Ten Ways to Engage Your Community This Summer

#1—Participate in the Local Farmers Market

If your town has a farmers market, there are tons of ways to get involved.

  • Rent a booth and give away food, drinks, or a free craft for kids
  • Partner with or sponsor an existing both.
  • Work with a church member who already has a booth with something to sell.
  • Have your church members bake goods and sell them collectively at a booth.
  • Provide music or entertainment throughout the day.
  • Promote the farmers market in your church communications and show you’re a good neighbor.

Meet with the organizer and ask what they need or want. You’ll need to follow the local rules and regulations, but surely there’s a way for you to get involved.

#2—Summer Service Projects

Set up some projects in advance and ask your church to meet at a specific time before breaking into teams to do the work. Make sure you’ve got projects at all different skill levels and find some projects that could involve families. Some churches encourage small groups or Sunday School classes to participate together. This could even become an annual tradition.

Here are some churches that have done events like this:

While you’re serving in the community, you could also ask people how you could pray for them. This offers a further opportunity to minister.

#3—Host a Backpack or School Supply Drive

You know how this works, and you know the positive difference it can make for kids and the impression it can leave with schools.

Here’s how West Ridge Church promoted their “Stuff the Bus” campaign.

During the past year, many parents in our area have suffered job losses, and income reductions and are struggling to meet basic needs for their families.

Purchasing basic school supplies is not an option financially for many of these families. This gives our West Ridge Church family an amazing opportunity to shine for Jesus by showing love and support to our community.

Join us on Saturday, July 16 from 9 am–2 pm, as we “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies to help set our local students up for success in the upcoming school year.

Our prayer is that the generous people of West Ridge Church will help us fill an entire Paulding County school bus stationed at West Ridge with donated school supplies!

It’s relatively simple to organize and promote, but it can make a huge difference, particularly as you deepen relationships with schools in your area.

#4—Offer to Pray for Your People

Simply being available to pray for people is a powerful way to show up for your community.

You can create a custom QR code and put that on flyers and signs. When people scan it and text in their request, you—or a small team of volunteers—can connect, pray, and respond.

Gloo can help you do this. The prayer feature makes capturing requests and responding to them a seamless and
meaningful experience for your people.

And through partner campaigns like He Gets Us and Churches Care, your church can be instantly connected to people who are actively looking for prayer and support.

Read more about Gloo’s prayer strategy here.

#5—Host a Summer Movie Night

According to the AARP, the third most popular summer activity is watching movies.

If you’ve got the space or the setup, your church could host a movie night that brings your members and your community together. Bring in food trucks or have snacks to make it even more fun.

Even if you don’t have space, you could rent a theater or a green space in your city.

You’ll need a license (Swank or CLVI can help you) and be sure to follow other copyright laws with your promotion.

#6—Organize a Summer Reading Book Club

Summer is the perfect time when school is out, people are going on vacation, and they might have more time to crack open the novel that they’ve been meaning to get to.

Regardless of whether you join or host a book club (for ladies, men, co-ed, or even kids) they are a time to get together, talk about real-life issues, and easily open up deeper and more meaningful (even spiritual) conversation.

#7—Host a Fireworks Party or Concert

The Fourth of July is all about good times, hanging out, and celebrating together—many consider this a quintessential American experience. With barbecues and fireworks lighting up the summer holiday, it’s a perfect chance for communities to get together. For churches, it’s a great way to connect with their cities and make a real difference.

If your city has fireworks, consider organizing a watch party. You could add music, food, and games. Or if your facility doesn’t offer line of sight, consider partnering with your city to provide additional support or even volunteers.

Anytime people gather, you’ve got the opportunity to show up and help. Plus, when people gather, let them know that your people are ready to pray for them. Ask them to share their prayer requests, then follow up personally.

#8—Start a Runners or Walkers Group

Starting a running or walking group is a super fun summer outreach idea for churches to connect with their communities. These groups are all about getting active, feeling good, and making friends, so it’s a great way to bring together church members and neighbors. Why not set up weekly or bi-weekly meetups at a local park or trail?

Everyone’s welcome, whether they’re young or old, fit, or just starting out.

By creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, churches can help people build relationships, strengthen community ties, and maybe even invite new folks to join the congregation. Plus, these groups can be a relaxed space for chatting about faith, life, or just offering some support and good vibes.

#9—Offer Free Car Washes or Lawn Care

You don’t need big events to reach people in your community.

Acts of service are a great way to show people in your community that you care about them and aren’t just out for them to attend your church.

You can set up a car wash in your church’s parking lot and make sure to advertise well in advance. If the space isn’t right, you could offer this in neighboring areas. A local business with good visibility might be interested in hosting you.

Offering to do free yard work will offer a little more flexibility,
as you’re going to people’s homes. You could get the word out through your congregational network and have people sign up for service. Then show up, do the work, and display the love of Jesus.

#10—Watch Kids for Date Night

The off-season of the year is a great time for parents to get some quality time together. It makes it tough if parents don’t have money to afford a sitter and don’t know anyone who can watch their kiddos for them.

Have your church host a “date night daycare” so parents can go out while you watch the kids.

Make it fun, exciting, and a mini camp-like experience so that kids will want to come back. You can also encourage your church to do this in their own neighborhood.

Take the Next Step

Want more practical advice on how to plan an outreach event?

This free guide contains a 7-step checklist for making your next event a success.