Four Great Outreach Ideas for Your Men’s Ministry
Parking Lot Rideshare
You probably haven’t thought of your parking lot as a cheap outreach opportunity waiting to happen, but it very well could be. With the high price of gas, heavy traffic and stricter pollution laws, it’s making more and more sense to carpool to work Does your church have a freeway-close location? Make your parking lot the place where people from your community can meet to share rides on weekday mornings. This can be a great idea especially if your church also has a school or daycare program.
* Check. Contact your insurance company about the coverage of your parking lot for this usage. Post signs releasing the church from liability theft or other car damage.
* Advertise. Send press releases or fliers to local businesses, the local transit district office, newspapers and community centers, to advertise of your lot as a “Park & Ride.”
* Staff. Have a volunteer (seniors are great) host a free coffee table that also offers prayer support and information about your church.
* Bless. Create a sign that welcomes your commuters to your church and sends them out on their workday with a blessing and a word of encouragement!
A Festive Fourth
First Assembly of God in Normal, Ill., celebrates summer, the country’s birthday and Jesus all in one big Fourth of July extravaganza. For the past few years, the church has hosted a popular event called Firefall, a patriotic carnival for all ages. A fun-filled day the whole community can enjoy, the event combines the outdoors, food, music and fireworks, all ingredients for a great Fourth holiday. Your church can host a similar holiday carnival cheaply, and it might even turn into an annual event! A full carnival isn’t necessary; simply host a picnic in the park near your city’s public fireworks display. Have a chili-cook off, a bake-off, traditional picnic games and other inexpensive activities.
* Invite. Provide church members fliers to hand out in their neighborhoods. Ask permission to place fliers or signs in local businesses such as dry cleaners, doctor’s offices and restaurants. Put signs in members yards.
* Find a Good Spot. Host your event at a local park with a good view of a nearby fireworks display. The Fourth is a busy holiday at parks, so if you want to use grills or a pavilion, reserve them ahead of time.
* Plan Games. They can include pick-up basketball, relay races and volleyball. Other activities could be a chili cook-out, a bake-off, a pie-eating contest or a water balloon toss.
* Cook. Ask church members to each bring a dish. Provide hot dogs and hamburgers for grilling.
* Enlist Volunteers. Ask a few “grill masters” to help with barbecue. Give them aprons to wear with the name of your church on front.
* Salute. Invite military veterans and make a special presentation thanking them for their heroism.
* Sing. Ask your praise team or choir to lead the crowd in a few patriotic songs. They can continue playing through the fireworks display if music is not a part of the show.
* Capture Memories. Take pictures of the festivities with a digital camera and announce they will be posted on your church’s Web site. Parents are likely to log on to see pictures of their kids and at the same time will see your church’s ministries and service times.
A 5K That Pays
Did you know that more than 7.7 million people participate in 5K races or similar events each year? When First Baptist Church in Oviedo, FL., (FBCO) began to brainstorm about an event its community would run after, the choice of a 5K race/walk was easy. FBCO’s first race drummed up so much attention and participation that the church has made it an annual event for the last three years. Last year’s 5K drew 600 runners and walkers – only 20 were church members. Even a small church with not sports facility and a small budget can host a 5K with high visibility in their neighborhood.
* Advertise. Treat your event as any other secular-sponsored 5K. Market it where other 5K’s are marketed. Often runners receive packets or fliers after local community runs altering them to upcoming races and events in the area. Be sure your packet is included.
* Recruit Sponsors. Ask members businesses to sponsor the event in exchange for printing the companies names and logos on banners and pre-event fliers, as well as the backs of T-shirts participants receive the day of the event.
* Contact A Local Athletics Store. The first year FBCO hosted a run, the church contacted a store that helped them create a registration form as well as an online form, and also advised FBCO’s volunteers on how to clock participants. Recognize the store you partner with in the same way you promote your sponsors. Also, enlist active runners and walkers in your church to lend their expertise.
* Map The Course. Secure a course in the area surrounding your church; make sure city officials approve the course. Also, contact your local police station to block off portions of the road, if necessary.
* Select A Benefactor. Choose a local organization, such as a food bank or cancer association, to benefit from the proceeds. FBCO charges participants between $20 and $30 depending on when they register (children under 10 register for free).
We all want to live in a beautiful, clean community, but few people are interested in bending down to pick up a piece of someone else’s trash. It’s easy to expect someone else to do it for us. Change that mentality with a Community Beautification Day, hosted by your church, and embrace the environmentally conscious demographic in your community. Start by looking around. What does your community need to look its best? Chances are, there’s plenty of affordable ways your church can meet some of these physical needs. Then all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and get to work!
* Enlist. Recruit volunteers during Sunday morning services. Ask each volunteer to invite unchurched people from the community to serve for three to five hours on a Saturday doing light manual labor. Have the volunteers post signs around town. They might say, “Let’s take care of our community! Want to help?” If volunteers will need specific clothing such as heavy shoes, note that on any advertising.
* Gather Supplies. Ask a local grocery or hardware store to donate some of the necessary items such as trash bags, brooms and work gloves. Make sure you have plenty of work supplies for volunteers.
* Plan. Talk to the appropriate city departments to ensure your work crews will encounter no resistance.
* Team. Divide volunteers into teams. One team will pick up trash along roadways and in parks. Another team will sweep sidewalks. Another team will pull unsightly weeds. If there’s a local landmark that needs a makeover, rally around that cause.
* Give. Provide a free T-shirt with the name of your church on the front to each participant.
* Refresh. Offer free bagged lunches to participants.
* Protect. Make sure to bring sunscreen and First Aid kits. Also, have several coolers of bottled water on site, as well as fruit and protein snacks.
The above article, “Four Great Outreach Ideas For Your Men’s Ministry,” is compiled by Jim Erman. The articles are featured in the Outreach magazine.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the Bone”