Local Church Ministry

15 Summer Outreach Ideas for Your Church

As the pandemic continues to wind down, churches of all shapes and sizes are beginning to reengage their communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The summer months provide many opportunities for churches to be witnesses in their communities. If your church is looking for ways to reengage your community this summer, here are fifteen ideas to get you started:

  1. Host a free car wash. Grab some buckets, sponges, and a water hose, and wash cars in your neighborhood for free. It’s an easy segue from offering to wash a car for free to talk about the living water that Jesus also offers free of charge.
  2. Organize a free yard sale. In large cities and small towns alike, you’ll find yard sales and garage sales nearly every day during warmer weather. Therefore, encourage your church members to donate unused or unwanted items. Then, pick a date, and set up shop. The fun part is that you shouldn’t advertise the yard sale as free. When folks start asking the cost of each item, you can tell them it’s free, just like the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ!
  3. Free donut giveaways. Purchase several dozen donuts from a local bakery and then blitz local businesses with a sugar rush. First, you bless a local bakery with a large order, and then you bless local businesses in the area by surprising them with a dozen donuts. You can visit doctor’s offices, police or fire stations, or any office building. You’ll be surprised how this small act of kindness will impact others.
  4. Water giveaway. On a hot summer day, fill a cooler with ice and bottled water and visit a park or any location where folks are working outside. Bless them with a cold bottle of water in Jesus’ name.
  5. Host a free sports clinic. Recruit some local coaches or athletes, and host a free sports clinic. Baseball, soccer, or basketball are all great options. You’ll provide kids in your community with some helpful sports tips and the opportunity to hear the gospel.
  6. Host a block party. Depending on your budget, you can provide games, inflatables, food, face painting, and more. While it’s OK to host a block party at your church, it would be even better to do so at a local park or community center.
  7. Offer a drive-thru prayer station. Set up a location in your church parking lot or another site, and invite the community to stop by if they need prayer. You can also set up a prayer booth in a local park or other busy location in your community. Post a sign with the simple question, “How can I pray for you?
  8. Adopt a local park. Offer for members of your church to pick up litter in the park regularly. Offer to provide touch-up paint to equipment as needed.
  9. Adopt a local school. Similarly, offer community service assistance to the local schools in your community. Many schools have limited budgets and could use the help with painting, landscaping, and other small jobs around their facilities during the summer months.
  10. Clean gutters for elderly neighbors. Look for elderly neighbors in your community who may not be physically able to climb a ladder. Offer to clean their gutters and any other small jobs around their home. 
  11. Door-to-door gospel distribution. In many contexts, door-to-door evangelism is still effective. Purchase some door-hanger bags, fill them full of tracts and information about your church, and hit the streets in your community.
  12. Serve local businesses. Get to know local business owners in your community and learn about ways you can serve them. You might provide upgrades to their facilities. You could provide manual labor. Perhaps you simply pray for God to bless their organization. These attempts to serve your local businesses will often open doors to gospel conversations.
  13. Give away batteries for smoke detectors. Purchase 9-volt batteries in bulk, and knock on doors in your community. Offer to give them a new battery for their smoke detector. 
  14. Home repair projects. If you hear about a community member who needs a wheelchair ramp, collect the money to pay for the materials and organize a team from your church to build the ramp. If you discover a neighbor who genuinely needs roof repairs, do what you can to meet that need. While this idea can be expensive, the impact on the homeowner also increases exponentially.
  15. Organize Backyard Bible Clubs. Vacation Bible School is the most popular summer outreach event offered by local churches. It’s popular because it’s effective. Backyard Bible Clubs occur when you take VBS on the road. Reserve a shelter in a local park, or find another high-traffic location, and you can connect with children and their parents.

The summer months provide many opportunities to engage your community with the gospel. Choose one or two of these suggestions, and get started this week!

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