Just when you think that you can’t possibly add anything more to fill the fall activities calendar, you get an “aha!” moment. Consider outreach ideas for churches and ministries that you can implement now. And maybe even carry into winter to keep people connected, game nights should be at the top. Why is that, you ask? Well, they’re tried and true. Definitely nostalgic, and most people simply enjoy playing games.
Why Game Night?
Seize the opportunity to get unplugged from the wall and handheld electronic devices. And pull out the traditional games that we all grew up with! Make a clear plan to bring people together and build your faith-based community:
- Think about your age groups- families, singles, youth, and senior citizens
- Create a shareable event online so people can RSVP
- Prepare to welcome walk-ins and last-minute participants
- Promote the game night on social media, on your website, and in the church bulletin
- Varied age volunteers to welcome people and point them in the right direction
- Make sure you’ve got skilled and background-checked volunteers on hand to teach those who are new to the games and to be of help to players
This can be as simple and straightforward as unboxing and setting up a variety of board games on tables for a first come, first serve playtime OR themed game nights such as:
- Chess & Checkers – Set up rooms based on skill (beginner-expert). And participants can move rooms based on personal level advancement.
- Bingo – This would be great for all ages. Complete with stickers or stamps to mark the bingo cards and table snacks to enjoy.
- Charades- Organize or randomly select teams upon arrival for maximum interaction and fun.
- Want to go outside? Flashlight tag in the evening. Or planning a day with kickball or softball/whiffle ball tournaments. Field day activities can be fun games for all. Consider water balloon toss, potato sack races, three-legged races, and don’t drop the egg off the spoon relays.
Distributing prizes might be a good idea to create more of a buzz in the community about the church game event. Fun and healthy competition is the perfect environment for “bragging rights” and maybe even a crown to wear and/or a small gift card to the local coffee or donut shop. Imagine the bingo winner returning to the following game night donning the crown from the previous win, ready to defend his title, and all the happy banter around this! The social media attention that game night draws is only amplified when you post the winner(s) for that evening. Congratulatory comments will abound along with interest for a “rematch” or in a future date which fuels even more outreach ideas for churches. A community of people is building relationships and connecting with each other in ways like never before, so capitalize on it, and if prizes boost this- just do it!
Why a time frame?
It’s always better to set a time and have people leaving the event wishing for more time versus dragging on the night unnecessarily. If you’ve set up various games on tables for people to play, consider setting a timer. So one table isn’t monopolized by one group the whole evening. Keep people moving and interacting- new games with new faces at the tables. So many opportunities! Consider two nights a month for church game night- talk about strong community outreach ideas for churches! This would be a game changer (pun definitely intended!).
What’s the takeaway?
Let’s choose to live into the instruction of Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Christians need to be around believers. We also need to bring outsiders into our community and point them to Jesus daily. If game nights – introduced to our event planning committees as outreach ministry ideas for small churches and large alike – can be the introduction to transforming lives, we should be all in.
Download Gearing up for Fall Events
We cover other topics that are essential for a prosperous and successful fall, like:
And get helpful tips and tricks on:
- Going above and beyond to make members and guests feel welcome
- Learning how to make your experiences, programs, and sermons dynamic and memorable
- How your church can be more like Disney
Cal joined the ACS team in 2004 and is currently the Market Strategy Manager serving denominational ministry partners. He received a degree in Secondary Education at Southeastern Bible College before pursuing graduate work at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He has served on various local nonprofit organizations, including The King’s Academy, a Christian school in Florence, SC., and R.E.A.C.H., an educational resource group based in Florence.