Local churches too often schedule their year without ever examining the schedule of events that their community has organized. 74-81% of families do not travel away from their communities on summer holidays. Six out of ten children are involved in community sponsored summer programs. Taking advantage of the world’s activities can allow countless opportunities of reaching the lost for Christ.
Summer is quickly approaching, and the world has already scheduled the summer’s agenda for your community. Instead of competing with the church members’ vacation time, community sports, and holiday activity schedules, examine the opportunities of these organized events to make your local church visible and your purpose of existence known. With only ten to eleven weeks of school vacation time, survey the local festivals, fairs, sports events, and scheduled holiday activities and take advantage of your community events that are already organized so you can evangelize the lost.
During the summer, many churches slow down because of family vacations and school being dismissed. Utilizing the local events requires planning and workers who will commit themselves during key holiday periods. Not only can children and families be reached with the gospel but also saints added to the church with proper prayer and planning.
This is a tremendous opportunity for a one-day or an all-week chance to witness to the lost…
Most communities have summer festivals and fairs that have something for the entire family. This is a tremendous opportunity for a one-day or an all-week chance to witness to the lost and show people that your church loves Christ by loving others. At your county fair or city festival a simple booth could be erected where free water and information about your church could be distributed. A church fun-bus could be parked at the event offering balloon animals, chalk drawings, and gospel puppet shows. Trained church members are available to hand out tracts and literature about your church and to witness and get personal information from interested individuals. Most families will gravitate to these colorful events and the parents get to see your love, concern, and professionalism when dealing with their children and family members. Multiple workers, performing targeted responsibilities, create an atmosphere of excitement and expectation instead of dread and fear in sharing the gospel.
Three holidays during the summer offer an evangelistic emphasis. Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day provide the church with times of firework displays, picnic areas, and local organized holiday events and parades. Your community town square, parks, or picnic areas can be a great place to set up to promote the gospel story and to evangelize the lost. Churches often have picnics for fellowship. This can be a time to allow the entire family to be a witness to others who are grilling, picnicking, and waiting for fireworks. The balloon animals, puppet presentations, and visual lessons can be a great draw for a gospel presentation. Many churches build floats for their town parade. What a great way to visualize the gospel story while promoting the church and the various outreaches and services provided.
Backyard Bible barbecues is another event that can open a community to a local church member’s house or the church parking lot or yard. Nothing draws people like hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Yard games, puppet productions, and backyard fellowship with neighbors and families open new relationships and opportunities to reach the lost. Setting up a grill at the local softball, little league or soccer game can also be effective in building relationships and presenting the gospel. The cost of several dozen hot dogs and hamburgers is a small price to pay for the opportunity to present the gospel through word or printed material.
Offering free day camp or a week church camp to neighborhood children can reach many for Christ. This time away from home can create lasting spiritual memories in the hearts and minds of young people that will produce fruit that remains in the young person’s service to the Lord. Many churches set aside monies to send deserving children from their community to camp.
How can your Sunday School involvement flourish in the summer? How can you see the salvation of the lost and an increase of souls to disciple during the fall and winter? Hard work with prayer and planning can target children and families by implementing the ideas mentioned in this article. Jesus should be preached to men in every condition and venue. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15