Skye Alison iOutreachInc

Skye Alison began his career in ministry at age 25 and has always focused on training others to share the gospel as a lifestyle no matter what role he filled. The ideas he offers here come from 25 years of pastoral ministry in five states. Today he heads up a ... read more

Evangelism Ideas Throughout the Year

Looking for evangelism ideas to carry throughout the year?  Well, let’s start by talking about how you organize your year.  Some churches operate by the liturgical year. For purposes of evangelism, my church likes to organize the year into 3 trimesters: January through April, May through August, and September through December.

And for purposes of reaching the Community, my church finds it helpful to set up the calendar based on key outreach opportunities in each of these trimesters. For example:

  • Easter (Resurrection Sunday) in the first trimester
  • Mothers’ Day and VBS in the second trimester
  • Christmas in the third trimester

People who do not attend church any other time often consider and attend during these times – especially if someone (a friend or family member) invites them! Here are some ideas of ways to steward each of these ministry opportunities:

Seasonal Evangelism Ideas

Easter Evangelism Ideas

Host a community-wide Easter egg hunt on the property (this could always be done off-site if needed). If it rains, host it in the sanctuary or other large space. The main thing to remember – do it big! If your church is running short on volunteers to assist, recruit some of the attending parents to help out! A wise pastor once said, “There are two ways to make a friend – do something for someone else, or LET them do something for you!” Wondering how to make it fun for teens too? Offer a Pokemon-themed or other themed variation! 

Mother’s Day Evangelism Ideas

Mothers’ Day – Offer a gift to every mom who attends on Mother’s Day, such as a $10 gift card to a local restaurant, or find a way to offer a generic gift card so they can choose the restaurant. You want every mom to leave your church thinking “this church really loves and cares about me and values the importance of my role in the lives of my family and children.” During COVID-19, this is a way to build additional equity into relationships by letting restaurant owners know you support and care about them.

Vacation Bible School Evangelism Ideas

An award-winning children’s leader once said that “VBS can do for the church the same thing as a good revival.” And it often did for my church as they reached out to kids in the community, resulting in an uptick in morale and attendance. Kids need friends, food, play, and loving care (lots of it!) – and by the time VBS season rolls around, parents often need a break! 

So – if your people have a heart for kids – this is a beautiful target market. You don’t have to limit yourself to the VBS curriculum. Kids love fun so pull out the stops and try some of these activity ideas:

  • Show and Tell
  • Giant Stuffed Animal Time (kids make up their own impromptu stories ‘on stage’ while you video the stories and show clips of them on Sunday for all to see)
  • Bicycle rodeo

Offer prizes! Kids’ names can be entered for a new bicycle, screentime app, or other incentives each time they attend. Offer an extra entry for each friend they bring with them (see the New Friend registration process at the end of this article). If you don’t have space to host VBS at your church, host it in the backyards of homes or at the park. Use Inflatables as a way to draw attention!

For maximum impact, plan a follow-up process to use post-VBS. You are spending a lot of money and precious volunteer energy on this, so focus on building relational equity. Consider ways to provide or develop need-meeting ministries, such as counseling or AA, to steward the influence God is giving you in these people’s lives. 

Christmas

My church realized there were not any churches around hosting a drive-through Christmas experience, so we took the opportunity! We hosted “The Lights of Bethlehem” – a drive-through re-creation of the first Christmas 2000 years ago, complete with music, live animals, and more. Using a lot of imagination, costuming, and not a small number of people, it drew thousands of car-fulls of people every year. People learned about the church, heard about opportunities to plug in and make new friends, and encountered the meaning of the Christmas season!

New Friend Registration Process

To make the most of the connections you’re developing with your community during an event, integrate something like the following into your follow-up process.  By the way, when you’re talking about the new people coming to your church, you can also use terms like ‘VIP guest’ or ‘Special Guest’ but I recommend never using the term “visitor.”  Visitors don’t come to stay.

Use a 4×6 index card or similar, attached to a written waiver supplied by your insurance carrier (to be signed by the parent or guardian). Have the greeter smile and direct people to the registration table(s). Select the right kind of volunteers for the table interviews with the New Friends – people who will represent your church in a friendly, outgoing way!

How to Make the Most of New Registrations

Things to write on the index card:

  • Name of child
  • Ask: “(Susie), if you could be any kind of ______ (animal, dinosaur, superhero, etc – whatever ties into the theme of the VBS), what would you be?”; “Why?”
  • Ask parent: “would you pick the same one? Why or why not?”
  • Name of parent/guardian
  • “Where’s the location of your Bat Cave?” (Also known as asking for their address.  Saying this can help take the ‘edge’ off of giving their info)
  • Phone number (cell)
  • Ask: “By the way, (parent) did you attend VBS when you were younger?” (This is a friendly way of establishing a connection while getting an idea of their church background or lack of). “Any particular fun memories stand out in your mind?”
  • Email Address
  • Preferred method of contact
  • Can (Susie) have this (candy)?
  • How did you learn about our VBS?
  • Say: Welcome – So glad to have you! 

By the end of the brief visit, your volunteer will have gathered basic info, gained a feel for the parent-child relationship, picked up something about the parent’s religious background, noticed an attitude of whether they might be open or closed to a home visit after VBS or the event, and figured out who might be a common connection already attending your church. 

Home visits or surveys about the VBS/church experience can be great tools to follow up the week after VBS or other kids events. It’s ideal to do these within 72 hours after the Sunday following VBS. Train individuals or husband and wife teams in personal evangelism and prepare them to do the follow-up work.

Want even more ideas for building a culture of evangelism throughout the calendar year?  Sign up for the Church Marketing Conference today!  Each of our speakers is talking through how to go from surviving to thriving in the year to come!

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