This past year the Elders, along with Pastor Fred, began our journey of learning about Organic Outreach. Led by Bob Schindler, we were provided with a simple yet profound framework from which to reconsider this calling and responsibility of all Christians. The Three truths of Organic Outreach include:
Truth #1 – Jesus is in charge of reaching people – not us.
Truth #2 – Jesus reaches people through a process – not an event.
Truth #3 – Jesus values everyone in the process – not just the last person.
Why is outreach so important? The most obvious and urgent reason we are called to Organic Outreach as Christians is the hope that we can bring others to consider an Eternal Life of joy and bliss in the company of our Father and creator as opposed to the alternative – an eternal life of suffering and separation.
We also want others to experience the more immediate benefits and gifts that embracing faith can bring. Some examples of what studies have shown faith can do for us are:
- Social Support – In our community, and ultimately – a relationship with and support from God.
- Supports a Healthy Lifestyle – Fewer health risk behaviors, more likely to use preventative health measures.
- Promotes Generativity – A sense that what we do matters, is important, and is contributing value for others) and Altruism – helping others without expectation of reward.
- Provides Unique Coping Strategies – Challenges or trials make us stronger. Prayer. Forgiveness. Hope.
- Sense of Meaning and Purpose – Creating order out of chaos and connecting us to what is sacred.
- Sacred emotions –Gratitude and Appreciation; Forgiveness (self and others); Compassion and Empathy; Humility; Elation and Awe; Wonder.
Matthew 9:36-38 tells us that we should view people as Jesus did:
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Organic Outreach encourages us to see people with new eyes and to offer them the powerful and life-changing everyday gifts of our faith.