by Rev. Doug Lewis, DS
Rev. Paul Nickerson, with Griffith Coaching, offers the following “best practices” that growing churches in the United States use to build connections with new people during the summer months:
Connect with Town Events: Many communities have lots of gatherings in the summer such as, 4th of July Parades, Little League Baseball, 5 K Races, town fairs, county fairs, etc. Check your community calendar and set up a table at these gatherings and meet some new people.
Vacation Bible School: Churches that have this summer program can connect with more people by having children invite and bring their friends to VBS. Then have a VBS “Reunion Cookout” a few weeks after the program and get the new kids and parents together again.
Honor a Group: Pick out a group that serves your community or township (Police, Fire, Postal Workers, Social Service Agencies, etc.), and bring them snacks or lunch throughout the summer and say, “Thank you for serving our community”. You will find such a gesture is greatly appreciated. As you get to know the group, then have a special Sunday when you honor them as “Heroes of the Community”. Their friends and families will come to see them honored and you will meet even more people.
Watch Where People Hang Out: Where do people in your community go in the summer? Do they boat on a nearby lake? Hang out in a local park? Attend summer concerts? Wherever people go, find a way to interact with them on a regular basis. For example, one church set up a free ice cream stand at a park that was busy every Friday night. By the end of the summer they had met so many people they were able to invite a number of families to join them in worship.
Do Small Activities: Our members do lots of social and recreational activities in the summer. Turn them into invitational events. Like to grill; do a neighborhood cook-out. Enjoy golf; invite a few guests, make up a couple of foursomes and get to know people better. Do you garden, knit, sew, woodwork, etc.? Invite other people in your community who like to do the same thing.
Growing churches utilize the summer as a springboard to meet new people, build relationships, and invite people into the life of the church.
Firelands District Office:
Rev. Doug Lewis
3 Stower Ln., Unit 5
Norwalk OH 44857
Office Hours: Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
(Closed Fridays in July & August)
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