Outreach – October 2015

outreach-ministry

“Every follower of Jesus Christ has an outreach temperature. It can be hot, cold, or somewhere in the middle. This temperature impacts the way we live our life and interact with those who are far from God. It is our responsibility to steward this temperature and seek to increase it so that our hearts burn hotter for those who are spiritually lost. The One Degree Rule is the reality that all of us need to seek to increase our outreach temperature by one degree on a regular basis.” Kevin G. Harney, Organic Outreach for Churches.

The One Degree Rule is the outreach concept that the Outreach Influence Team is sharing with the ministry teams and the congregation during the month of October. We can use a scale of 1-10 to help us identify where our outreach temperature lies. A ten represents a heart that is sizzling hot. A one represents a heart that has cooled off or is cold. When we are at a ten, we are consistently praying for, and connecting with those who are spiritually lost, speaking of our faith, and naturally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are at a one, we are no longer praying for lost people, we are too busy to connect with those who are outside of our church family, and we do not feel much urgency to share our faith or communicate the gospel of Jesus.

This scale can be used to measure the outreach temperature of our church ministries also. When a ministry’s temperature is high, it is welcoming of those who are lost, it designs its programs to attract those who are not yet in a relationship with Jesus, there are consistently non-churched visitors attending, and many enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We know a ministry’s temperature is low or cooling off when it invest most of its energy in planning activities for those who are already part of God’s family, when the participants are content to just meet with other Christians for fun.

The value of the One Degree Rule is that it doesn’t matter what the starting number is. The purpose is to identify our outreach temperature and then commit to raise it one degree higher. If I am at a 4, I can take steps to raise my outreach temperature to a 5. A ministry area that is at a 6, can take steps to raise their outreach temperature to a 7. The key is to continually be turning our temperature up a bit higher. As our temperature increases, our effectiveness in outreach increases.

Kevin Harney suggests several ways to increase your temperature…read God’s word, pray for those God has placed in your life who are spiritually disconnected, make time to be with those who are far from Christ, share how God is working in your life or in the lives of others, ask someone to hold you accountable.

OUTREACH QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH:

What is your outreach temperature today?

What can you do to raise your temperature by one degree?