By Diana Davis
Here are 11 outreach ideas for your church to try as school starts back and the weather turns cooler.
1. Adopt an International Student. A majority of international students who come to the U.S. to study are never invited into an American home. Work with your local university to host an international student throughout the year. Pick them up at the airport when they arrive. Invite them to dinner once a month and spend time with them during the holidays.
2. “Meet the Teacher” Sunday: Kids invite their schoolteacher, principal, cafeteria worker, etc., and sit by them in worship. Pray for them during church and honor them with a brief milk and cookies fellowship afterward.
3. Singles Dream Team: About one-third of adults in your town are single. Form a top-notch team to pray and plan multiple small groups, events and ministries for singles. Kick off with a single adult retreat.
4. New Members Fellowship: Host a bi-annual or quarterly event for new church members to help them feel welcome and make friends.
5. Minister Appreciation Week: Ask members and attenders to send a note of appreciation to the pastor(s) during the first week of October.
6. Stock the Pantry: Ask members to donate non-perishables to your church’s food pantry or a local food bank.
7. Pumpkinpalooza: Display an invitation banner and gobs of pumpkins outside. Kids under 12 pick a pumpkin, decorate it and take it home. Take family photos and invite guests to pick them up on Sunday.
8. Senior Adult Revival: Plan a weeklong daytime evangelistic revival for senior adults. Serve lunch. Encourage members to bring friends who may not know Christ.
9. Citywide Thanksgiving Art Exhibit: In early fall, begin to solicit entries from church members, friends, local artists, art clubs and classes. Using any medium, artists illustrate a Thanksgiving theme. Deadline is end of October, and art is displayed in the church lobby throughout November.
10. Fall Daylight Savings: Plan ahead so early arrivers (who forgot to change their clock) can enjoy their error. Signs at doors can offer doughnuts and coffee in the foyer, library time, or an invitation to watch the praise team rehearse.
11. Election Day: Before voting day, each Bible study class selects one elected position such as Sheriff or City Commissioner. The group purchases a Bible, highlights favorite Scriptures, and delivers it immediately after the election with a note promising prayer for that leader.