Back to School Ideas for Church Fall Programs

August 3, 2017

By Toni Kemper: While out shopping today my heart sunk a bit as I noticed the aisles filled with backpacks and school supplies instead of sand toys and pool floats. Uniforms hung where bathing suits once did, and that can only mean one thing – the lazy days of summer are slipping away and fall is quickly approaching. Are you ready?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one holding on to these last few weeks of summer, I look forward to fall and all it brings! New friends and teachers, sporting events and extracurriculars, and non-stop opportunities for new church programs. Now is the perfect time to reflect on past programs and evaluate what worked and what didn’t, along with ways to improve in 2017.

There is a flurry of fall events designed to welcome new community members as well as strengthen long-time church member relationships. On your list may be:

  • Sunday school
  • Church picnics
  • Football viewing parties
  • Youth lock-ins
  • Dinner-and-a-movie nights
  • Fall concerts
  • Family fellowship nights
  • Fall festivals
  • Holiday bazaars
  • Christmas programs

But what about something new and fresh this fall? We pulled together some ideas from around the web we wanted to share. Lifeway is always a great resource, here are some of their ideas we think may  to spice up your offerings and reach out to the surrounding community:

  • Back-to-School Backpacks: Partner with a local school or shelter and donate backpacks filled with school supplies to school-age children.
  • Snacks for Teacher Workday: Bible study classes or small groups select a local school, prepare and deliver baskets of snacks with a note of thanks and a prayer for the upcoming school year.
  • First Day, Moms Pray: Host a tea for moms just after they drop their kids off for the first day of school. Seat them by school or child’s grade level for fellowship. Pray for the moms and the children.
  • New Members Fellowship: Host a biannual or quarterly event for new church members to help them feel welcome.
  • Minister Appreciation Week: Ask members and attendees to send a note of appreciation to the pastor(s) during the first week of October.
  • Digital Thanks: Members submit one photo and a two-word description of something for which they’re thankful. Show a media presentation of the photos before and after the service.

Or what about trying a few from, we love them all!

  • Patriot Day: September 11 is designated as Patriot Day and many communities honor first responders. Your church could provide a breakfast for all first responders then recognize them in the worship service.
  • Go Where the Community Is: Staff the concession stand at a local park or stadium. Parents will appreciate the service, and your presence will likely result in gospel conversations and invites to church worship services.
  • Small Group Outreach: Coordinate a community outreach day through your small groups. Pick a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for all small groups to participate in a community outreach event.
  • Family Movie Night: Autumn evenings tend to get dark earlier and the weather can be nice. Host on the church lawn and provide water and popcorn and you’re sure to have a great event that families will enjoy.

Whatever your church decides to do in terms of programming, we recommend incorporating music. Music is scientifically proven to increase happiness and lower stress. Both things much needed during this hectic time of year! But to keep things completely stress-free make you don’t overlook the necessary music licensing. It’s vital to include reviewing the use of copyrighted material in your planning.

A great place to start is with CCS’s online, interactive Copyright Compliance Report Card.  You can quickly analyze your church’s  compliance and where the holes are in your licensing coverage. It also provides you with simple licensing solutions and ideas to cover all your fall your activities, like PERFORMmusic Facilities License and WORSHIPcast Streaming License. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 877-394-5566 or live chat with one of our copyright experts.

About Toni Kemper: A mother to three and marketer by trade, Toni is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. She joined the CCS team in 2016 as the Communications Coordinator and jumped right in learning the ins and outs of church music and copyrights. Toni is passionate about writing and enjoys contributing to the CopyrightCoach. She is also passionate about education which fits right in with CCS’s mission to educate the church community on copyrights, as well as why you will find her volunteering in the Children’s Ministry department of her church.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.


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