There are a lot of ways a church can come along the side of other churches or non-profits and help in the community without busting the budget. By hosting events or playing some small part in the event, the community will get to know the church. What’s important to the church and its mission.
Here are some examples of event ideas that won’t bust the budget.
Some churches will open their doors when other community events are going on. This allows people to come in and use the rest room, take a break form the sun, or even get a free snack. This works especially well in the downtown areas of cities as they are always having events, but lack facilities. If there’s multiple churches, then the churches can take turns to always have one open for event goers. People come in and see the church and meet a few friendly love-filled people. Who knows – the event goers may come back to listen to a sermon in the future because of the friendly people they met.
Host a carnival in the large parking lot. Some churches have enormous parking lots that sit empty most of the time. Communities need space to host events. Come alongside your community and let them take over your parking lot and yard for their yearly carnival event. The church doesn’t have to pay anything as the cost is typically picked up by the community. Again you can open your facilities using some volunteers to monitor bathrooms and cleaning up. No money invested, but you will be known in the community as the hosting place for the carnival and people may come to your place of worship later.
Host workshops for the betterment of the community. For example, many local resources could come in for a day-long event to teach others about financial planning, marriage counseling, racism, and so on. Most communities have counseling offices that would help present the information to the community and offer follow up to any that may need these services. These are true needs of any community. I think everyone knows someone affected by debt, marriage, racism, homelessness, human trafficking, and so on.
Host a parent’s night out. Could the church’s youth, with the right supervision, take care of the younger kids for 3 – 4 hours while the parents are watching a movie or having dinner? The invitation should be sent to the local community as an open invite. I don’t know any parent that wouldn’t want to take some time away from their screaming 2 year old for a few hours, especially the ones that don’t have immediate family in the area. 🙂
I’m sure there are many other successful examples that churches have done and we ask that you share them for all to see in the comments below. Also stay tuned for the second part of this two part series for more ideas for the church. 🙂