Six Levels of Outreach Influence: Level 3 to 4

Walt Bennett

September, 2018

In the operating system of Organic Outreach, six levels of outreach influence are identified. Level 1 is God, who influences the Outreach Influence Team Leader (Level 2) through Scripture, Holy Spirit leading, and time spent in prayer and preparation. From here, it is pretty straightforward to continue the chain of influence down to Level 3the Outreach Influence Team (made up of the leaders of every ministry in the churchrepresenting every area of operation of the church). This is a very proscribed influence process accomplished through monthly meetings providing a 30-day infusion of inspiration, accountability, learning, and planning. On the Organic Outreach website, you will find three full years (soon to be five) of agendas for these meetings which can be downloaded and modified to best fit your context. It is in the next influence layer, from Level 3 to Level 4 (ministry workers) that things can become more challenging. 

In influencing from Level 3 to Level 4, each ministry leader must devise a way to replicate the 30-day infusion they receive in the Outreach Influence Team meetings with all of those who work/volunteer in their ministry. In most cases, these are all volunteers who are already giving of their time to accomplish the work of the ministry. To ask them to commit to an additional meeting each month is generally not an option. If you take this route and try to replicate the experience of the Outreach Influence Team, you run the risk of having a very meager turnout or, at worst, losing volunteers.

The reason that the process of influence is not clearly defined at this level is that there is so much variation from church to church, town to town, and ministry to ministry, that it is impossible to devise a method that will address every possible scenario. This is where the individual ministry leaders must contextualize the process to fit their exact situation. The reality is that it will almost invariably take longer to completely engage the workers in each ministry in the culture change of Organic Outreach. But you cannot let this deter you from what needs to be done! Each ministry leader must develop a specific Ministry Action Plan (MAP) to provide inspiration, accountability, learning, and planning at monthly intervals for their ministry workers. Each of these key elements will necessarily be more incremental than they are in the Outreach Influence Team itself, but they must be relentlessly and intentionally pursued.

 

" The reality is that it will almost invariably take longer to completely engage the workers in each ministry in the culture change of Organic Outreach. But you cannot let this deter you from what needs to be done!"

 

To help out with this process, we have samples of various Ministry Action Plans from the ministry leaders at Shoreline Church. As you prepare for this step in the culture change process, we encourage every ministry leader to review ALL of the Ministry Action Plans on the website. They may find different pieces from different ministries’ plans that would work well together with new actions they devise themselves that will form an actionable plan for their particular ministry. In this process of developing Ministry Action Plans, one thing is almost certainthe first plan will most likely be imperfectbut that’s okay! Outreach Influence Team cluster meetings and one-on-ones are the perfect place for the Outreach Influence Team Leader to check in on the Ministry Action Plans and to talk through what is working, what is not working, and what can be modified/added to make the plan more effective.

One thing is certainwithout that spirit of relentless intentionality (and accountability) Level 3 to Level 4 influence will become one of the greatest roadblocks to fully implementing Organic Outreach in your church.

We encourage you to share your Ministry Action Plans with us so that we may add to our collection and help other churches around the world. Also, let us know what is working and what is not as you strive to bridge this influence gap.

Walt Bennett is the Executive Director for Organic Outreach International.  Walt shares teaching and coaching responsibilities with Kevin and Sherry as well as overseeing all of our day-to-day operations including content and systems development, and church and international partnerships. Walt is located in the Houston, Texas area and leads that hub of our operations in addition to his overall organizational responsibilities.

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