It’s that time of year again and the holidays are right around the corner. You’re excited to plan another year of fabulous outreach events and activities to accompany all of the Christmas cheer.
You have a few things your church enjoys doing each year, but you would also really like to try out some new outreach ideas. Keeping things a little different and surprising each year captures the community’s fresh attention.
To continue the work of building your church and growing the church’s faithful community, you try to get involved inside and outside the church as much as you can. The more visible and friendly your church seems, the more likely you’ll get newcomers on those church seats when Sunday morning rolls around.
So what are you going to plan for this year? We did the work for you and put together a great list of ideas. Check it out to get your committee brainstorm rolling!
1. Sponsor needy children in the community.
Get your congregation involved in supporting those in need. Have your local social service agencies provide you with the details of a few dozen children in your community who won’t have much of a Christmas without your help.
You can print out each child’s details onto bits of cute holiday-themed paper, then hang each one on your church’s Christmas tree. Have members choose a child to support. Then have them work together to buy clothes, needed items, and toys for the children, ensuring that you keep the focus on giving back to others this season.
2. Host a children’s holiday festival.
Plan a fun event for all the children and parents in your community. Make sure that it is marketed for community members, not just church members. Offer plenty of tasty food, crafts, and activities to keep kids engaged and excited for Christmas. Once parents have been to your event and can see how family friendly your church is, they might be more inclined to come back again.
3. Wrap packages and offer free hot cocoa at your local mall.
Shopping is exhausting. Your church can set up a table at your local mall, offering free cups of hot cocoa to sip while you wrap shoppers’ gifts. Make sure to wear your church’s t-shirts and be extra friendly and festive.
4. Hold a midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
Everyone loves the special feeling this kind of event brings. Make sure it’s especially kid-friendly and doesn’t last too long. Ensure that everyone leaves with that warm feeling of Christmas cheer and a reminder of what Christmas is all about: Christ.
5. Take your congregation Christmas caroling.
There’s really nothing quite so cheery as a group of carolers. Break everyone up into teams and have them wander throughout the community singing Christmas songs and wishing community members a Merry Christmas. They might even consider inviting them to the church’s midnight candlelight service.
6. Take your singing to the local nursing home.
The elderly don’t get as many visitors as they should during the holidays and they often feel very lonely. Bring your congregation members to put on a simple chorus of Christmas songs. Then pass out holiday treats and stay a while to cheer up residents.
7. Put on a nativity pageant and invite the community.
Everyone loves to watch children act out the original Christmas story. Don’t just put it on for your church though. Open it up to the community! Serve treats and hot drinks after, and put on your friendliest faces for outreach time. Make sure you’ve got lots of event flyers and church information available for visitors to take home with them.
8. Hold a holiday market.
Calling all crafters, farmers, and artisans! Create a fun, festive holiday market for local community members where they can sell their homegrown, homemade wares in a booth. Invite the whole community to come out for some local-supporting shopping, great conversation, and a home-crafted holiday feel.
9. Collect coats and warm essentials for the needy.
Hold a drive at your church and ask community members to drop off their hats, mittens, boots, scarves, and coats that they no longer need or that they’ve grown out of. After you’ve collected plenty to share, bring them to your local social service agency to make sure they go to the people that need them.
10. Offer a free community Christmas meal.
Not everyone will be well-fed this holiday season. Host a holiday meal on or near Christmas Eve or Day, and invite everyone who lives locally. Have your friendliest and most festive volunteers serve and join in eating with those who might otherwise go hungry. After all, Christmas is about sharing.
Make It Come Alive
Christmas is an incredible time of year to make your outreach efforts count. Whether your goals are to grow your congregation or to expand your reach in your local community, outreach activities can really boost your visibility in town. These ideas can help get you started and they can also be used as a great launching pad for ideas that more specifically fit in with your goals. Enjoy the holidays and remember to make your church a fun, friendly place for your community to celebrate the season!
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