Ideas for Evangelism in a spiritual age
IDEAS FOR EVANGELISM
These are just a few ideas which I have picked up from churches around the country. I’m sure you can add many more of your own …
- Bereavement follow-up. A Remembrance/Thanksgiving Service around All Souls/All Saints Day. A specific reminder can be sent to those recently bereaved (good record keeping needed), though the Service could be for all who have been bereaved.
- Printed cards for special services. Each member of the congregation given 4 (number can vary) invitation cards to invite friends/neighbours personally.
- Holiday Club for children during school holidays. Final event for parents/families. A lot of work and not usually a great deal of “success”. Can be an important bridge-building activity.
- Use of Special Sundays (e.g. Education Sunday). Have children involved; invite staff, governors and parents of local school(s).
- Supper parties for new contacts, newly weds, new arrivals, baptism parents etc. Have a good number of regular church members to make links. Perhaps a speaker.
- Open-air services if you have an appropriate venue.
- New arrivals. Church leaflet to welcome new people into the community - perhaps with a cake! There is evidence that without encouragement some church-goers fail to link up with a local church.
- Newcomers evening. Can make this a community event, with each organisation making a brief presentation. Can be done every six to twelve moths depending on the size of the community.
- There are a number of Christian entertainers who will come (at a price) to give concerts etc. I would personally recommend Steve Price, Christian magician.
- Daniel Cozens (Walk of 1000 Men) offers a “Night of Colour” when he comes to talk about his paintings (he is an excellent artist) – and presents the Gospel message very clearly.
Through Faith Missions, 73 High Street, Coton, Cambridge CB3 7PL
- Occasional offices (especially baptism) can still be a great opening. Also possible to run a “Marriage Day” (probably on a Deanery basis to get enough people).
- Songs of Praise is a simple and well tested format. If you have a local pub with an attractive garden, why not ask if you can hold a service there? The prospect of extra revenue may appeal to the landlord! Traditional hymns; music group to sing modern songs; short comments between hymns; testimony and prayer – a package which nearly always works. Village Carols at a neutral venue may also appeal to those who are not regular church attenders. What will work in your patch?
- Simply dropping an invitation through the door is proving less and less successful. We need to build relationships and then invite people along. Mission is not really about inviting people to church – it is more about the church going out into the community.
- Celtic Praise works in an 11-parish setting and is intended for church families with older children and their fringe/unchurched friends. Neutral venue preferred. Typical format: 5 minute thought for the day on a topical issue or life theme; questions to be discussed around the table; praise and prayer using Celtic material; food, drink and chat for those who wish to stay. Averages 50 (has been 100+) and attracts mainly church members looking for something “different” in worship.
- Day with the Bishop. ‘Walk’ through the Benefice and invite local people to join in for all or part of the walk – possible to cover 4-6 churches in a day. At each church there is an informal act of worship where someone shares their faith story. Talking as you walk is an unthreatening and natural way to talk about Jesus. Start with open breakfast, end with evening celebration – possibilities are endless. As well as creating opportunities for sharing faith, it is a good time for local Christians. Need not have the Bishop – the Archdeacon of Wisbech and Huntingdon will come on his bike!
- Deanery planning. Wider audience, but needs “ownership” to succeed. If there is a real vision to co-operate and collaborate with other clergy/churches then real potential. If people will not move out of their parish – forget it!
- Informal pub meetings work in some situations.
- Occasional “Men’s Breakfast”.
- Social events which are designed to get church members to bring non-church friends. Endless opportunities …
- Quiz Night
- Meal in a local restaurant/hotel. Or DIY.
- Colour Me Beautiful – for ladies.
- Use your home.
- Help! I’m a parent
- Saturday Night Live – interviews; entertainment etc.
- Family Events (Shrek party; Narnia party etc.)
- Call My Bluff wine-tasting evening