Summer is a time when things aren’t so chaotic, and people are a little less tense. They can relax a little. The squash is out of season, and the holiday festivities are out of sight. And, it is a great time as a church to make yourself known in your community.
As you plan your church’s summer schedule, here are seven ideas for your community outreach this summer.
- Host a “movie under the stars” night.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons, the third most popular summer activity is watching movies.
Sure, you could pay a whopping $12 to go see the newest Marvel movie. Or…you could have your church host a movie night for a fraction of the cost (or for free!).
You can use your church’s space, rent out a green area, or another cool space in your town. You can have food trucks, BBQ, or make it a dessert night. The possibilities are up to you.
If Disney does it, it’s gotta be a golden idea, right?
- Host a book club.
Everybody loves a good story.
Summer is the perfect time when school is out, people are going on vacation, and they might have more time to crack open the novel that they’ve been meaning to read.
While book clubs tend to be more of a female-geared activity, there are certainly men who enjoy participating in a good book club.
Regardless of whether you join or host a book club (for ladies, men, co-ed, or even kids), they are a time to get together, talk about real-life issues, and easily open up deeper and more meaningful (even spiritual) conversations.
You can use the “Meetup” app, the local library, or the local bookstore website to see what book clubs are going on in your city. If there just doesn’t seem to be any going on, then start one in your city so new people who aren’t necessarily from your church can attend. Or, encourage people in your church to start one in their neighborhood!
Be sure to do all kinds of different books, not just Christian literature.
- Hold a 4th of July concert.
We all know you’re not American if you don’t enjoy good BBQ and fireworks on Independence Day. It’s the Christmas of the summer. Or maybe New Year?
Either way, it’s just about the only fun holiday that happens during the summer. And it’s a great opportunity to get together with your city and celebrate.
A great way to do this is to partner with your city to put on a local concert!
You can get local bands to play, have food trucks, offer to make or pay for good barbecue, provide games/entertainment, free refreshments or desserts, and figure out how to put together a firework show!
Families love having a place they can get together to celebrate and spend time together. It would be cool to make something like this happen—even on a small level.
- Challenge your church to host neighborhood game nights.
When most of us think of board games, we think of the classics: Scrabble, Monopoly, and a good game of Clue. But today it seems like there are as many board games as there are books.
Game nights can be a fun way to get to know your neighbors and friends better, let everyone’s competitive side come out, and share a fun experience together.
And, since the summertime means off-season for practices, people can bring their kids along, as well!
Some favorite adult board games are Speak Out, Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Codenames.
- Start a biking, walking, or runner’s club.
Working out alone is the worst.
It’s true of anything else—doing something alongside another person just makes it better, easier, and more fun.
People are more likely to actually take a yoga class, run, or go to the gym if they have a buddy. It’s easy to cancel on yourself.
Summer is a great time when people are re-evaluating their New Year’s resolutions and starting to think about their health again, so this can be a great time to start a club!
You can share why your health is important with each other and hear other people’s life stories. What a great way to get to know your community!
- Offer free car washes or yard care.
You don’t need big events to reach people in your community. Acts of service are a great way to show people in your community that you care about them and aren’t just out for them to attend your church.
You can set up a car wash in your church’s parking lot and make sure to advertise well in advance. Or, if the space isn’t able to host a car wash, you could offer this in neighboring areas.
Offering to do free yard work will offer a little more flexibility, as you’re going to people’s homes. For yard work, you’ll just need a good lawn mower and to be ready to pull some weeds!
- Watch kids on “date nights.”
The off-season of the year is a great time for parents to get some quality time in together.
It makes it tough if parents don’t have money to afford a sitter and don’t know anyone who can watch their kiddos for them.
Have your church host a “date night daycare” so parents can go out while you watch the kids. Make it fun, exciting, and a mini camp-like experience so that kids will want to come back.
This information is courtesy of Church Fuel, which offers practical tools and advice to move your church forward. Church Fuel combines online coaching, proven resources, and a community of pastors ready to encourage you, www.churchfuel.com.