Worship Nights and Fellowship

Do you find yourself in stretches during the summer or other times in the church calendar where it feels like the community calendar is in a bit of a "slump?" Over summers and other holiday seasons, it can be difficult to keep families around and find things to do in your church and community. Roger Howard, as Minister of Worship and Music at Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa, CA, would recommend trying to put in a few worship nights in during those times where things get slow. Howard and Christ Lutheran in La Mesa have put their worship nights, or Thursday Night Commons as they're dubbed, into the schedule and found them to be a good way to "keep families around and minister to them in what can be a down time" of the year... (continued)

Children’s Community Activities

Building events and activities into your community's calendar that are intentionally structuring a calendar for your children is a great idea. The more moments created for the kids in your community, the better! Barb Haar at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Catonsville, MD has shared ideas on how St. Paul builds their church calendar with four large children's community activities each year to develop relationships in their community and serve their families and kids... (continued)

Reach Young Families

As we get closer to the start of the school year, it is just about time to start discussing ideas for how a church and build relationships with communities of young families with schools in your area. Susan Hewitt has some ideas on how the people in your congregation could find ways to volunteer at the local schools in your area to open doors for the young families in these places and point them to Christ... (continued)

Trunk or Treat

When we get to the end of the month of October each year, it can be helpful to find ways to bring a community together, especially during the week leading up to Reformation Day. One event churches put on during this season to bring people together is a Trunk or Treat, in which people are invited to decorate their trunks so that kids can walk around in a safe, fun environment, end up with some candy and other treats, and play some games. Pastor Tom Evans from Emanuel Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights, MN has seen wonderful growth and fellowship through the Trunk or Treat his church has put on each year, and has some thoughts on how your church or community could try something similar... (continued)

Planned Acts of Christian Kindness

One of the calls of the Church at large is to connect with local communities and, through meeting practical needs of people and forming relationships with them, pointing others to Christ. Just as Jesus fed, provided for, and brought community to people, we have an opportunity to do the same in order to show people the love and grace of Christ. Planned Acts of Christian Kindness, or P.A.C.K., can be a helpful program in connecting a church to its local community through meeting people’s needs and pointing them to Christ. Lee Larsen, Ministry Coordinator for the Acts 1:8 ministry, suggests P.A.C.K. as a program to consider to be able to, as a church, use “acts of kindness as a way to share Jesus with everyone in a way that is low-key and non-threatening” through trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit... (continued)

Back-to-School Blessings

The start of the school year is a milestone for any child, with all of the excitement about classes, friends, and all the newness that's ahead. It would be wonderful for churches and ministries to find ways to send students into their school years with blessing and encouragement as they learn about who God has created them to be. Pastor Dave Hall, who is serving at Mt. Hope Lutheran Church in Boulder, CO, has suggested celebrating this checkpoint for children by holding an annual "Blessing of the Backpacks" during a church service at the start of the school year... (continued)

Breaking the Routine

Have you been looking for ways to bring your community together in ways that promote interactive worship and a chance to be refreshed? Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, AZ has been putting a Night of Worship into their routine and found it to be a helpful time for students, teachers, church members of the on-site Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, and other members of the community to set aside time for reflection, prayer, and praise... (continued)