Missions & Outreach

The Church Outreach Director: What does the role entail?

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street
Photograph by Anna Earl

The church outreach director is the front line of your congregation. They are the ones who go out into their communities and spread goodwill, engage in thoughtful discussions with neighbors, promote equality for all people regardless of race, gender or religion. They not only serve during Sunday service but throughout the week by being mindful of what they say and do. For that reason it’s important to find a qualified individual with a strong Christian faith that has a passion for community building and social justice to fill this role.

What does the Church Outreach Director do?

The church outreach director is responsible for engaging in outreach efforts outside of Sunday service time to generate member interest and support within surrounding communities. They must also be able to effectively conduct themselves with tact and empathy when dealing with the public.

How to find a qualified candidate?

The church outreach director should be someone who has extensive experience in community engagement and at least one year of experience working in a leadership position. They must also have excellent communication skills and enjoy interacting with others.

Good qualities for a church outreach director include:

-Having the ability to listen and empathize with those that they work with. It's critical for this person to be able to understand the viewpoints of others.

-Being able to quickly identify patterns of problems and propose solutions. Outreach involves seeing what needs to be done and doing it quickly.

-Effective public speaker who can articulate their message clearly and concisely. Rallying volunteers and members of your congregation requires the ability to influence others.

-Excellent at prioritizing and limiting time on low priority tasks, delegating tasks effectively.

-Deep devotion and commitment to the church and its goals; knowledgeable about scripture, theology, doctrine etc. Being able to manage projects & people is not enough. There will be times when the coordinator will need to step in with spiritual guidance and prayer.

-Ability to strike a balance between rigor and flexibility in conducting interactions with those involved in the church outreach. This includes volunteers, community members and members of the congregation.

-Strong knowledge of how to establish programs for outreach efforts in the area. Ability to work with other churches or organizations active in outreach activities.

-Ability to create/maintain relationships with local community leaders who share similar values to the church's own mission statement. Having open lines of communication is critical when establishing programs and events in the community.

As you can see, the church outreach coordinator is a person that fills many roles. They must be a people-person, a spiritual guide, a community leader, an empathetic listener and a forward thinker. If you feel that this person is beyond your congregation’s reach or unrealistic in their expectations, think again. The church outreach director role may be the most important job in your church next to pastor.