According to Personal Capital’s research, 1-in-4 Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving as inflation hits the holidays. This is an opportunity to potentially serve 25% of the population in your local community! Therefore, Thanksgiving church service ideas need to include demonstrating the hands of Christ in practical ways.
Let’s be excited about these 2023 Thanksgiving church ideas to satisfy both physical and spiritual needs:
- Thanksgiving ideas for church opportunities to minister should include a kick-off event such as hosting a night of worship on the Sunday evening prior to Thanksgiving. No matter our personal circumstances, God is still God and deserves our praise. What a beautiful way to welcome in the holiday season- entering His gates with Thanksgiving in our hearts!
- Hold a “Thanksgiving meal in a bag” drive at church. Decide what the menu is (for example, turkey breast, potatoes, packaged dressing, dinner rolls, gravy, canned corn & green beans, and pre-made pumpkin pie) and ask members to pick up a shopping card with ingredients to purchase attached to a brown bag and return it to church by a designated date. Don’t forget to include a card with your ministry information. Promote the event and offer a drive-thru for people to pick up their bags.
- Remember “cookies in a jar,” where all the dry ingredients are measured and layered in a mason jar with a recipe attached to the lid? This would be a welcome addition to the church food pantry and to share with first-time guests. Customizing the recipe label with scripture and your church URL should definitely be included.
- Thanksgiving worship service ideas are so memorable when you include the children’s ministry in your Sunday services. A special song from the children’s choir, along with a few children sharing what/who they are thankful for, will help to focus the congregation on the meaning of gratitude and how blessed we truly are.
- “Friendsgiving” is a trend that I hope never goes away! We cannot forget that there are many people in our communities and church who do not have family nearby. Plus, with the increasing food costs, people might elect not to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal. Meet with small group leaders and your special events minister to coordinate several Friendsgiving meals. Some may elect for pizza and wings in lieu of the traditional spread, and that’s perfect! We are creating spaces for people to gather and contribute (monetarily or with a covered dish) toward the shared meal.
Thanksgiving and Advent
Thanksgiving service ideas will also include the first Sunday of Advent, which begins on Sunday, November 27th. Let us be intentional about displaying grateful hearts and ministering to others throughout the month of November (and into the New Year!) according to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This will help us to focus on the theme of readings and teachings during Advent in preparation for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas.
Carol has worked in the ACST Marketing department and managed most aspects of marketing over the last 20 years. Before ACST, she spent many years handling marketing for companies across the US, including Novell, WordPerfect, Purolator Courier, ArtToday.com, and U.S.News & World Report. Carol is a cradle Catholic who has been active her entire life (a long time!) and has served in volunteer positions within her parish, including formation instructor, lector, code red responder, and numerous other volunteer roles.