FIRST-PERSON: Hot ideas for summer church fun
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Did you realize that God's work doesn't take a sabbatical during summer months? How can your church seize the unique evangelism and fellowship opportunities of the season? Try some of these fresh summertime ideas:
-- Plan a "summer nights series" of outdoor worships and fellowship. Stage an outdoor Christian music concert or produce a Christian dinner theatre dramatic production. Invite the church neighborhood for a homemade ice cream party. Do a free outdoor family movie night, projecting on a large exterior wall.
-- Challenge every church member to plan a "Cookout with Your Neighbors" at their home sometime during July to develop friendships and invite neighbors to church. Why not morph your church-wide picnic into a city-wide event, with special invitations to VBS and church daycare families? Invite the community to attend your kids' camps, Vacation Bible School or Wednesday night salad suppers. You may be surprised how many participate when invited!
-- For Sunday, July 4th, plan a "red, white and blue jean" Sunday. Invite the community to view local fireworks from the parking lot and provide sparklers for kids. Invite local government leaders to attend your worship service, present them a gift, and voice a prayer for them.
-- Form a jump-rope team for girls, jumping to Christian music or rhymes. Plan day trip adventures for moms and kids. Organize a Wii bowling league with multiple projections on a large exterior wall. Entice local kids who skateboard to attend youth Bible study by building a rack to hold skateboards. Do a reading club or weekly kids' story hour in the church library. Organize a bike ride that ends at the church. Arrange a Christ-focused teens' art day-camp.
-- Invite the community to join you for outdoor tournaments, such as volleyball, horseshoes, softball, bocce ball, 3-on-3 basketball. Plan a father and kids' campout on the church lawn or a huge kids' sprinkler party. Your teens can organize a drive-through to pass out free snow cones and an invitation to Sunday worship. Do a gigantic garage sale, with proceeds going to purchase of an impressive new entry sign for your town or a similar project. At the sale, play live music and distribute Bibles, church brochures and lemonade.
Oh, summertime offers oodles of ways to impact your community for Christ. The key is to invite your community to join you for summer events at your church and welcome them joyfully. Publicize with exterior banners, personal invitations, and on your church sign.
So instead of a "summer-slump" this year, why not plan for a "summer-rise!"
Diana Davis is the author of "Fresh Ideas," "Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and the wife of the Indiana Baptist State Convention executive director. Learn more at www.keeponshining.com.