Runners will “pick up the pace” to push themselves to a higher level of performance. Problem solvers will “step it up” in focus and energy to get results.

During stewardship time at many local churches, members are asked to practice “step up giving.” If you give 3 percent now, pledge 4 percent for next year, and 5 percent for the following year, until the goal of a tithe is achieved for the household.

What if we were to practice “Step Up Outreach,” as a pathway to risk taking mission for our churches in ministry with the homeless and poor?

Step 1: Donate underwear and socks at the church

Step 2: Serve meals at a local soup kitchen

Step 3: Break bread with persons who happen to be poor

Step 4: Immerse yourself for 48 hours at a local shelter

Step 5: Share your skills in one on one mentoring efforts

Step 6: Invite to your church

These steps follow each other well.

They are not necessarily rigid in their order but these steps are time tested.

I strongly suggest the early steps be in place before any church takes on the later steps.

They are building blocks.

Ministry in all our churches will increase our own relational transformation as we practice step up outreach.