epic evangelism revisited

I’ve been using Len Sweets EPIC lenses every time i think of developing a new outreach idea…It has worked well and has kept me on track as i seek to encourage people to become outward focused…

EPIC defined:

Experiential (derived from experience),
Image (oriented), and

I ask the questions:

Will the outreach idea promote a positive experience? Will the person doing the outreach have a positive experience? What will that experience feel like? Will the person on the receiving end of the outreach have a positive experience?

Will the outreach idea encourage participation? Will it have a doing aspect? example: one standard outreach that the people of the Vineyard enjoy is Making Christmas Dreams Come True… it’s a party for 1400 of the less served of Dayton.

Hundreds of people sign up to participate on many levels for the pre-event and day of event opportunities to serve. Everyone can participate on some level and the serving produces a positive experience.

The people being served also participate by calling in to reserve their seat, driving to the event, being warmly welcomed and ushered to their seats, and eating a 4 course meal that is served by smiling caring people.

After the meal the kids can have their faces painted, make a craft, go pick out a present for their parents, pick up their pre wrapped age and gender appropriate gifts and receive a balanced bag of groceries to take home…

What will the outreach look like? Will there be some excitement, or chaos? Will what we give or promote have a positive look? Will the first impression impress? Will it look upbeat, generous and have a sense of fun or intrigue.

This is the thought process that led us to develop our dog treat outreach. The card is placed in a 4″X4″ zip lock bag with 3 IAMS dog biscuits. Check out the slightly enhanced smile…it’s there on purpose…

Will the outreach connect to a felt need or a real need? Does it make sense? Can the person doing the outreach connect with the outreach in a positive manner? What is the level of emotional energy spent on the outreach?

One outreach we tried a few years ago was giving toilet paper to people door to door. It was fun, met a common need, but over all it was not received in a positive manner..It just didn’t connect. It was goofy. The people doing the outreach couldn’t connect nor could the people on the receiving end connect.

On the other hand the dog biscuit outreach created a positive experience, had a participatory element for the outreach person, the dog owner, and the dog, it had a great image, and it connected the thought in a fun up beat way.

EPIC is a good matrix that has helped us develop an outward focus. This past week over 10,000 people were touched by an EPIC outreach.

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