All Christians and churches are called to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) and to love their neighbor as themselves (Matthew 22:27-40; 25:37-40). These essential commands, however, can be expressed through a wide variety of outreach ministries.
Every church should include some form of evangelism as its outreach. This includes teaching church members how to share the gospel (basic teachings as well as apologetics training) and providing opportunities for them to do so (events, service projects, workplace outreach, campus outreach, through media, or even door-to-door).
Every church is also called to help others in need. Examples of this kind of outreach can include serving the poor, homeless outreach, prison ministry, serving at hospitals, hospice centers, or nursing homes, children's outreach, helping immigrants or refugees, or the disabled.
A third outreach every church should have is an effort to reach those who have not yet heard the gospel. Matthew 28:19 teaches, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Nations refers not to countries but to people groups. Thousands of people groups exist worldwide and many have yet to hear the gospel a single time. It is a biblical imperative to be involved in helping to reach these individuals.
In addition to these essential outreaches, each church may develop specific ministries that are unique to its members and its community. For example, one church may start a car repair ministry while another may excel in sports ministry as an outreach. Some churches excel in serving the inner city while others are better at serving rural areas. All of these strategies can be used as the various parts of the body of Christ use their abilities to serve others.
God may also use your church's unique location as a way to serve in a particular ministry. For example, churches in New York City have many opportunities to serve immigrants; churches in Washington, D.C. have many ways to serve those in government; certain churches are in places where they can reach those in a surfing culture while some cities in northern areas can reach people through ice hockey.
Every church can both focus on essential outreach (evangelism, serving those in need, and reaching the unreached) while also developing unique local outreaches to best serve in their individual communities. God works through many ways to utilize church outreaches to reach new people for Christ.
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