It can be a bit of a challenge to minister to neighborhood families due to today’s incredible busyness and cultural distractions. Nonetheless, our communities need the love of Christ more than ever, so a continued effort for outward ministry is absolutely necessary. But how do we get our own families involved? Here are five family-friendly ideas for outreach.
- Host a family craft night.
Everyone loves crafts! Set up different crafts throughout the church and ask members to help with each craft. Keep in mind that not all the crafts would need to be biblical in nature, but you would certainly want a few that point back to the church’s message of salvation through Christ. Kids can help by choosing crafts, setting up the event, and making example crafts ahead of time. Then make a point of advertising the craft night to the neighborhood and providing goodie bags for everyone who attends (including information about the church and freebies such as pens, stickers, and candy). Lastly, be sure to help church members understand that their presence is an opportunity to minister to the community and will help make a lasting impact in the neighborhood.
- Plan a prayer walk.
Want to physically be present in the neighborhood? Then plan a church prayer walk! Almost anyone can participate in this activity by simply walking down the streets for a couple of hours and praying for individual houses. And, to have even more impact, consider preparing small flyers for the front doors to let the neighborhood know about the church’s presence, mission, and upcoming events. Also be ready to greet any neighbors you meet and share God’s love. This is a great event to teach kids about prayer and how to tell others about Jesus!
- Set up a weekly (or monthly) play time.
Consider planning a play time during the day or after school for parents who stay home with their children. This is a fantastic way to meet new neighbors, introduce the church’s desire to serve, and simply be a welcoming presence. Church kids can help plan events they think will be fun for their neighbors and then invite the children who attend to play with them or join an activity. It wouldn’t be necessary to plan formal lessons since the goal would be to fellowship with others. However, having a main activity each day (such music time, puzzle time, or game time) could be useful in keeping the play time fresh and exciting.
- Organize a Community Expo.
This idea would definitely require numerous volunteers and great effort, but it also has great potential to minister to the community. Come up with some services that may be beneficial and interesting to the neighborhood, such as job services, health services, or CPR/First-Aid classes, and plan a day for church members to share their expertise and professional experience for free! Are there school teachers in the congregation? See if they would share their knowledge concerning children’s learning styles and provide simple methods for parents to try at home. Are any church members policemen or firemen? See if they would consider offering self-defense or home safety sessions. And kids could help by posting flyers throughout the neighborhood, preparing mail outs, and being helpers for each activity. The possibilities for a Community Expo are endless! Just be sure to mention that the services are provided because the church desires to minister and show Christ’s love.
- Hire a mobile petting zoo or put together a pumpkin patch.
Want to do something out-of-the-box for the community? Then consider a seasonal opportunity such as a springtime petting zoo or a fall pumpkin patch! Church kids can be involved by setting up/decorating, helping during the event, and inviting the children who attend the event to come to their Sunday school classes. Regardless of the event you choose, putting on a unique occasion for the neighborhood is a good way to perk the community’s attention.
So, has your church already tried any of these outreach ideas? We would love to hear from you!