Witness is the work we have been given to do as the church scattered. We have opportunities to speak of Jesus with the people in our everyday lives who are our friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, etc.
Outreach is the work we do as the church gathered. It is our collective effort through ministries, services, events and other activities as the church through which we invite and include others into Word and Sacrament ministry.
Witness & Outreach are distinct, but they work together so people will know of Jesus and be gathered into His Church through us.
When Jesus told His disciples, "You will be my witnesses," (Acts 1:8) He was making a statement, not making a request. He has called each and every believer to be a witness of Him and His love.
This is not simply a part of who we are as God's people in the world, it is, in Martin Luther's words, "the only reason for which God leaves us in this world."
As we fulfill our purpose for being here, we should strive not only to be His witnesses but to be faithful and effective witnesses for the sake of those who do not know of Jesus, especially for the people with whom the Lord has crafted relationships with us in our everyday lives.
Witnessing is our work of planting and watering with the joyful expectation that the Lord will, where it pleases Him, provide the growth.
Just as individual believers are where they are in life to be witnesses of Jesus, congregations exist where they do in order to gather the people of their communities into Word and Sacrament ministry.
Outreach relies on the witness of individual believers and on the collective efforts of the congregation's members. It is conducted through activities that connect the congregation with those outside of the church, that facilitate building relationships with them, and that lead to making disciples through Word and Sacrament.
Outreach takes many forms in order to adapt to the context of the congregation and the surrounding community, but it ultimately leads to the same Means of Grace through which the Holy Spirit works faith when and where He wills.