Can you believe it’s almost fall? If you’re ministry is like mine, you’re probably enjoying that post-summer attendance surge. Thank goodness summer vacations are over! It’s always great when the core group of children attends regularly and participates in the programs with enthusiasm. Fall always leads me to thinking about outreach. I think the coolness of the temperature coupled with the obvious pitch in attendance combined makes me want to head out into the highways and byways.
As a children’s minister, I feel compelled to not only go, but lead children in outreach too. Each year, I offer some type of initiative for kids that want to “get into the harvest.” A child’s safety is my number one priority though so I like using these proven methods.
1. Stadium giveaways: Here in Alabama, football is king. Well next to the Lord anyway. We have a plethora of high school and college football games to choose from. With permission from the stadium manager, my kids and I, (along with many adult volunteers) line up outside the gate to hand out little gifts like mini footballs, key chains or plastic cups. Of course, we have them print my logo of the church first. It costs a little but it’s so worth it. My kids love outreach giveaways because feel non-threatening and are fun by nature.
2. Nursing home chorus club: The little stars in children’s ministry don’t mind singing a few tunes for the folks at the nursing home. Once a year, sometimes twice, we book an hour to sing in the solarium. Our audience loves the old hymns and pretty soon, everyone is singing along.
3. Leaf raking: This type of servanthood evangelism inspires kids to think like Jesus. We gather our rakes and garbage bags and rake leaves for the widows of our church. We don’t always get all the leaves but we always get hot cocoa for our trouble. When work together, we get yards done quickly. Then everyone returns to the kids’ facility for snacks. This is truly a heart warming outreach.
4. Pumpkin deliveries: Fortunately for us, we’ve got connections to a local pumpkin farm that doesn’t mind selling us a truckload of pumpkins at cost. We load the truck, then venture into the neighborhoods around our church giving away free pumpkins. For kids, it’s a thrill to ring a doorbell (with a grown up, of course) and offer someone a free pumpkin. We also hand out a mini flyer with the church name, address and a holiday greeting.
5. Fall craft night: As an outreach for the parents, I host a seasonal Mom’s Night Out. That gives me the perfect excuse to host a cool craft night. We make pipe cleaner owls, peanut butter pine cones or cool fall collages from old magazines. I love this inexpensive outreach. Craft night is the perfect venue for meeting new kids too.
6. Blankets for pets: Don’t forget the littlest creatures this fall. My kids and I gather old but clean blankets for pets and deliver them to the animal shelter. Rescue shelters never have enough toys and blankets for their animals.
Read Monica’s latest e-book, The Prophet’s Code, an inspirational book for kids, teens adults about the role of modern-day prophets in the Christian church.