How did you get involved with your local church? Maybe you grew up going there or a friend invited you. Or maybe you got involved because you found them online or through a church event. When it comes to attracting new members through community involvement, churches tend to focus their outreach efforts on adults. But have you ever thought about how you can creatively reach out to kids? Children need Jesus just as much as adults do, while often getting kids excited for Sunday school can be the thing that pushes their parents or guardians to attend church as well.
Using community involvement is a great way to bring your children’s ministry to kids, right where they’re at—helping them to experience both the Gospel and the care of your church. Plus, people really appreciate it when you show love to their kids, so it’s a great way to reach whole families. Here are 3 creative outreach ideas you and your church can use to further your children’s ministry through community involvement.
1. Create Sunday School Invitations
Often the best tool in children’s ministry is other children. When kids are excited about something, it’s natural for them to want to share it with others! For a creative outreach approach in your children’s ministry, encourage kids who are already involved in your Sunday school or Bible clubs to invite their friends to join them at church. You can even make a group craft out of it by having kids make personal invitations for their friends with all the information about your Sunday school or after-school Bible club, like CEF’s Good News Club®. It’s helpful to provide a small card with information like address, day, and time that can be attached to these homemade invitations. Have the kids think about friends they would like to invite, then give copies of the invitations to them next time they see their friends at school or while playing.
It’s important to remember that you should never use a reward as an incentive for kids to bring their friends to Sunday school. We don’t want their friends to feel used if they arrive and see the kid who invited them more excited about getting their reward than they are to see them at church. Help kids get excited about bringing friends to Sunday school for the right reasons—because they care about them and want their friends to get to know Jesus too! If a child does bring their friend to Sunday school, give them kudos for it later in private, then ask if their friend had any feedback regarding their experience. Don’t forget to invite them to come back a second time!
2. Get Involved in Community Events
Another way you can use community involvement as a creative outreach for your children’s ministry is to participate in a local parade, festival, fair, or other event. Take advantage of the community coming together to raise awareness of your children’s ministry and invite new kids to come! If your town is having a parade, you can get creative and design a float, or you can march and ride in a fun car while throwing candy with invitation cards attached. For a festival, fair, or town holiday party, you could organize a game and prize booth, pass out snacks and drinks, or share the gospel through an object lesson. This is your opportunity to reach new kids for Christ and love on your community, so get involved! Be sure to have some kids’ tracts from cefpress.com to make the most impact with your children’s ministry.
Sharing the Gospel Through Face Painting
One of our favorite ways to use community involvement in events like this as children’s ministry is to offer face or hand painting. One of our Child Evangelism Fellowship members in Kansas frequently schedules booths at the state and local fairs to do free hand or face painting for kids, and the turnout is always rewarding. Kids love face painting, while parents love a free activity for their kids to enjoy at a fair. By setting up a face painting booth, you can provide information about your church for the families in your community, and specifically about the kind of programs, Sunday school, or children’s ministry you offer.
Face painting can be a great evangelism tool, too. By choosing designs that use the colors of The Wordless Book, you can tell the story of the gospel as you paint. If you are working as a team, one person can paint while the other shares the gospel. Most brushes and face paint are inexpensive and can be found online or at a local party supply store. If you have the resources, you can also add some other games and crafts at your booth for kids to do as they wait their turn. This is a great time for people from your church and children’s ministry team to build relationships with the families that stop by.
3. Turn Current Events into Children’s Ministry
Last but not least, pay attention to current events that are happening around the world and how you can leverage that as a church, Sunday school, or children’s ministry to better reach the kids in your community. Take a look at the trends or happenings in your area and ask yourself: what are kids excited about right now? What draws families in? How can I use this to share the gospel?
For instance, Stephanie, a CEF missionary in Tasmania recognized that kids and families often get excited about the Olympics or other big sporting events in her area, and decided to use everyone’s excitement about the Olympics to reach out to new kids in her community. For two weeks while the kids were out of school in July, Stephanie set up a table at a local park, handing out snacks, water, and gospel-themed Olympic wristbands that she and the kids in her Good News Club® had made. It was such a success that her Good News Club® kids wanted to help run the tables too! You can see pictures and read more about this outreach in CEF’s IMPACT Magazine.
Get More Ideas from CEF’s IMPACT Stories
For more ideas on outreach and for stories of encouragement like Stephanie’s, check out CEF’s IMPACT Magazine at cefonline.com/impact. The IMPACT magazine is a free publication of CEF that tells the stories of children’s ministry going out to kids and their families all around the world. Full of real stories from real people, just like you, on the frontlines of children’s ministry, you’re sure to find plenty of ideas and inspiration for how to creatively use community involvement as a church or Sunday school to better minister to the families in your area and share the love of Jesus. Subscribe today!