ago that offered services to create and get your church or ministry online.

With so many choices  many churches and ministries wonder where to start.  I know that this is driven by the size of the staff and if there is an on staff IT, graphic designer or technology person.  I imagine the discussions within the staff teams are: Do we hire someone to create a website for us?  Do we get a volunteer from the church to help us? Do we use a template?  Which company? etc.

I have been involved with the development of a number of different websites over the last 11 years.  In my next post I will share some thoughts and lessons learned.  I would like to hear from you.

How does your church or ministry manage its website?  Is there a person on staff?  Does your church or ministry work with an outside company?  If you use an outside company or service which one do you use?

Ministry Goals and Plan for 2009

Do you have ministry goals or plans for 2009?  If not, consider over the next few weeks to plan or review for the new year.  Having a plan has been very beneficial to me and helped me think ahead.  There are many churches and ministries that have a 10, 15 or even 20 year plan in place.  Taking time to review this master plan at the beginning or end of each year can keep you and your team in check with the overall progress.  Here are some ideas that have helped me over the years to make a plan.  These are in no particular order.

  1. Pray and seek God.  Listen and meditate on the Scriptures.
  2. Evaluate or write a mission/vision statement.
  3. Survey your team, members or your target audience.  Get feedback on current realities.
  4. Begin to write down your thoughts.  These don’t need to be complete or concrete.
  5. Formulate those thoughts into the plan.
  6. Put the plan together and get feedback.
  7. Finish the plan.  Publish and distribute it.
  8. Create opportunities for presenting the plan and to answer questions.

What are some other thoughts, ideas or steps you would add?

May God bless you and your planning in 2009.

Creating An Online Ministry Plan

In my prior post I said it has become much easier for churches, individuals and ministries to conduct ministry online.  While this is true it is important to put together a plan for how it will look and work for your outreach.

  1. The first step you will want to take is to evaluate your community.  Questions to ask would be: Who do I want to reach?  What is the best way to connect with them?  How am I going to communicate with them once they respond?  If you would like a great overview on different demographic groups check out Chris Forbes (Ministry Marketing Coach) post here, here and here.
  2. You will then need to determine how many people it will take to work with the community you’re reaching out to.  You will want to utilize volunteers as much as possible.
  3. What online services and approaches are you going to use (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, My Space, personal websites, blogs, church or ministry website).
  4. Create messaging and graphics that are consistent.
  5. Train all your volunteers how to “minister” to people online.
  6. Keep it simple.
  7. Think though all the steps that you will want to lead a online contact through.  For example, if you are presenting the Gospel online and someone responds, what will be the next step you will want them to do.
  8. Keep records of your work.
  9. Try to connect the individual to a local contact, church or ministry for continued interaction.
  10. Share your results.

In the next post, I will cover ideas for outreaches online.

Effective Ministry Using Web 2.0

I have been "on the Internet" since 1996 and a lot has changed since then.  It seems like Internet trends and technology is growing and changing faster each year.  Since the inception of Web 2.0 , opportunities for churches and individuals to have or engage in ministry outreach online is so much easier.

Individuals want to engage, interact and be "in community" online.  If you have an interest in Internet ministry or you have been involved with it for some time, I would recommend checking out The Internet Ministry Conference .  It will be October 20-23 at Calvin College Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Over the next few days I am going to share some thoughts and strategies that I have found to be useful for having an online ministry.

Short Film DVD For Your Church

Are you a media pastor/director or in charge of outreach at your church?  If so, here is an opportunity to try a new ministry strategy with your church using short films.  I have ten short film DVDs available for FREE to the first ten media pastor/director or church outreach director that contacts me.  Just send me an e-mail with your address through the contact form at http://www.churchvideoreviews.com/contact .  I will get a DVD sent out to you with more information.  You can find out more about the DVD at http://www.globalshortfilmnetwork.com .

Collide Magazine

Collide MagazineAre you looking for a good source of reviews, latest trends and media resources for your church or ministry?  I would like to recommend a great magazine, Collide .  They are just in their first year, but they bring a great wealth of information and knowledgeable writers together to produce a great magazine.  You can find out more and subscribe today at Collide Magazine’s website .