If your church hasn’t seen a return to pre-pandemic attendance levels, you aren’t alone. And now, with summer and lessened restrictions, many people are excited to be able to hit the road finally. So what does this mean for your church or parish? It’s time to give people another reason to return, reestablish relationships and reengage! And summer engagement events are the answer.
Church Events are an easy way to increase your summer engagement with existing members and even potentially new members! Here are some fun ideas that can be implemented quickly and easily to engage and encourage people to return!
How about an outdoor concert with your praise and worship band? Families can bring coolers, lawn chairs, and blankets to enjoy the night. If you’re tight on space, hold it in your parking lot and have families tailgate. Arrange for local food trucks to serve food. Plan fun kid activities – games, bubbles, or sprinklers to cool everyone off!
Hold a drive-in movie night? Turn your parking lot into a drive-in theater! There are many fun, family-friendly movies that can be projected onto one of your building’s walls. Have folks bring chairs and blankets so they can spread out on the lawn or parking lot. Or you could set it up with an FM transmitter (under $100) and broadcast the movie to the nearby cars’ radios, just like a real drive-in. Sell snacks, hotdogs, and snowcones as a fundraiser and consider making the cost of admission a food donation to stock your church’s pantry for local families in need.
Have a church picnic and carnival! Provide hotdogs, hamburgers, sides, popsicles, and have everyone bring desserts because you can never have enough sweets! If you don’t have a picnic area outside, encourage families to set up lawn chairs and blankets. Have an assortment of carnival games and giveaways. Ring toss, cake walk, bingo, ball toss, cornhole, three-legged races can be easily coordinated and staffed by only a few volunteers.
Hold a carwash! This is an excellent engagement activity for teens. Hot sunny days were meant for fun with water and a chance to hang out with friends. An additional incentive is to have the donations go back to a program specifically serving the teens in your church.
Now start planning and make sure you take advantage of all your church communication tools to promote your summer engagement events! This is your chance to increase summer engagement and bring people together again, whether they’re returning or potential new members!
Also, remember when planning your events to think about how you can serve your community’s needs, whether it’s concession revenues, food or clothing donations, or even a silent auction to benefit a local mission. Your church and your community will enjoy the benefits of your events!