With fall approaching and the beginning of a new school year just a couple of weeks away, many families are looking at their fall calendars and considering what they want to be involved in for the coming year. They want to be involved in church life and their faith community, but if it doesn’t get put on the calendar and scheduled in, often some other activity will fill its place.
So BEFORE school starts is the ideal time to communicate and connect with families to let them know all the opportunities available in your church to serve, grow, and have community. An event centered around family and fun is a great way to attract families, but again it really needs to be held just before school starts. This time frame is when most families are back from summer vacations and gearing up for the first day of school. This is often when school registration takes place as well.
You could host a free meal with either childcare offered or even better, fun activities to occupy the kids while the parents get more information. This would be an ideal time to introduce the small groups or Sunday school classes that families can plug into. Some churches set up tables or booths representing the different small groups and Bible studies being offered in the fall. This way individuals can make their way around to the different tables to speak with the leaders and ask questions and even sign up.
This is also a great time to remind people of all the different serving opportunities offered through the church. Having lead volunteers there to share their experiences and why serving is important in their lives can be a powerful tool. Sometimes church members think the only place to serve is in the Children’s Ministry, but most churches need volunteers in areas such as ushers, office help, prayer support, parking lot greeters, meeting with first-time guests, hospital visitation, and many more.
If you aim to make the event comfortable and celebratory, it can be a great time for question asking and allowing those who may not be plugged in to a specific area the opportunity to meet with some new people and begin to establish some meaningful connections.
We all want to start the fall and the new school year with a strong plan in place for our families to be connected to the church community. Many families can be overwhelmed as they look to balance school schedules, work obligations and extracurricular activities. It can be incredibly helpful to have an event like this clearly lay out the opportunities they have to serve and be involved in the church community. Without an event like this and without clear communication it will be very easy for church life to the be the area that just gets dropped for the next season on a family’s calendar.
How can you plan and communicate to make sure your members plug in and connect this fall?