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Community Outreach Ideas


There are plenty of ways that you can reach our nation on Canada Day (or other special event days throughout the year).  Here are 20 ideas that might spark your imagination.

  1. Canada Day Picnic

    Have a picnic designed to have people in your congregation invite their friends.  Instead of calling it a church family picnic, why not make it a Canada Day picnic?   You could take over a park in your city make it a really fun family event. What a great opportunity to meet those new to the church family, or who you would like to be part of the church family!

    Budget – The budget will vary based on how you want to run it.  It could be run for almost free if people brought their own picnic lunches. Or your church could supply the Canada Day picnic food. 

    Prep Time – You will need at least a month to promote this event.  If you have picnic or get-to-know-you games, you will need to prep these in advance ak9938865s well. 

    Event Time  - 2 to 5 hours

     

  2. Fireworks Display

    Perhaps you have someone in your congregation who has a pyrotechnic license.  Putting on a fireworks display might be a great way to serve your community and build relationships.  Be sure to have the appropriate space required for releasing fireworks.  Glove, good footwear and non-flammable clothing is critical for those working with the fireworks.  And be sure the audience is positioned far enough away to see the great display, but not feel the heat or sparks!

    Budget - This depends on how spectacular of a show you want to put on. You can budget for as little or as much as you want to see.

    Prep Time: 2 to 3 months before the event you will need to look into permits, etc. One to two months before the event you will need to promote it. Seven to eight hours before the event you will need to prep for the event.

    Event Time – 2 hours.  While your fireworks will probably not go for two hours (unless you are going to including the lighting of 10,000 sparklers, one at a time), the lead up to the event is really important. 

     

  3. Family Fun Fair

    Make your church the place to be on Canada Day.  Bouncy castles, petting zoos, games and musical entertainment can all be a part of a great outreach. A family fun fair is a great way to introduce your community to your church and gives the people in your congregation an opportunity to build relationships with the people in the city.  Be sure that your single congregations feel welcome, expressing that this is for the “church family” not “family units”.

    Budget - $1,000 to $10,000

    Volunteers – 10 to 200 – The number of volunteers is dependent on the number of activities you want to run at your fair.  This is a great way to employ the gifts of the people in your church.  Bicycle repairs, haircuts, face painting, balloon making – these are all great additions that can draw people!  The more creative you are the more diverse a group of people you will be able to attract.

    Prep Time – Shbounce-house-clip-art-469169are your vision for this event about three months in advance, connecting key people who can lead specific parts of the outreach. Begin promoting 6 weeks before the event.  Two weeks before the event make sure all of the details are in place. Be sure to have everyone arrive early on the day of the event, making sure all details are cared for.  It is also good to have a rain date in the back of your mind, just in case! 

    Event Time – 3 to 6 hours

     

  4. Freezies Giveaway

    This outreach takes the people in your church into the parks and public places of your city.  This outreach is especially effective during hot weather.  It will cause you to really understand where people congregate in your city and will give every member of your church an opportunity to serve the people in the community through a simple act of kindness.

    Budget - $20 to $200 

    Prep Time – A week to freeze the freezies.  Make sure that they are actually frozen by laying them out flat on cookie sheets or trays.  There is nothing worse than giving an unfrozen Freezie away).  A couple of weeks to promote to your church. Encourage everyone to wear comfortable footwear and to have their best smile and attitude on that day as you step out to share with the community.  Have appropriate scissors or milk bag cutters to help in opening the freezies.  A small garbage bag can gather the small cut plastic pieces so you don’t litter as you seek to bless others in the community.

    Event Time – 1 to 2 hours

     

  5. Barbeque in the Park

    Fire up a barbeque in a busy park in your city and give away free hamburgers and/or hotdogs. 

    Budget - $20 to $200

    Prep Time – 5 to 8 hours. Call your town hall or city office to see if you will require a permit.  Make sure that you have proper equipment and gloves to handle food, drinks, condiments, etc. Be sure to purchase an accurate quantity of supplies.  Obtain coolers and ice for drinks.  A tent to stand under is a great way to bring attention to what you are doing but may not be necessary.  A great way to identify those representing your church or team is to have matching t-shirts, hats or aprons.  You may want to bring along some flyers to advertise an upcoming event. 

    Event Time – 1 hour

     water bottles

  6. Water Giveaway

    This outreach takes the people in your church into the parks and public places of your city.  This outreach is especially effective during hot weather.  It will cause you to really understand where people congregate in your city and will give every member of your church an opportunity to serve the people in the community through a simple act of kindness.

    Budget - $20 to $200 depending on how many water bottles you buy

    Prep Time –A couple of weeks to promote to your church.  If you want you can label the water with a message and perhaps your church’s website.  T-shirts or caps to identify your church name is always good for promoting the church you are connected with. 

