- Mike Durbin
Summer outreach opportunities
PLYMOUTH – Vacation Bible School is an incredible outreach opportunity. Why? “If you total it up, VBS results in 15 hours of intense discipleship, the gospel being shared daily, and 7 months of ministry in 1 week. IT’S WORTH IT!” (LifeWay.com).
Go all out with VBS this summer. It changes lives! Many believers across the country and beyond had their first encounter with the Gospel in VBS. Ask any group of Christians at a conference about VBS and there likely will be someone there whose life was impacted.
Need more leaders? Thousands of today’s Sunday School and Small Group leaders had their first teaching experiences in VBS. Many churches intentionally staff VBS with a primary leader, an assistant, and a teenage helper in each group knowing that VBS starts many of them on a lifelong ministry of teaching the Word of God! From the Worship Rally to Bible Study, Missions, Crafts, Snacks, Music, and Recreation, the whole church is working together to share the Gospel and make disciples.
Special Note: If you are using Lifeway VBS materials, apply for a $250 VBS grant at: https://www.bscm.org/grants. (Please note that we use the same form for all Evangelism Grant Requests including this special VBS grant).
Interact with your community through evangelistic block parties, movie nights, wild game dinners, sport camps, concerts in the park, and more. Perhaps your church could volunteer to serve at a community event like “Hometown Days.” Give water out at a local 5K run. Clean up a local park or help paint classrooms at a local school. The BSCM will help you with evangelism grants up to $1,000.
For long term ministry in your community, Send Relief has excellent training materials to get your church started in compassionate ministries. Send Relieve is a collaboration between the North American and International Mission Boards to help churches be the hands and feet of Jesus in a world filled with needs. Send Relief recently released ministry courses to empower your church to:
Respond to sudden emergencies and disasters
Embrace newly arrived refugees
Fight the epidemic of human trafficking
Meet basic needs in your community
Show love to local children in foster care
I worked through the Send Relief: How To Strengthen Your Community course. It contained 6 video lessons, a 21-page Church Guide to Ministry, Reflection Questions, and a City and Target Community Assessment. The course was informative, thought-provoking, and helpful. The free courses are available at: https://courses.sendrelief.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.