5 Spring Activities for Church Outreach
As the seasons change, so do your outreach opportunities. Your community may be finally getting some much-needed sun. Flowers, shrubs, and vegetables are ready to be planted. And people who have been cooped up by snow are restless and ready to get out and do something.
Your church can use this time to strategically plan activities that help you build relationships with community members and increase awareness of your church.
Here are five church outreach ideas for the springtime:
1. Start a community garden
There are only so many pots and planters you can cram indoors. Some people in your community want to grow produce and flowers but don’t have a yard or garden bed. If your church has unused outdoor space, consider making it into a public garden. You could create separate garden beds so it’s easy for people to claim them and recognize which space is theirs; then fence it in to keep out squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other critters.
Making your garden available for free could turn this into a popular community spot, but you may also want to charge a small fee to recover the costs of supplies. See what other community gardens in your area charge before you decide.
2. Give a school or senior center a makeover
Local schools often lack the resources to invest in major landscaping projects or renovations. They’re also often hesitant to work with churches. Offering to haul in and spread truckloads of beauty bark, plant new shrubs, or even paint walls or install new equipment is hard for schools to say no to, and it can open the door to future opportunities by demonstrating your selflessness.
Senior centers may not be in the same boat as schools, but the residents will appreciate seeing that community members care about them enough to come and serve them in this way. You could talk to a local senior center to find out what they’d be open to, and consider discussing it with residents during a visit to brainstorm ideas and identify needs.
3. Clean up a public park
Public parks can be extremely difficult to maintain. They’re constantly in use, and they don’t generate revenue, which makes it harder for communities to dedicate resources to upkeep and cleaning. And the more garbage people see in a park, the more comfortable they are with adding to the mess.
By cleaning up a local park, you can serve your community in a tangible, publicly visible way—and encourage others to do their part. If you pick the filthiest park in your city, you may even find that this simple act of service helps significantly impact the way people feel about your community.
Consider having your volunteer team wear matching shirts that represent your church. That way, whether people talk to you or not, they’ll know where you’re from, and they’ll associate your church with this service in the future.
4. Create a sports league
Sports leagues allow your staff and members to build relationships with people who wouldn’t normally attend your church events. They may be passionate about the sport you’re playing, and the league gives them an outlet to spend time doing something they love. Or they may simply be looking for community or a way to be active. Whatever the case, a well-organized league lets people simply participate in a consistent, fun activity.
Even if your church doesn’t have a field or gym to host your league, you could play at a local park. Remember, the type of sports league you host will likely change the demographic it will appeal to the most. Depending on the space you have, the interests within your church, the opportunities in your community, and who you want to draw, you might create a league for:
- Flag football
- Ultimate frisbee
- Mini golf
The main thing is to make sure your league is well-organized. You want community members to feel like all they have to do is show up. Create teams, make a schedule, assign referees (if necessary), and put someone in charge of making sure each event runs smoothly. You don’t have to throw your whole budget behind this, but if you don’t put any effort into it, it will be a lot harder for people to enjoy, and those outside of your church will be less willing to put up with something that feels unplanned and disorganized.
5. Send landscaping teams to neighborhoods
A lot of people don’t have the equipment, time, or ability to maintain their property the way they’d like. And that creates a valuable opportunity for your church to serve and bless your neighbors.
Depending on the size of your church and the resources available to you, you may be able to send several teams throughout neighborhoods in your community. Be sure each team is equipped with landscaping tools, and make a point of telling people that this is a free service your church is providing. Help prepare your volunteers by talking through common questions they might get asked, such as, “Why are you doing this?” You’ll want everyone to feel confident about why this act of service matters and what your goal is.
You may also find that some neighborhoods have spaces that no individual “owns.” These shared spaces may be neglected simply because no one feels responsible for their upkeep (much like some public parks). Talk to some neighbors about it first, but cleaning or fixing up these spaces could make a big difference to the people who use them.
Want more outreach ideas?
Outreach is a key part of evangelism. But it’s not always easy to find outreach ideas that reach the right people or align well with your mission. If you want more help choosing strategic outreach activities, check out our blog post, 30 Outreach Ideas to Grow Your Church.