Labor Day signals the arrival of fall (although the autumnal equinox isn’t until September 22), and church leaders can often overlook planning for the holiday season. But don’t discount fall as a great time to put a community outreach plan into action!
Summer is a time of relaxed schedules, travel, and excitement. Fall brings school, a more regular schedule, and a renewed energy. Once families get into a routine the pews start filling up and people are looking for new ways to connect with the church community. In fact, did you know that September 17 is National Back to Church Sunday? Does your church have anything planned? My children are returning to their religious education classes for the 2017-2018 school year this particular Sunday.
We discussed in a previous post, Back to School, Back to Church, some great ideas regarding getting the community in on the back to school blitz. Now that the dust has settled, what about the rest of the season?
We’ve culled some of the best ideas from around the web (and added a few of our own), and hope you find a few your ministry can use!
Small Groups – Fall programming typically skews towards children and youth. But what about once you’ve graduated high school? A large portion of your church community may be looking for ways to fill their spiritual bucket per se and small groups are a great way to do that. Offer a class for young singles, young married, young parents, empty nesters – the list goes on and up! You can promote a sense of community connection by offering people options to fellowship with those on the same life path.
Service Day – Pick a Saturday that your church can get out into the community and serve. Choose various projects throughout your community and split up into groups, letting people pick projects that best fit their talents. Make sure to get shirts designed so you are visible when out and about volunteering!
Touchdown Tailgating Party – Every community has a local hometown favorite team, be it college or high school. Host a tailgating party for “the big game.” Your church can provide the main dish and beverages, then create a sign-up for church members to bring the sides and desserts! I’ve found success by making it as easy as those with last names starting with A-K bring sides and those with L-Z last names bring dessert.
Social Media Parent Seminars – Offer practical training to parents on understanding the ever changing world of social media. Recently, a church in our community had the local police chief come and speak to the dangers of living in a world where our kids are constantly online and advice on how to approach the subject with them. Open it up to the entire community.
Fall Festival – This is an oldie but a goodie. Hop on Pinterest and start planning! There are so many ideas to create a festival that is as simple or elaborate as you want. Pumpkin painting, carnival games, jump houses and of course food…get your youth group to help with games and painting.
Fall truly does offer endless possibilities when it comes to outreach. Make sure you are advertising your events via social media as well as the church bulletin as to include the entire community. And as a final note, music can greatly enhance all of your fall programs. We already know it’s proven to increase happiness and lower stress. But to keep things completely stress-free it’s vital to include reviewing the use of copyrighted material in your planning.
You can start by downloading the CCS Church Copyright Toolkit and by then taking the online, interactive Copyright Compliance Report Card. It’s a great tool to analyze your church’s compliance and provide solutions and ideas to cover all your fall activities. 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.