Pivoting Your Outreach

While this season has been difficult for several churches, it has also been even more difficult for some people in the community. Nowhere else is this seen more to me than by the number of churches and organizations that have partnered to serve food and supplies to those in need. Each week, we hear of […]

While this season has been difficult for several churches, it has also been even more difficult for some people in the community. Nowhere else is this seen more to me than by the number of churches and organizations that have partnered to serve food and supplies to those in need. Each week, we hear of churches in our area, including our own, who have served hundreds of community members with food boxes and supplies over the weekend. This number is astonishing to me because while I am thankful that so many churches can help so many different groups of people, it is also upsetting that so many people need help. During this COVID-19 season, we will have to pivot our outreach in a few areas:

Pivot #1: Pivot your aim. As stated earlier, several churches have been involved in blessing the lives of their community through outreach. However, I am sure that many of these churches, including our own, didn’t plan to make this kind of ministry investment at the beginning of the year. The current situation made us all pivot our aim from what we initially planned to helping those closest to us with great need. Just as we all made that pivot into a new aim or focus, as this season continues and as the world changes, we need to be ready to change our aim again as necessary.

Pivot #2: Pivot your partners. This means that not only will you aim or focus on different ways to provide outreach, you will also engage new partners to help you reach your community in new ways. Before this season your partners might have only been churches but now your partner list can and should expand well beyond. I have seen churches, including ours, partner with hospitals, police departments, legal firms, sports organizations, schools, tech companies and more during this season. The intention is to partner with whoever is doing the work and/or can help you do the work in a more effective way. Your church is great and can do great work but it can do even more with the right partnerships.

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Pivot #3: Pivot your time frame or the duration of outreach. I believe this season has lasted longer than many of us thought it would. I remember having a conversation with our leadership and explaining why I thought it would be over in a month or so. I was very wrong, but I am sure I am not the only person. As a result, our church and many others have extended our plans to serve our communities for a longer period of time. Instead of the budget and planning ending during the summer, we have made it a line item that will remain as long as needed.

How has your church pivoted in outreach in this season? What would you add or what have you seen?

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