Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Thom Rainer: 7 Reasons Why Church Outreach Programs Fail

Thom Rainer: 7 Reasons Why Church Outreach Programs Fail

4. When a church has an outreach program, it can be perceived as a ministry for the few.

So the majority of the members can say it’s “someone else’s” ministry.

The Great Commission is not a multiple choice question.

5. Most church outreach programs fail to explain that sharing the love of Christ is a vital part of spiritual growth.

Instead, it is often seen as a “check list” among other obligations at the church.

6. Outreach programs can offer excuses for people not to be outwardly focused.

I used to conduct church surveys when I was a church consultant. A common theme I heard was: “I do this ministry, so I don’t have to be involved in evangelism and outreach.” In other words, being an outwardly focused Christian becomes an option among many. And it’s usually not chosen.

7. Outreach programs can put the responsibility of evangelism on institutions.

So if a church is not evangelistic, it’s because the denomination or other resource providers are not doing their jobs.

Local churches and local church members shift accountability to an institution.

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thomrainer@churchleaders.com'
Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.