Planning and Conducting an Outreach


You and some friends of yours have this great idea. You think it would be cool if the whole school had the opportunity to receive Christ. Wow! As you start to work through your idea, you begin to wonder, “Is it really possible to reach all the students on the campus? This seems like such a huge task. Maybe I was dreaming?” You’re right, this is major. But, be encouraged. With God and a little creativity, an entire campus can have the opportunity to hear the life-changing truth of Christ. You’re thinking, “Where do I start?” Good question. One of the best ways to begin reaching the entire campus is by doing a creative evangelistic outreach. These are fun and can be small (for a specific group of students, e.g. an athletic team or club) or very large. Creative evangelistic outreaches are simple. You just need to design the outreach around the interests and needs of the particular group of students you want to reach.


Here are some great ideas for creative outreaches. Look them over and see which ones would best meet the needs of the group you will first reach out to.

  • “Beauty Bash” (for girls)
  • Motivational talks for any group team (basketball, cheer, drama or whatever groups are represented at the school)
  • Coffee House for the student government
  • Leadership Breakfast for students in the Honor society or student government
  • Mystery Dinner for a group of students and their friends
  • International student outreach (for ethnic or foreign students, or language clubs)
  • School-wide talent show (perhaps do a 70s gong show)
  • 100-foot banana split during your school’s Spirit Week
  • Bring in a band (The Coaching Center can hook you up.)
  • “Singled Out” or “Dating Game” night during homecoming or prom

Note: Keep things simple and uncomplicated. Just having Christian students invite friends to their home to hear the gospel can be quite effective. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading! As you do these fun activities, remember that your purpose is to share the truth of Christ with the students. It is simple for any talk to show the students their need for a personal relationship with Christ. You’ll love doing these creative outreaches because they help you meet new people. Also, excitement builds when students reach out to new students. One of the greatest things the outreaches do is build up and motivate students already involved in your Christian group. It gives them the opportunity to help plan and lead activities.


You want to get this going as soon as possible! Let’s think through what you’ll need to do:

  1. Identify a target group and their needs.

    You’ve got the target group picked out. What are their specific felt needs? For example, girls and guys are always wondering about love, sex and dating. Or, cheerleaders may feel the need to maintain unity on their squad. Athletes need to know how to keep a winning attitude. List their needs on a piece of paper and pray this will help you know which outreach idea to use.

  2. Pray for the outreach.

    Pray specifically for the students and for God’s plan for your outreach.

  3. Plan the outreach.

    Involve other students and adults in the planning. This gives ownership among the students. After choosing the activity, plan it. Ask questions like, “What is going to happen at this outreach? What will get people there? How will the gospel be presented? How will the students be invited (fliers, invitations, word-of-mouth)? Do we need food? What kind?” After brainstorming for a while, make a list and answer these questions.

    1. What do I need to do?
    2. When do I need to do it?
    3. Who can help me?

    Find a good date that doesn’t conflict with school events. Find a good place, like a large home or classroom. Will you need to get pizza and drinks there? Will you need to prepare a talk, or bring in an “expert” to come and speak for you? Example team talks are on the Web sites. Think through how you will follow up the students who came. How will you get a record of who was there? Comment Cards (see samples) let you know who came. You can use these after the talk. Ask students to tell you what they thought about the event, and even if they made a decision for Christ. Make sure to get their names and phone numbers. You’ll want to call them back. Use the cards determine how you will you do follow-up: one-on-one or in groups? Who can help you do follow-up?”

  4. Arrange the outreach.

    There is a lot to do. Get other students or adults to help you. It is fun working with a team of people. Have a plan for involving others. Here is a checklist to help you plan.

    • Prayer

      Who will make sure people are praying?

    • Refreshments

      Who is preparing the food and getting it there? Can you get it donated? Do you need paper products? Can students serve themselves or do you need people to help set out food? Who will help clean up?

    • Publicity

      If no one knows about the event, then no one will come. Plan this part well! Make fliers or invitations ahead of time. Make a big poster to put in the hallways. Give yourself at least two weeks for publicity.

    • Games and Crowdbreaker (if needed)

      Make sure you know what you will need. Try out the game first before doing it at the outreach. Make sure your activity is fun and involves everyone. Be sure that your instructions make sense to everyone.

    • Emcee and Speaker

      Get ideas for topics and possible speakers/emcees from others. Students, adults in your community, or The Coaching Center can provide suggestions. It’s always good to make sure the speaker understands the topic. Let people who are involved in the outreach know the time and place to meet

    • Follow-up

      Make sure there are comment cards and pencils for everyone. Let others know how and when to pass out and re-collect cards and pencils.

  5. Do the outreach!

    The big day is here. You are pumped! Here is an idea of a good flow for your meeting.

    • As people arrive, play some music in the background.
    • When everyone has arrived, begin with a crowdbreaker.
    • Offer the food if it is the main attraction. Otherwise, save the food for after the speaker.
    • Introduce the speaker.
    • After the speaker shares the gospel, have someone come and explain the comment cards. It usually takes about 10 minutes to distribute the cards, get them filled out and then collected. Drawing a door prize winner from among the comment cards is a great motivator for students to turn in their cards.
  6. Follow-up the students.