    Event Time – 1 to 2 hours

     

  7. Sports Tournament

    Organize a sports tournament for people in your city.  This could be ball hockey, basketball, baseball, or even cricket.  The people in your church could build relationships with people who may never come through the doors of your building.  You may want to specify if it is for youth, adults or even older adults.  Be sure to organize scorekeepers, referees, and ensure you have proper goal posts, sports attire and equipment for the sports you are engaging in.  A good ball pump is a worthwhile investment too.

    Budget - $100 to $2,000 (depending on the equipment required, and the food/prizes you want to give away)

    Volunteers – 20+

    Presoccer ballp Time – Start preparing a few months in advance.  Get a team together that can look into permits, promotion and organizing the logistics of the day.

    Event time – 8 to 12 hours

     

     

  8. Outreach to First Responders or Emergency departments

    Every day the first responders and emergency workers in our cities put their lives on the line for us.  Consider hosting an event whereby you honour those in your community who serve with excellence in saving lives on a daily basis.  You may want to host a dinner in their honour with heartfelt speeches from congregation members. Or have a Sunday am service that honours and thanks these folk for their involvement in the community.  A catchy message theme like “Call me. I’ll be there!” can help to draw in a message of calling out to God in times of trouble and knowing His immediate response. It is important that the Christian community show gratitude for those in our community who respond immediately in times of crisis, with skill, care and compassion.  Even some simple acts of kindness can go a long way in showing your appreciation for their commitment to your community.   

    Budget – Varies depending on how you want to bless these workers.

    Event Time – 2 or 3 hours

     

  9. Community Water Games

    A water-based event could be a great way to bring fun and relief from a hot summer day in your town.  You will need to decide on a few ground rules so that items that should not get wet don’t and that no one gets hurt, but anything involving water on a hot July day is always a welcome event!

    Budget - $0 to $500 (costs would be for hoses, buckets, water balloons, water nerf balls, etc. and more if you include food or snacks – Freezies  or watermelon can be a great and inexpensive snack at an event of this nature. 

    Prep Time – This event will probably need to be promoted through social media.  Get a team of your most connected people in your congregation to invite their tribe to participate.  This could be a really fun way to have your church learn how to harness the power of social media.

    Event Time – 1 to 3 hours

     

  10.  Movie in the Park/Parking Lot

    Set up a family friendly movie in your church parking lot or local park in order to build relationships with people in your community.  The people in your congregation can serve popcorn and cotton candy and make it a really fun family event.

    Budget - $200 to $1,000

    Prep Time – Make sure that you get the Public Viewing license to legally play the movie you want to show.  You will need to do this at least a month in advance.  Buy popcorn and know how you are going to make it (lots of microwaving time may be required), or rent a popcorn making machine.  See if a congregation member or a business in the community has a cotton candy machine you can borrow.  Some people have the oddest of things stored in their basements!

    Event Time – 2 to 3 hours

     

  11.  Get involved in an existing community Canada Day event

    Cities and towns all over Canada have community-wide celebrations.  Talk to organizers and volunteer to serve at the event.  Get a booth, give out water, do face painting, greet at the gates, set up a petting zoo, promote your summer camps and church activities at an exhibit table – just serve the people of the city.

    Budget - $0 - $500 Canada Day Clip Art

    Prep Time – Community Canada Day preparations usually begin 6 to 12 months in advance.  Speak with the community organizers early and get planning on how you want to be involved.  Some towns have printed t-shirts for volunteers.  If not, you may want to design and print your own that reflect your church community of volunteers.  Remember, red and white is the theme of the day!

    Event Time – 3 to 8 hours

       

  12. Try to Set a World or City Record.

    Bring attention to your fun community by organizing a world record.  You could do anything from the zany to the more serious (a pie eating contest, largest strawberry sundae, the most people doing something specific for a good cause, etc.).  This will give you a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus in the media and may open up doors of conversation and opportunity.

    Budget – This is depends on what kind of a record you want to set.

    Prep Time – The preparation will be the most important part of this event.  Be sure to gather all necessary supplies.  Promote your activity well in the community to gather a crowd.  Make sure you call local media to alert them to your event. A stop watch will be important if you are trying to beat a timed record. 

    Event Time – 1 to 2 hours

     

  13.  Outdoor Concert

    Provide an outdoor musical experience for people in your community.  You could hold the event on your parking lot area or at a local park or band shell if you happen to have one in your community.  Setting it up coffee house style can allow people to relax, stay longer and enjoy one another’s company if you bring tables in to the outdoors.  Or just inviting them to bring blankets and hang out on a grassy area is good too!

    Budget - $0 to $10,000 – This depends on your vision, who your band or music artists might be.  Local talent can be a great draw, or you may want to go big and invite a big and recognizable name/band.  If you go the route of a coffee house type of set-up, allow budget for coffee and beverage supplies and maybe even desserts – they can be a big draw too! 

