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)

Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer

All too often, we can find ourselves caught up in how busy and noisy the world around us can be. From work and errands, to balancing time of relationships, friendships, and family, we can find ourselves running on "empty" if we're not careful. Having a daily routine of setting aside time for prayer is essential for fostering our relationship with Christ, but can also be helpful in supporting our own need to be healthy and find peace. Dr. John Eckrich, who is the founder of Grace Place Wellness Ministries, endorses the daily practice of Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer as a way to come to the Lord in prayer in a way that is restful, peaceful, and faith-building... (continued)

Drama Ministry in Services

Just about every church that follows a standard liturgical format includes a teaching and message on Scripture. For congregation members that are auditory learners, these sermons can be incredibly helpful as the Holy Spirit guides the words of a Pastor. There are multiple types of learners, though, and so it would be helpful to explore multiple ways to convey the teachings of Scripture to members of a congregation. Lee Kofahl serves as the Creative Arts Director at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia, CA, and has found the inclusion of drama sketches into services to be a helpful extension of a pastor's message in her community... (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)