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Blog » 9 Church Activities that Take Advantage of Great Summer Weather

9 Church Activities that Take Advantage of Great Summer Weather

One of the reasons churches struggle in the summer is that people want to be outside, enjoying the great weather that typically comes in the warm-weather months. 

That means you’re fighting an uphill battle trying to get people inside of your building. But what if you try something different? Instead of getting people in your building, take advantage of the great summer weather by organizing church activities outside.

Here are nine outdoor activities to try this summer. 

Sunrise or Sunset Prayer Service

We tend to think of sunrise services as an Easter activity. But the truth is, you have even more daylight to hold sunrise activities during the summer. Schedule it before most of your congregation has to be at work. Find a scenic place either on your campus, a nearby park, or even a beach if you have one close.

If you don’t have a portable sound system, find a spot with good acoustics, and you may not need one.

3 on 3 Basketball Tournament

Hosting a basketball tournament during the summer is a fun way to promote exercise. Allow people to form their own teams, and encourage them to invite friends and family to play with them. You can also make it a fundraiser by charging a small entry fee. If you don’t have a place on campus to host the event, consider a local park.

Outdoor Worship Service

Taking church services outside can help you refresh the worship experience of your congregation. It’s not without challenges, such as finding a place to gather, transporting equipment you might need, and surprising changes in weather. But worshiping in creation can be an ideal reminder for your church of the greatness and beauty of God and the wonders of what he has made.

In larger churches, consider encouraging small groups to host times of worship outside during the summer. 

Fishing Extravaganza

A fun day of fishing can be an opportunity for fellowship among all ages in your congregation and outreach into the community. Ask those who enjoy fishing in your congregation to help plan and execute the event. Most importantly, ask them for recommendations on where to host it. You’ll want a body of water that has enough capacity for those you expect to attend. You also want a place where you expect fish to be biting!

You could either host the extravaganza as a fun day of fellowship or charge a minimal entry fee to help pay for expenses. Consider adding a contest component, too. Make sure, particularly if you’re using this as an outreach, you have a seamless registration process so you can follow-up later. 

Outdoor Baptism

For many churches, outdoor baptisms are an annual church tradition. It’s a great way to celebrate new life in Christ as you enjoy fellowship in the outdoors. If you’ve never done it as a church, ask around other churches about the best places to host these kinds of events. Make sure it has plenty of parking because people being baptized will likely want to invite friends and family. Take plenty of pictures. Not only will you want to give them to those being baptized, but you’ll want to share them on social media.

Depending upon when you have the event, add a picnic or a cookout and make it a festive celebration. 

Churchwide Olympics

During even-numbered years, when the world’s eyes are on the summer or winter games, it’s a particularly good time to host a fun event like this. Pick a variety of activities, from traditional athletic ones (such as running, swimming, and jumping) to biblically themed ones (such as scripture memory). Try to have activities that stretch across different skill sets and abilities. Consider crafts, cooking, and woodworking. Award simple prizes for first, second, and third place. 

At the end of the day, have a few nontraditional awards for those who didn’t win earlier (such as ones for those who showed the most effort and who told the best jokes). 

Neighborhood Beautification Projects

Spend a Saturday or two in the summer making your neighborhood look better. Pick up trash. Go to a local park (with permission) and plant flowers. Beautification projects help you show your neighbors you care about the community. Wear a church t-shirt so people know where you worship. Be prepared for people to ask why you’re doing the project. It’s a great opportunity to tell your neighbors about God’s goodness in your life and the life of your church. 

Outdoor Movie Nights

Invite your community to a movie night outside on your property (or at a local park, if that’s a better fit for your context). Pick a movie that’s appropriate for all ages. Provide snacks and drinks. Encourage visitors to bring blankets where their family can sit.

The most difficult part might be securing the right equipment. Check with other churches to see if you can borrow theirs. If not, the needed equipment can be used for multiple years, so it’ll be a good investment. 

Prayer Walks

Prayer may be the most important way you serve your community. With pleasant weather in the summer, you can pray for your neighborhood as you immerse yourself in it. Prayer walking is simply praying on-site for your community and its needs.

Map a route through your neighborhood for those who will be praying. Either break it up into several groups or several weeks, depending upon the number of those attending and the size of your neighborhood. As you walk through the community, pray for:

  • The people who live in the houses/apartments you see.
  • The public safety personnel who keep the community safe.
  • The schools that educate the community. 

Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you meet. Invite them to church!

Make This a Summer to Remember!

Whether you’re gathering to pray for your community, for fellowship, or in an outreach effort, outdoor activities fit nicely into the summer church calendar. Try some of the ideas above (or brainstorm some of your own)! Watch God work in new and exciting ways as you take church outside of your walls. 

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