The summer months offer churches increased flexibility and different opportunities to reach their community. Diana Davis offers 13 ideas your church can use to take advantage of the break from school and warmer weather.
1. School’s Out Celebrations: Host three last-day-of-school parties. Elementary kids’ ice cream party, middle school pizza party and treasure hunt; high school sand volleyball tournament and Christian concert. Provide a summer calendar of church events for each age group.
2. Welcome Wagon: Deliver welcome baskets to people who move into your community. Include baked goods or pantry items, information about your church, as well as coupons to local businesses. The Chamber of Commerce can provide you with the names and addresses of people who recently have relocated to your area.
3. Be Festive: As a church, participate in the town’s annual fair or festival. Wear church T-shirts and have fun. Make a parade float, host a diaper changing station or offer to be the cleanup crew.
4. Neighborhood Cookout: Encourage church members or small groups to host a neighborhood cookout one Saturday and invite their neighbors to church.
5. Cool Comfort: Open your facility to those in the community who may not have air conditioning. Provide play areas for moms with young kids. Set up a workspace for college students with free Wi-Fi access. The summer heat is especially dangerous for seniors. Providing a cool place for them to spend their days may even save a life. You may need to arrange transportation to and from their homes.
6. Student Camp Sendoff: Members of an adult Bible class select a camper, prepare a snack bag for the trip, and pray for them that week.
7. Outdoor Concert: Invite the entire community to a free outdoor concert on the church lawn.
8. Thank Local Heroes: Invite fire fighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel and others for a special recognition service and lunch at your church.
9. All-Church Picnic: Plan a fun-filled day of food, games and fellowship.
10. VBS. Vacation Bible School is an enormous outreach. Visit Lifeway.com/vbs for ideas.
11. Middle School Summit: Incoming middle school students and their parents rotate through 10-minute topical classes taught by church youth leaders and Christians who teach or work in local middle schools. Afterward, kids have a party and parents eat out together.
12. Back-to-School Backpacks: Partner with a local school or shelter and donate backpacks filled with school supplies to school-age children whose families need financial assistance.
13. Move It: Recruit volunteers to wear church T-shirts and help with move-in day at your local college. Invite students to Sunday worship and a homemade lunch in their honor.