Over this time the traditional forms of outreach and ministries are not able to go ahead but there are some different ways in which you can engage with your local community.
Communicate in the Right Way: at this time it is tempting to jump in with answers from the Bible, but sometimes when people question, it communicates more to them if you listen and 'sit' with them in their listening rather than rushing in with answers (sometimes giving answers straight away can appear dismissive of people's questioning and pain.)
Traditional forms of outreach like Alpha, Christianity Explored etc can be done online using the 'meeting' facility Zoom.
Creative Ways to Reach Out
See below for info on how you can use street art, window witness & other creative ideas
Engaging with those on your street:
Send a Card to those in your street: write a small card to those in your street saying who you are and that you are praying for them. Include in there your number / email address or the minister's number/ email (if they give their consent) saying you are there for them to chat. This seems simple but in a time of uncertainty we can offer people time over the phone.
With the new Government Guidance on Essential Travel make sure you post these cards through the postbox when you're out for your hour of daily exercise.
Community Artwork: could you ask everyone on your street, or in the community to bring something to the church or a designated house, which you could then put together as a corporate piece of art at this time to reflect a coming together and the Hope we have?
You could also look at placing Biblical promises on ribbons (or something) similar for people to take
Chalk Art: could you use chalk to write in the street messages of hope, drawings of light and faith?
Prayer Labyrinth: in the street, chalk it out on the street and write down how people can move and pray around the areas. Use your street WhatsApp group to display instructions and encourage social distancing.
Window Witness: decorate your window with messages and images of hope and faith.
Phone Line for the Community: dedicate a phone line for those in the community to call and pray - people will be wanting hope and reaching out at this time, be there to listen to them.
Corporate Lament: use blank labels to allow people to write messages, questions, laments or anything on and invite them to hang it on a tree that is in the community or fence of the church - pray for these regularly and listen to what your community is saying.
Pray Walks: use your daily hour walk to pray along the streets in your community; this doesn't need to be complicated just walk down the street asking God to bring His Kingdom to those who live in the houses. Make this a regular thing, not a one off
HOPE and 24/7 Prayer are encouraging churches to create Prayers inviting local communities to experience God by talking and listening to him in prayer. Click Here to go to their Website
Using Social Media to Share the Gospel
See below for info on how you can use social media to share a message of hope
Record a 2 Minute Testimony: record your testimony in two minutes and upload it to your personal social media page - many people you are 'friends' with will know you but some may not be aware of the impact God has had on your life. As you upload it, nominate others to join in and pray that it will open peoples' eyes and that they'll begin to ask you questions about your faith.
Life in a Picture: use the popular social media 'life in a picture' to share hope and light at this time.
Join your community FaceBook Page: most communities have a Facebook page, join this and listen to see what people's issues are.
Tweet Encouragement and Support to local companies, schools etc - let them know you are praying for them and ask if they have any requests.
Virtual Pray Walks: use Google Maps to view the streets you live around and pray God's Kingdom over them. Simply use the Lord's Prayer to guide you.
Teach us How to Pray: Revd Jon at Bethel Baptist Church has produced a weekly reflection on helping people engage in prayer for those who have never done it before. Check it out Here
Engaging with local community providers
See below for info on how you reach out to local schools, health care provision, shops
Send a Postcard to those in living and working in Care Homes: write a small postcard to those living in care homes, often the generation that lives there love hymns - so why not include a few verses of a hymn in your communication? Write that you are praying for them and draw something out of the hymns that would encourage them.
Messages of Hope and Prayer Requests: get some parcel labels and add some string on them, give them to a care home, school, doctors etc - and ask them to write their prayers, what they are hoping for on the labels and hang them up outside so that when you are walking past you can pray for them.
Bless them: send flowers, chocolates etc - to say that you are thinking of them and that you care for them.
Thank You: send a card of thanks to the local school, police station, hospital, supermarket and local shop staff, care homes, etc - let them know you appreciate all that they are doing and if they have any requests to let you know.