By Diana Davis
Looking for simple summertime ministry ideas for your church? Try some of these!
Red, White & Blue Drive-Through. A banner on the church lawn reads, “Drive through for free snow cones 1-5 p.m. Saturday, July 4.” Red, white, and blue balloons mark a drive-through lane in the parking lot. Happy snow-cone-makers work quickly to avoid long lines, and give a church brochure and verbal invitation to worship with each treat. Add extra fun with a patriotic harmonica or kazoo trio.
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 provide transportation to and from their homes.
Fully Participate in the Peanut Fest. Design a memorable booth for your town’s biggest festival, staffed with joyful volunteers wearing church T-shirts. Examples:
Baby-changing booth. Sign reads, “Jesus loves the little children and so do we! See you Sunday at Faith Church!” Make friends with parents. Post photos of your church’s nursery and children’s area.
“Free prayer” booth or “How to become a Christian” booth. You’ll be surprised at the response. Give away water bottles imprinted with the church’s name and information.
Share Your View. Does your church lawn provide a great view of the town’s fireworks or parade? Use Facebook and outdoor banners to invite folks to bring a lawn chair and watch there. Church members serve lemonade, make friends, and invite people to church.
Preschool “Giggles and Sprinkles Party.” Plan an awesome event on the church lawn for moms with preschoolers. The party involves water sprinklers, a bubble machine, water balloon piñatas with waterproof prizes inside, and an impromptu bubble kazoo band. Moms invite other preschool moms, and guests receive an invitation to church.
Lawn Chair Concert. An outdoor sign reads, “Free concert & ice cream on the lawn Friday at 6 p.m. Bring your lawn chair or blanket!” Prepare an outdoor stage and a quality lineup of live music. Add tiki torches or stringed lights, outdoor fans, and bubbles for the kids. Church members serve homemade ice cream, intentionally reaching out to guests.
Biggest Church Workday Ever. Make a big sign-up chart with two-hour time slots spanning two days. List dozens of needed projects, such as painting, landscaping, updating restrooms, and repairs. Challenge every member and regular attender to sign up for a shift. Gather tools and supplies, play music, and check off the project list.
Summer Ukulele Band. Offer weekly group ukulele lessons, welcoming adults, kids, college students—anyone—to join. After a few rehearsals, they may serenade the returning mission team at the airport, accompany a worship song in church, or, with permission, pop up at the mall, city hall, beach, nursing home, or local park as an outreach.
Every Member Matters. Use summer Sundays to challenge every church member to find a ministry. Create a list of large and small “Opportunities to Serve” in the church, and track the percentage of members involved in some type of service, however small.
Open Gym. Is your church blessed with a gym, an awesome playground, or a great library? Try opening it to outsiders during specific hours. Use the church’s website, Facebook, and outdoor signs to advertise singles volleyball night, pickup basketball, library storytime, walking track, kids’ or teen gym hours. Recruit friendly volunteers to welcome the crowds.
Pop-Up Popsicle Pirates. It’s a fun project for senior adults or small groups. On a hot day, meet at the city park wearing bandanas, black eye patches, and church T-shirts. Pass out free popsicles to kids, along with printed invitations to Vacation Bible School, kids’ camp, or Sunday school. Even better, make it a tradition. Folks in town never know when that fun senior adult Popsicle Pirate Crew will pop up! Get permits if required.
Mega-Tip Blessings. Challenge each small group in your church to eat out together at a restaurant one day this summer. Each person contributes an extravagantly large tip in a group envelope. They pray for their server and present the huge tip with a note about God’s love and an invitation to your church.
Summer days are fleeting! Don’t miss an opportunity to serve others and show the love of Christ.
DIANA DAVIS (DianaDavis.org) is an author, columnist, and minister’s wife in Pensacola, Florida.