Just heard this last week at a networking meeting by a pastor of Moasic Church. His name is Jason. I think.
The three characteristics of a Church outreach ministry to a community are:
1. No strings attached
No one is trying to just make converts or church members or even church attenders. The goal is to serve, even if the church gets nothing out of it.
2. Long Term
Outreach is not an event. Real outreach requires relationship and building trust and that only happens through time.
3. Meet Felt Needs
We are serving in the areas we are asked to serve. We don't come with a big agenda of how we will "transform" the community. Rather, we are there to serve and to be Christ-like. We must be humble and do as asked, not command the served to receive what we have to give.