    You’ve got people’s names and numbers and you know who has made decisions for Christ. Contact these people within 24-to-48 hours. Get others to help you and begin meeting with these new students one on one, or in small groups to help them begin growing in their new relationship with Christ. This may be a good time to begin a new small group Bible study.

  7. Evaluate the outreach.

    You did it! It went great, but there are some things you want to think over before you do your next creative outreach. Within 24-to-48 hours, get everyone together who helped plan and talk about the event.

    • How did it go?
    • What did you learn for next time?
    • Would you do anything differently?

    Pray and thank God for all He did, then start thinking of the next group you can reach out to with the gospel.

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What they’re saying about Cru

Unbelievable! Several students just received Christ at an outreach. So now what? How do you respond to help a person who has just received Christ? “Follow-Up” is the answer!

What is Follow Up?

Imagine bringing your newborn baby home from the hospital. Suppose you set her in the crib and say, “Okay, Sweetie, milk is in the fridge, the bathroom is over there, and here’s the stereo if you want to hear some tunes.” Absurd! So why should we do the same to a brand new Christian, who is referred to as a “baby” in the Bible? No, it’s our responsibility to help cultivate the faith of that newborn believer.Follow-up is making sure a new Christian understands their new relationship with God.  They need to know the first steps in how to grow in their relationship with Christ and multiply their faith to others.  It is important to help them establish a habit of meeting with Christ daily and to help them live a new life of faith.

How to Start

So where do you start?

  1. Pray. Begin by praying for them (1 Thessalonians 1:2,3).  Remember that God is sovereign, which means that He has total authority in the making of His disciples (followers of Christ).
  2. Remember that God is in charge. Only God can produce growth, and He does that in many ways. The Bible talks about four ways of responding to God’s Word in Matthew 13:3-9, 14-20. Check it out! In the book of Acts, Paul spent special time with new believers, teaching and encouraging them (Acts 17-20). As a result they eventually influenced their entire region. We can help guide and encourage believers to grow, but the bottom line is that God’s the one in charge. What a relief.In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, the Bible says, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, causing the growth. So then neither the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth…For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
  3. Don’t Delay Follow-up! It is very important to begin follow-up ASAP! Beware: Satan will be attempting to discourage a student after he has received Christ. The student may have questions or doubts, so it’s good to be available to talk. Give him a call within 24-48 hours after he has received Christ and invite him to meet to talk about how his new faith is a part of everyday life. The Holy Spirit needs your availability to help lead this new believer. You will want to affirm his new relationship with Christ; set up a time to meet to talk further. You may be thinking, “But how do I start meeting with him.”? Suggest a time and place to meet (like Taco Bell, Burger King, in the school courtyard … wherever!) and let the student respond.Be flexible! Explain that you would like to share some things that will help him in his new relationship with Christ. Encourage him to bring several friends along. Meeting with a group of students who know each other is often the best method of follow-up. The students may feel more open to talk and share, and will make up a potential discipleship group for later.  Invite other students who have received Christ (through an outreach or one on one ) to join together as a group, especially if they know each other. If something happens and you can’t get together at the scheduled time, reschedule your appointment within 48 hours. Whatever you do, don’t leave that “baby” unattended!

The First Follow-Up Meeting

What do you talk about at your first follow-up meeting? The purpose of your first meeting is to build your relationship, to help these new Christians to understand the assurance of their salvation, and to help them begin to grasp God’s love for them.

  1. Personalize your time. When you get together to talk personalize your time by asking good questions.  In other words, don’t talk as much about yourself! Talk about things the students are interested in and things you may have in common, and be sure to listen! (See Turning the Conversation to Christ)
  2. Explain spiritual growth. Use your time together to explain spiritual growth (see below for topics). Show the students that there is much to learn and offer the opportunity to get together weekly, at least for the next four weeks. Asking for a short-term commitment won’t be as overwhelming to a new Christian as an open-ended “let’s meet” might be. After the first four weeks, challenge them to continue to meet for further growth together.
  3. Ask questions to gain understanding. If you are meeting with someone whom you’re not sure is a Christian, ask questions which will help you understand better where they are at spiritually, and be prepared to share the gospel with him if the student is open and willing to listen! For instance, “If you were to die tonight and see God, and he asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ What would you answer?” If the person is not 100% sure they are going to heaven, take the time to share the gospel with them to clarify things with them. (Here is an example of a gospel presentation called Knowing God Personally – also found on the God Tools app).
  4. Remember that follow-up is a process. A couple of things to remember … every young Christian will need to continue to learn from the Scriptures. We need to start at the beginning and build. Don’t try to teach everything all at once! Follow-up is a process.

Important Truths for New Christians

Here are some of the most important truths a new Christian needs to know:

  • Assurance of salvation (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Knowledge of Jesus Christ (John 20:31, Romans 10:17)
  • Forgiveness and confession of sins (Romans 5:6-9, 1 John 1:9)
  • The ministry of the Holy Spirit in his life (John 14:25-26, Ephesians 5:18)
  • Understanding his new identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

For free Bible studies you can download go to our Thrive Studies Follow up Bible Studies.. Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work! But if you have done your job well, by God’s grace your newborn friends will soon be walking, talking, and feeding themselves spiritually.  They will be on their way to becoming mature disciples of Christ!