The following post is written by our guest blogger, Eric Rentz: It has been my privilege to implement the Great Commission Resource Center (GCRC) platform into the life of our congregation and I have arrived at the conclusion that every church should be a Great Commission Resource center! This targeted approach to outreach has allowed us to specifically and intentionally identify affinity groups within our community that we can engage with the Gospel.
We are all aware of the efforts made by our larger mission organizations, NAMB and IMB, to engage cultures, but what about those cultures that exist in close proximity to our churches? There are literally dozens of people groups and subcultures that we can engage right where we live. They have languages, customs, traditions, and activities that make them a tribe within themselves and many of them have never come to faith in Christ. They are athletes, bikers, cowboys, RVers, outdoorsmen, gamers, military, educators, ems personnel, law enforcement officers, hobbyists, and weekend warriors for any number of activities and if we target them we can reach them with the gospel.
Our church took the challenge to become a GCRC and we have seen amazing results. We started with using our own members that were already affiliated with these groups to give us insight as to how we could engage them and identify some specific needs within those cultures. Then we coordinated a rifled approach to minister within those perimeters.
We are currently ministering to the military families in our area and have had huge success in immersing them into our church family. We started by interviewing those that were already a part of our fellowship and simply asking,” what it is that families in the military culture need?” They needed appreciation and acceptance, help with childcare, yard work, home repairs, automobile care, knowledge about the community(i,e, where to shop, school related information, recreation parks and locations, realtors, doctors, ect.) and these needs are particularly important while family members are deployed. We have held evangelistic events both at the church, and in the neighborhoods in which military personnel reside (block parties), to develop relationships between ourselves and the military families. We also have dedicated a section in our welcome center to reflect the creeds, symbols, and graphics associated with the 3rd Infantry division, so they see our desire to identify with them as a people group. In addition to the military group, we have had various evangelistic events that target specific affinity groups:
- Wild Game Dinner- for Outdoorsmen
- Pre Game Meal- for Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Marching Band
- Appreciation Dinner-for EMS, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Educators
- Stop Sight and Feeding Station-for Motorcycle Rides
- Recreation Sight- for Parks and Recreation teams (ball practice, awards banquets, and Games)
- Block Parties- for large subdivisions
We register everyone who attends and we follow-up with visits, phone calls, e-mails, and correspondence by mail and our primary goal is to earn the right to present the Gospel. With each event we have seen the harvest and we have come to the conclusion that God honors our efforts and truly blesses and church that is engaging in intentional evangelism.