9 Ideas for Effective Church Outreach

November 6, 2018 - 8 minutes read

Hosting Easter egg hunts or making room for bounce houses in your church’s parking lot may keep your members engaged but it does not help in outreach. The main reason being, you’re still on church property.

Outreach is all about meeting people in your community by finding creative ways to get their attention. You can do this by hosting car washes or organizing community festivals.

But that’s not enough. You need to make sure that your church event is on top of everyone’s mind. Looking for church outreach ideas to increase your congregation members? Here are a few which are engaging and would definitely help in your outreach programme.

Host a community festival

An easy way to draw families in your community together is by organizing a festival specifically for it. Give your event a name and write a short message to publicize it. Use social channels like Facebook or Twitter to share news about your festival and event updates. Send emails, text messages, and make phone calls to every member of your congregation encouraging them to invite friends and neighbors as well. You can also display a large banner outside your church and other popular areas such as marketplaces to advertise the festival a couple of weeks in advance to attract people’s attention.

Hosting an event of this sort offers a fun way for people to get to know each other in a casual and relaxed environment. You can host it on a Sunday after your regular service: this way you will already have your congregation members and people from your community who planned to come to the festival will get a glimpse of your service too.

Check out our article on how to improve church outreach through text messages here. 

Offer career guidance to high schoolers

A good way to build lasting relationships with teenagers is to offer career guidance. Most high schoolers are not sure of what they want to do after high school. By offering help, you can spread the word about your church and reach out to a lot more people.

Pick a school in your neighborhood and talk to the principal about setting up a booth or stall in the campus. Next, gather the people in your congregation, both employees and bosses, and set up a mentoring or placement assistance program. This way you can connect with dozens of teens and impact their future while giving them an idea of your importance in the community as well.

Community DIY day

Every church has people from various functional professions, like painters, carpenters, electricians, etc. What you should do is gather your members and ask them to volunteer on a specific day to help businesses or schools with basic repair work.

You should plan beforehand, visit different businesses and ask them if they need any help with some repair work. Ideally, your DIY day should be on a holiday or a weekend so that your church members are free. At the end of the day, all your teams can meet up for a barbecue or pizza party and bond with each other. And the ones you helped out that day will go home to share their experience and the love they received from your church members.

Car-care clinic

Every single driver on the streets has car problems from time to time. Or at the very least, they like to have clean cars. You can make use of a car wash to reach out to these people and talk about the great work your church does.

Get young people to volunteer and host a car wash and also get trained churchgoers to help with minor car problems. When someone stops at your car wash, invite them in for coffee and talk to them. This will give you a great opportunity to tell people about the Lord in a relaxed setting.

Family movie night

Your church probably has a good audio/visual setup. Why not make use of it? Hosting a church movie night is an effective way to invite your community members and get to know them. These kinds of events are no-pressure events and encourage people who may not otherwise attend to visit and find out about your church.

You can make it a regular event, maybe once every week or twice a month. You can screen a good movie and follow it up with a discussion about its themes and characters. This is an interesting way to bring more people into your church and share messages about God, love, family, forgiveness, and much more.

Tips for hosting a family movie night:

  • Pick the perfect movie: the first thing to do is determine your theme. This is because screening is followed by a discussion and a message.
  • Purchase a license: you cannot screen films outside the privacy of your home without having a license. Doing so can put you in a fix.
  • Share your movie night event with people: you must advertise your event if you want an audience. And the best way to reach people is by texting them. Either send an SMS blast or personalize it to address people by their names. Ask your members to invite their friends. This way you can increase event attendance.
  • Make it an unforgettable experience by providing refreshments for your guests.

Other church outreach ideas:

  1. Community yard sale: Think of a meaningful cause you want to raise money for and put together a community-wide yard sale to do so. This way you can interact with community members when they come to donate their sale items.
  2. Host recovery groups: Let recovery groups use your facility occasionally. You can help people in getting better and connecting with God.
  3. Bible study groups: Host bible studies for people whose English isn’t strong. If they speak another language then you can get a church member to help them understand the text.
  4. Host a thrift-away for school supplies: Every family with kids in school has to buy new supplies every school year. So, allocate a budget and buy the supplies in bulk and host a one-day event where families can come in and buy things like stationeries. This way your volunteers can talk to people about your work.

Implementing good church outreach ideas is a step in the right direction when seeking congregation growth. It also helps in raising awareness toward the work your church is doing. Hopefully, this article has helped you in your outreach efforts.

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