Are you stalled in your outreach ideas? Looking for a new idea or inspiration? Church planters have been employing all sorts of events that spur and capture potential interest from their communities at large, display the missional heart of the church plant, and/or resource the wider community through education. Here are five ideas that can scale bigger or smaller for your church plant to use as outreach.
1. Host a Thanksgiving meal at your local elementary school.
You will want to consider issues of public health and safety code, so consider partnering with a local elementary school whose kitchen meets necessary standards. The event can be a mission opportunity for your church, a connection opportunity for you with the local school officials, and an outreach to your community. From a Church Planter: “We have hosted a Thanksgiving meal at our local elementary school for families that may not have food over the holiday break. We send each family home with leftovers and canned food that people have collected for them.”
2. Organize a sporting event between public service and an appropriate youth group.
As a church planter, you might have unique connections with the local fire chief or chief of police. If not, consider a meeting through the fire department’s chaplain or a ride along with a police officer to begin the process of relationship building. A basketball game can be a fun event (and possibly a fundraiser for a local charity) that gathers public officials and members of the youth. (Suggestion: Mix the teams rather than splitting down lines of profession or age.)
3. Take Christmas to the mall.
Set up a large nativity set/pen, with live animals, read the Christmas Story while actors act out the story every thirty minutes from 9 am until 5 pm the Saturday before Christmas. Use the event to tell the Christmas story and promote your Christmas Eve programming.
4. Host an educational seminar.
Various communities have personal educational needs, including personal finances, parenting, marriage, cooking, and auto or bicycle maintenance. Seminars can be structured to fit different sized-groups so that the space creates a sense of friendship, excitement, or momentum.
Take ashes to the community in a food truck.
Some people that work and live downtown cannot make it out on a Sunday morning. Yet, they might have a church background or be receptive to spiritual symbol. One church planter took ashes to the community on Ash Wednesday. Because some people did not understand the practice, it became a teaching moment. Others, on the other hand, welcomed the opportunity to participate in the spiritual symbol, receive prayer, a hug, and a warm lunch from the food truck.