How to Get Started
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 committe, 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 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 by 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, email at billie(at)desertsw.org, or 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.