Planning church growth events is not only important for expanding your community, but also to keep engagement with your congregation as a whole. A thriving church community nurtures itself while providing outreach events to those looking for a church home. And just as we look to God during our times of sorrow and joy, we need to connect with our congregation and visitors the same way.
Meaningful growth is about making solid connections and relationships. Here are several church events that can provide ways to connect and grow with your congregation and community. Don’t forget to follow up with those who participate.
When spring hits and/or when school’s about to start back, most people want to enjoy the weather outside. This is the perfect time for outreach — have well-known members and staff reach out to members and visitors. Encourage folks to bring friends and neighbors. Pull out the grill and games so everyone can enjoy a burger or a hotdog and games for all ages. Rent an inflatable slide for the children. Have the youth work a booth to paint faces. Think fun, a time to socialize and wear the kids out before bedtime.
Family Movie Night
Movies on the lawn are a crowd favorite and get passersby curious. This is another event that’s perfect to invite others to and can be held during any season. Rent a projector and use a portable or inflatable outdoor movie projector screen to hold the event outside. Enjoy popcorn from a popcorn machine on hand, follow up with fellowship, and enjoy a family movie.
Types of Services
What I like most about the churches I’ve attended are the ones with options. Want a contemporary feel? Try the evening service. Want a more family-friendly atmosphere? Try the 1 o’clock. Want it as traditional as it comes? There are a couple of times to choose what’s best for you. Having a slot for different personalities ensures potential members likely will connect with people.
You know those members in the band? What are the chances they are in other side projects? A church I worked at and one I attended has band members from a service perform at a free outdoor concert or a cultural event. Let your musicians shine. Music is a connector. It’s easy to invite potential members, guests, and the community. Add a cookout and ice cream truck, and you’ll have even more neighbors stopping in to check out the fun, faith, and fellowship.
Find out what your members are passionate about and create an opportunity for them and your church. The church I grew up at holds a Memorial Day run complete with honor guard, school band, and breakfast afterward. Another church I know holds a bicycle ride for children to learn about bike safety and then has a festival at the end of the ride. Both events continue to grow in community participation. And community participation encourages friendly faces at services.
An art show open to the public is another perfect opportunity to connect with another group of people in the community. A church I worked at holds an art show every other year. The leadership drew on a member who worked in art galleries to lead the exhibit. Artwork is displayed throughout the campus. Artists throughout the community submit pieces. And then there’s a fellowship opportunity – an opening reception to the community.
Not all growth events should focus on light-hearted moments. The realness of life needs to be at the forefront of church life. Having a group meet weekly for a season gives those in the community an outlet to find help, compassion, and kindness. As a result, it gives opportunities for those moving through grief an outlet to heal also becomes an opportunity to showcase your faith and friendship.
There are many more ideas and events to create opportunities for new membership and church growth. Don’t limit yourself or your members to what’s always been done. You have plenty of resources to make growth a success.
If you’d like more information on church growth through events for your community and how outreach can grow your congregation, take a look at these guides:
Events are a significant part of church culture. And rightfully so. We put on events to reach out to our community. We use events to educate, enlighten and encourage our congregation. Some events activate us into ministry, while others cultivate deeper fellowship and meaningful relationships.
Coordinating events is an integral part of every ministry in your church. That’s why we’ve created Events that Fill the Building guide.
And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!
Many people may not put these two terms together – outreach and church growth. The reality is this; outreach should lead to church growth.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells his disciples to begin spreading Christianity in Jerusalem, then go to Judea and Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. The early church knew experienced rapid growth. Thousands were added to the church very quickly, and it was all through word of mouth. The early church didn’t have what we have right now from a technology perspective. They didn’t have access to demographic data or mass mailings or social media.
ACST provides a blueprint for rapid church growth in this Know & Grow guide.
Kimberly spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, including at a Florence church that uses ACST solutions. Before her communications roles, she managed a newsroom as a content editor. Kimberly is a cradle Catholic who’s active in church life, serving in volunteer roles and participating in Bible studies.