Valentine’s Day is a secular celebration that has little to do with the 3rd century saint it’s named after, but you can leverage the natural rhythm of culture for your congregation or community.
A simple Google search brings up tons of “churchey” Valentine’s ideas. Here are some for your church. Some are innovative … and some are cheesy. Each of these ideas adds value to your ministry. Make sure to promote whichever idea you choose through your church’s website, your church’s social media accounts, and your ChMS like Realm.
Leverage IN (These ideas can be used to leverage the day for your congregation.)
1) Fundraiser: Let a ministry accept donations and orders for flowers or chocolates to be delivered after the service, or if you’re staffed well enough make home deliveries. Accepting donations online through Realm makes this easier on your church and your staff.
2) Parents Night Out: Provide free or low-cost child care so that moms and dads can spend an evening alone. Use Realm’s registration events to organize your volunteers and for convenient sign-up.
3) Love Bible Studies: Guide your small groups to cover love and relationship issues for a few weeks. There are plenty of resources out there for things like this, and people always need relationship help. Monitor small group attendance and effectiveness with Realm’s groups feature.
4) Memorable Marriage Moments: Allow a few couples with lasting marriages a chance to share some of their stories and secrets during your February services or through video testimonies on your website or social networks like Realm’s Connect or Facebook.
Leveraging OUT (These ideas can be used to leverage the day for your community.)
1) Love a Family: Choose a specific family or group of families to love with action and use this day to gather volunteers, resources, or finances. Use Realm to coordinate outreach and communication details to those involved.
2) Love a Mission: Pick a specific mission or ministry to bless and use this day as the springboard to gather volunteers, resources, or finances.
3) Parents Night Out: With the right focus and promotion, this could be used as a “love gift” to your community. Provide free or low cost child care so that moms and dads can spend an evening alone.
Cheesy Ideas That Could Work (Cheese is good in moderation, but too much cheese makes you sick.)
1) Preach about Love: God is Love. Love is always a great topic. I placed it under cheese because preaching about God’s love should come from a heart that’s filled with His love and not a desire to do something for Valentine’s Day. Don’t use tired illustrations and unnecessary sappiness. People are expecting this so if you’re going to do it, do it right.
2) Love Hug Day: Get people to hug each other a lot on Valentine’s Day. I saw this idea on one site. Hugs can be refreshing or awkward. Be careful with this one.
3) Preach a sermon using a box of chocolates: This could work if you’ve either got a knack for illustrations or you’re Forrest Gump.
4) Grilled Cheese, Goldfish, and Giggles with Grandparents: Have an afternoon where grandparents come in with their little ones and have a nice simple lunch. Everyone loves grandparents and goldfish, but I’m not sure what this has to do with Valentine’s Day.
5) Newlywed Game: This is predictable, but in the right setting with the right people, it’s a good time. In the wrong setting with the wrong people, it’s a disaster.
6) Spaghetti Dinner: These can be excruciatingly lame. No one likes bad spaghetti or lame entertainment, but some churches make it work.
7) Show Fireproof: Fireproof is a great movie, but few people want to come to church to watch TV. It might be better to give every couple a copy and let them watch it alone at home.
Do whatever you do well. Once you pick an idea, go big. Do it to the best of your ability. You may be surprised at your success. Don’t forget to collect data along the way so that you can track participation and effectiveness of your promotions, attendance, and impact. Realm can help you do all this, plus so much more. And it’s super easy to get started. Hop on a live demo to learn more.
Remember to be sensitive to the single during this time. It can be a difficult time for many. The main focus of any service should be Jesus, not human love.