Your church plays a crucial role in helping people build their relationships with Jesus Christ. However, it also serves another important purpose—helping your congregation find community and connection with like-minded people.
People in your congregation and greater community are desperately searching for opportunities to connect with others—and a well-designed church can create events, activities, and festivals that are the perfect environment to meet people in a fun, laid-back, approachable way.
Find the perfect events that your church members will love to participate in (and invite their friends, family, and neighbors to) with this creative list of ideas!
Engaging Events Your Congregation Will Love
1. Movie Night
Who doesn’t love cozying up with a bowl of popcorn and a blanket to watch a movie? Many churches have excellent audio and video equipment for weekly services, but you can get even more use from this high-tech (and likely, expensive) equipment by hosting movie nights.
When children are out of school in the summer, you can host weekly family movie nights with kid-friendly flicks. Or consider offering free childcare services and hosting a “grownups only” movie night for parents and older adults in your congregation. You can even rent a popcorn machine and buy some cans of soda to offer tasty snacks and drinks during the film.
2. Block Party
Block parties are a great way to connect your congregation with your nearby community—and they’re relatively easy to plan if you have a grassy lawn or spacious parking lot.
Arrange to provide food, games, and entertainment for guests. You can invest in food trucks or purchase food at the grocery store, like burgers or hot dogs, to grill during the party. Lawn games, like cornhole, are always popular, or you can rent some carnival games that kids will love. You can even ask your worship band to play some live music to set the mood!
3. Fall Festival
Many families look to churches for an alternative to celebrating Halloween with their children, so why not make your church the top venue for fall-themed fun in the neighborhood?
Of course, you can host a “Trunk or Treat”—an event where members of your congregation park their decorated cars in the church parking lot, fill the trunks with candy, and allow kids to “trick or treat” at their vehicles. However, as an alternative, you can host a Fall Festival with tractor rides, pumpkin painting, a costume contest, and other festive activities to celebrate the autumn season.
4. Fundraising Drive
Sometimes, the best way to unite your congregation is by working together to meet a common goal—like a fundraising drive to improve the community.
Pick a cause you’re passionate about as a church. Perhaps you’d like to collect food for a local homeless shelter before Thanksgiving, or you’d like to gather school supplies for underprivileged children in August. Your congregation can donate items, but you can also host bake sales, car washes, and garage sales to raise money while working together.
5. Church Picnic
Do you wish your congregation would stick around for longer after church to mingle and connect with newcomers? If so, a church picnic may be a great way to solve this problem while having fun!
Encourage your congregation to bring their favorite dish for a potluck-style picnic after your last church service on Sunday. While most people will stay for the free food, the lasting relationships and connections formed during this time are invaluable!
6. Game Night
Classic game nights are a timeless way to bring your entire congregation together for family-friendly fun. You can host a good old-fashioned board game night, arrange group games, like a scavenger hunt or quick “minute to win it” competitions, or hook up video games for the kids.
Games are an excellent way for your congregation to meet new people while enjoying a little friendly competition—and of course, practicing good sportsmanship.
7. Maker’s Market
Do you have local business owners, crafters, or bakers in your congregation? If so, consider hosting a “maker’s market” or “farmer’s market” on your property. This event allows your church members to showcase their talents to other community members and may even create networking opportunities.
Promote this event months in advance and allow people with something to sell to enroll for a table at the market. Then, the rest of your congregation and the greater community can come and purchase food, furniture, clothing, or other items from the market!
8. Serve Day
As a pastor, you already know that serving others is one of the best ways to foster community and build relationships. So why not host an event that’s focused on doing precisely that?
Encourage your congregation to split up into small groups united around a specific passion, like serving the homeless, community cleanup, tutoring students, or packaging food to send overseas. Then, each group can complete their unique project on the same day, so you’ll spread the love of Jesus throughout the whole community!
9. Outdoor Concert
If you have outdoor space and the resources, consider inviting a popular Christian band or artist to perform a concert on your church lawn. You can ask your congregation to attend and encourage them to invite their friends, family, and other members of the community to join them for an evening of free live music.
Expand Your Space to Host More Church-Building Events with Churches by Daniels
These are just a few creative ideas to build community within your congregation, but the truth is, no one knows your church members better than you! We hope this list inspires you to host uniquely customized events for your congregation.
If you need extra space for your churchwide events or notice your congregation is growing from your community outreach efforts—let us know! Churches by Daniels can help you expand or upgrade your church facilities to make hosting events a breeze. Read these testimonials from pastors across the country to learn how we’ve helped churches fulfill their ministry vision with beautiful, functional church facilities.