If your church is simply going through the motions of putting on Sunday mass and passing the donation basket without any community involvement, you may soon have a problem with fewer attendees. After all, community is the way people connect. Your congregation is more likely to feel motivated to stick with you and share your word if they feel involved. One of the best ways to do this is with church community building.
First Time Guests
Community is one of the primary measures for someone to see if your church is a good fit for them, whether they are new to town or they are just seeking a new church. Making a good first impression is a key way to make people feel welcomed. Arrange for friendly greeters to be present before mass, and invite key members new and old to a get together afterward for an intimate gathering.
Although the focus may be on that first impression, it’s equally as important to retain your members by making them feel involved. People from all walks of life are longing for a deeper connection, which they don’t necessarily get just because they attend every Sunday.
Lead by Example
Today’s modern congregations tend to overly rely on social media and text groups. What we are talking about with this exercise is real community building within your church, and that means in-person connection whenever possible. As your church’s leaders, take the lead by being present at such events. Take the time to talk with each individual, and show your passion for your mission.
30 Church Community Building Ideas
- Church Picnic – Springtime is the perfect time to get out with your church community, share a meal and smell the flowers.
- Youth Groups – These age-centric gatherings are perfect for fostering involvement in the young hearts and minds of your congregation.
- Singles Program – If your church has enough singles, a singles night or singles program is a great thing to sponsor.
- Couples – Similarly, there’s no reason not to have a couples group. Arrange fun events like bowling and dinner parties.
- Movie Night – Particularly great if there is a new release that aligns with your church’s values, a movie night is a fun get-together for all.
- Super Bowl Party – Whether you’re in it for the games, commercials, or snacks, a Super Bowl party is a fun and intimate way to get together with your members.
- Adopt-a-Highway – Get out and pick up the trash in your community by adopting a highway, neighborhood, or street to clean up.
- New Baby Baskets – Form a committee to support new families with a basket of supplies at the birth of a new little one.
- Ice Cream Social – Sugar and togetherness, what’s not to love!?
- Parents Night Out – This is an interesting way to get seniors and youth together to support a night off for those busy members who are in the thick of it with their children.
- Field Trips for Seniors – Whether your older members want to head to the zoo or the park, this type of event is a great way for folks to meet and mingle.
- Crafting Club – Pinterest users, unite! Come up with a new craft and order supplies weekly or monthly for this fun get-together.
- Holiday Parties – Host a potluck gathering for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. This will be particularly meaningful to community members who would otherwise not have plans on those holidays.
- Family Nights – Sometimes it’s just good to get the families together for a block party or a roller-skating session, no matter how chaotic it can seem.
- Start a Garden Club – If you have a plot of land to spare, start a community garden. This is a great way for people to gather in small groups and work the land. They can either keep the food they grow or donate it.
- Work Day Luncheons – Give your full-time worker community a break by having retirees cook and host a lunch for them once a week.
- Fundraisers – There are literally hundreds of fundraising ideas right here on this blog. The question is, what cause would motivate your members to come together to support?
- Recovery Groups – From Alcoholics Anonymous to Overeaters Anonymous, there are many self-help and recovery groups that can truly benefit your members’ lives.
- Music Programs – Your church choir or orchestra can bring a lot to the church service, and are great for building community.
- Newcomer Committee – Talk about double duty. Forming a Newcomer Committee not only fosters community for that group but makes new members feel welcome and included.
- Brainstorm a Problem – Does your church have a conundrum it needs to work on? Form a committee to come up with a solution. There’s nothing like working on something to bring people together.
- Game Night – From giant Jenga to Heads Up, there are many fun games that are suitable for groups of all sizes.
- Host a Guest Speaker – Bring in a guest speaker, musician, or person of inspiration for a day of learning and togetherness.
- Put on a Talent Show – A talent show is a great way to get to know your members’ unique personalities, have some laughs together and applaud what makes each uniquely talented.
- Book Club – If your group has at least a handful of people who loves to read, get a monthly book club together so they can read, discuss and interact.
- Traditional Team Building – From ropes courses to retreats, team building activities that are typically designed for corporations can also work well for church groups.
- Sports Teams – Gather the athletes in your church and form intramural or competitive soccer, volleyball, or curling league. Doesn’t matter which sport you choose, it matters that you are working as a team.
- Learn Something New – Bring in a local chef to teach a cooking class or a climber to instruct on harness and rope usage.
- Volunteer Together – Determine an area of need in your community, get your sign-up sheet started and get out and help someone together.
- Bible Study – Host a bible study group after church each week. Be sure to incorporate activities that let each individual give their take so that it truly becomes a community activity.
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