By Diana Davis
Summer’s an ideal time to reach lost people for Christ. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- Promote the activities to everyone in the community. Encourage your members to bring their unchurched friends.
- Host a few events throughout the summer—maybe one a month—to build a bridge to visitors and hopefully keep them coming.
- Follow-up after the event is vital, so make sure you get visitors’ names and contact information.
Think “outside the church” as you plan summer events. Many of your neighbors are already outside, so why not take the activities to them.
Plan community-wide events on your beautiful church lawn:
- Citywide Father’s Day cookout and outdoor worship service—“Bring your dad and a lawn chair!”
- Citywide kite-flying contest or “Biggest Water-Sprinkler Party in Avon” event for preschoolers or elementary kids.
- Move your Sunday evening worship outdoors.
- A concert on the lawn or a weekly outdoor fellowship. Use tiki lights, have live Christian music, and serve bottled sodas in huge tubs of ice.
Summer outreach in the church parking lot:
- Host a citywide July 4th bicycle parade.
- Drive-through registration for Vacation Bible School (VBS) or kids’ camps.
- Host an outdoor Movie Night. Invite people to bring blankets and lawn chairs, serve popcorn, and project the movie on an outside wall or large screen.
- Teens serve free drive-through snow cones. No donations; just invite them to Sunday worship.
- Host a community service day such as blood drive or food collection.
Take ministry to other outdoor locations.
- Have the church softball team’s dugout banner read, “Join us at Journey Church, Sunday, 11 a.m.”
- Perform a second presentation of your youth drama or musical in a nearby park. Be sure to get the appropriate permit.
- Offer a VBS as an apartment ministry and outreach.
Tip: Every outdoor event must display a banner invitation, such as “Free Ice Cream & Live Music Sunday at 6 p.m. Join us!”
Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm unique summer outreach ideas:
- Newspaper ad: “Bring Dad to church on Father’s Day—Free photo!” Create an attractive photo site. The volunteer photographer uses a tripod to quickly snap a photo of each dad and child. Post photos on the website for downloading or print them before worship ends.
- What’s your town’s biggest summer event? Be there! Set up a diaper changing station at the city festival. Pick up trash after the 4th of July parade or fireworks celebration. Build a fabulous float for a parade. Serve water at the mini-marathon.
- Our church’s “Kids’ Art Camp” was a huge hit in our town. A registration fee covered supplies. Artists in our church taught a variety of mediums, and art focused on God’s creations. The city library displayed a big sculpture kids created.
- Summer offers a brief, high-impact time for outreach to people in your town who don’t know Jesus as Lord. With a little creativity and local promotion, your church can make summer the time for community building and outreach. Yes, it’s summer, but “the harvest is plentiful…”
Diana Davis is author of Fresh Ideas, Deacon Wives and Fresh Ideas for Women’s Ministry(B&H Publishing). Visit dianadavis.org for more ministry ideas.