Is your church outreach minded or missions minded?

Filed under: by: sknaB nolA

I spent a few hours sitting in our booth at the NOC and had a conversation with an Outreach Pastor for a church in San Diego. It was insightful if not a little strange. He was passionate, that's for sure.

I have been thinking that there is some sort of invisible circle placed around churches that divides "outreach" from "missions". The church will do all it can to have an effective outreach to the community around it, but doesn't care too much about missions.

So bear with me here.....
I have seen a lot of marketing organizations, pieces, tricks, attempts, articles and blogs about church marketing and how the church needs to embrace marketing. What I am starting to fear is that marketing - buying mailing lists, placing door hangers, etc. - is wearing the name of outreach. It seems much more cost effective to buy a service and find out who moved into your churches zip code, send them a predetermined set of post cards, and chalk up outreach as a success because you successfully interacted with your community and let them know about your church.

Why didn't Jesus do that? He probably wouldn't have had to spend so much time on his ass donkey.

Sorry, a little off topic......

If the purpose for outreach is to reach more people to share the gospel, good news, whatever you may call it, what is the purpose of missions?
I believe that the church sees the purpose of outreach is to gain more attendees on a Sunday morning so that they grow their church - and missions is about leaving and going to save the lost, or provide some sort of service they couldn't do or get otherwise.

Well.....according to Outreach they are "a leading provider of church communication and outreach tools and they exist to help you reach more people for Christ" -- sounds good but what does that mean? Then they ask you to call them to learn more about reaching your community.

Reaching your community to reach more people for Christ. Huh........sounds like missions to me.