How to start a Sidewalk Ministry

by | Mar 24, 2014 | Training, Billie's Blog

The Sidewalk Ministry is an exciting opportunity for evangelism to the community. From the beginning, one must recognize that you are beginning a new worship service. Yes, it is most likely outside. Yes, this worship will be different than what most churches have attempted before. Yes, the first few months are filled with details and activity. But once you have engaged and birthed this new faith community, life will be glorious and never the same! Praise! There must be an individual who is the driving force behind Sidewalk. Perhaps this is the pastor, perhaps this is a lay person. In any event, the pastor must be 100% behind reaching out beyond the church. Outward focus.

Once someone has prayerfully embraced the Sidewalk Ministry for their community, I would suggest:

Meet with key church leadership

This may be a church visioning committee, strategic planning committee, or a combined group of church key leaders. In general, those who most champion the ministry of Sidewalk are outreach, evangelism, missions and discipleship leaders. Notice that I did not include the children’s education group in this initial list (though praise God CE/children leadership certainly are with us and involved at many levels!). Please remember, Sidewalk is street evangelism with the entry point being the children. As the ministry grows, it becomes a multi-generation faith community. The Desert Southwest Conference recognizes Sidewalk as both a new church start and a key tool of the revitalization of churches, which we call Vital Faith Communities.

Excite the Congregation

Preach in the pulpit the amazing force of the Sidewalk Ministry. Sermon helps are available from this office. We recommend that at the end of the sermon, cards are provided to each individual where they can check off the team areas of Sidewalk that they might be interested in serving. This will indicate the interest level as well as give you an idea of who might be willing to volunteer. Card templates are available from this office.

Train, train, train!

Within a 2 to 3 week period, hold training in each of the team areas: prayer, shepherd, visitation, truck, curriculum, and promotions. Training sheets are available from this office, and I am here to help you with any of the areas noted above. Whether that means a visit, phone or email, I am here to help you in any way that I can.

Start-Up Guide

There is a start-up guide that I can mail to you. Please call me at 1.800.229.8622 ext. 221 or email me at bfidlin@dscumc.org. You can also write to me at Billie K. Fidlin, Sidewalk Sunday School, 1550 E. Meadowbrook, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Donations to the ministry are welcomed to help cover production and mailing costs.

Together we can and will change the face of a nation, one child, one street, one neighborhood, one city at a time.

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Author: Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center and the Phoenix Police Department's Faith Advisory Council. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.
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