What are you planning for this fall? Are you planning on reaching out into your community? I’m reminded of the book “Horton Hears a Who” and the part where the little Who’s shout “We Are Here! We Are Here! We Are Here!” When you reach out into the community, you are letting the community know that you are here and that you’re here to serve. Here are 8 ways to reach into your community this fall.
1. Teacher Appreciation Day
Pick a school, get the teachers’ names and write handwritten thank you notes of encouragement to each teacher and principle. Bring some home baked goods and coffee and do a teacher appreciation.
2. Serve Day
Choose a day, invite everyone in your church, and head into the community to serve. You can ask captains to organize and head up various projects. This is a great way to decentralize serving but maximize impact with everyone serving at the same time.
3. Back To School Drive
Collect school supplies and deliver to a local school that needs them. And while most churches do this at the beginning of the school year, it could also make a difference later in the year when schools are running low on supplies.
4. Date Night
Hire babysitters and childcare workers and invite parents to drop off their kids for date night. You could give away movie tickets or work out a deal with local restaurant for an added touch.
5. Free Oil Change
It works like a free car wash and it’s a great way to get mechanically minded people involved. Set up in the church parking lot and provide this service to the community. You might want to do a little bit of publicity ahead of time, particularly focusing on people who need this type of service.
6. Picture Day
Some churches do this on Mother’s Day in the spring, but it’s really a nice thing to do anytime. Hire a professional photographer and set up in the church lobby and take family photos. You could also do this at a community event, carnival or festival. After you take the pictures, give people a small card with a website where they can go download their photos. You can invite them to church or an event on the page as well.
7. Parent Seminar
This might just be one of the biggest needs in your community…practical information on parenting. Offer training for parents on how to talk to your kids about technology, which is usually a big question parents have. Create this seminar with non-Christians in mind and invite everyone to come.
8. Movie Night
Family Movie Night. Move out the chairs and bring in some couches. Rent or borrow a popcorn machine. And put a fun, family movie up on the big screen. Make sure you let your church people know this is one of those events where they should bring a friend. And take note, you’re going to need a license to show a movie.
Whatever you choose, equip your people to invite. We’ve talked about this before, but throughout the fall, make sure you’re equipping your people to invite, not just asking them to do it. You’ve got to give them tools. Print some invite cards or write Facebook posts they can easily share. Whatever you’re planning this fall, you should be planning to get out into the community and let them know you are here!