    Prep Time – Make sure you look into venue permits and noise permits.  If there are neighbours close by it is always courteous to send them a little note telling them about the music that will be playing.  Give your music guests accurate starting and ending times.

    Event Time – 2 to 3 hours

     

  14.  New Canadians

    Connect with your local government officials and see if you can honour those who have become new Canadians, or those who are new to the country (refugees, etc.) This is a great way to build relationships with those who are new to your community.  There are numerous ways you can welcome newcomers, including a welcome shower for those new to the country.  Pick a family or two to focus on.  They would be blessed to have you bless them with much needed household and clothing items.  Gather a list from them of what they are in need of and have congregation members and others in the community choose the gift item they would like to bring to the welcome shower.  Decorate in a Canadian theme.  Organize games that focus on Canadian geography, history, or English.  A spelling bee is a great way of getting audience participation from people of all ages – separate into age categories.  Include food snacks that are Canadian favourites. 

    Budget – based on how you plan the event. Allow budget for decorations, Canadian snack foods, etc. 

    Prep Time – 5 to 10 hours

    Event Time – 2 to 3 hours

     

  15.  Teddy Bear Picnic

    Have a fun event for young families in your city. Invite families to bring children and their favourite stuffed animal to a picnic or an afternoon tea.  Your church can provide light refreshments and fun games for fateddy_bear_01_vector_181370milies.

    Budget - $500 -$1,000

    Prep Time – 6 weeks before the event begin promoting it to the people in your congregation and city.

    Event Time – 2 -3 hours

     

  16. Organize a run, walk, bike, skate…

    Organize a Fun Run with prizes, games and food at the end of the course (5km, 10km, 20km).  This is a great way to get the athletic crowd in your city introduced to your church. You may want to make this a fundraising event for Mission Canada or one of the Mission Canada workers your church supports.  Some don’t prefer running but would rather walk, bike or skate.  You may even want to consider two options or have them as two separate events to gather various groups of people.  You can incorporate prizes for participants who finish in the top grouping, and also for the most colourful dresser, the oldest and youngest participants, etc.  Have fun and build family feel!

    Budget - $500 - $5,000

    Prep Time – There are many resources online that will help you plan a run or other athletic type of event of this nature. Use the timelines they provide to keep you on track.  Create the necessary signage needed for the various turns and check-in points along the course. Also have a hand-out for each participant outlining the entire course and the rules to be followed.  

    Event Time – 2 to 8 hours

     

  17.  Serve the Poor in your City

    Every city or town has people in need.  Find the people in need in your city and serve them. You can do a meal, a clothing drive, a toiletry drive, or another way of creatively meeting their needs.  Tailor your event to the specific situations and needs of those in your community. This will provide an opportunity to partner with existing organizations and can bridge a connection to your church for those who may never come otherwise. 

    Budget - $200 - $5,000

    Prep Time – This will vary depending on what you decide to do.

    Event Time – 4 to 12 hours

     

  18. Host a Free Car Wash

    Do something unexpected and host a free car wash, complete with detailing.  This is a great way to get people in your city out of their cars and onto your church parking lot.  Have fun interacting with people. Remember if you advertise that it is for free, don’t ask for a donation!  Make it all about serving your community and building relationships with people in town.  Car Wash Clip Art

    Budget - $200 - $1,000

    Prep Time – 3 to 5 hours. Get as many people from your church involved.  Organize the event six weeks in advance and again strongly the week before the event.  Be sure you have adequate hot and cold water supplies, washing supplies including long hoses.  For those that don’t desire to do the washing but who love to talk and meet new people, put them on social patrol.  That is just as valuable a role as the rinser!  Plan a rain date just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate – don’t just cancel and disappoint the community

    Event Time – 2 to 3 hours

     

  19.  Host a Street or Block Party

    Invite the families on your street or on the street that your church is on – those that you may know and those that are new to the street. You can even create a theme to the event to have conversation points. Invite the neighbours to bring food or supplies to the event to help cut down on the preparation and costs. Incorporate some fun mixer games to help your neighbours connect with one another.

    Budget - $50 -$200

    Prep Time – 5 to 8 hours. Call your city to obtain a permit, if you desire to block off your street, make sure that you have proper permission.  Have the necessary supplies and equipment on hand to handle food, including over mitts, napkins, condiments, water and pop, etc. A tent to stand under is a great way to not only draw attention but also to protect the food from the sun. 

    Event Time – 2 to 5 hours

     

  20. Find a GAP

    Identify an unreached people group that your community wants to build relationship with and develop a plan to reach out to them.  Gaps are places in our communities and all across our nation where the good news of the gospel message has not yet been shared.  Be creative in brainstorming ways in which you can let your light shine in your community to those who need to hear of God’s love for them. 

    Budget: $200 -$2,000

    Prep Time – The burden for this project will be birthed in prayer.  Find out where the gospel needs to be shared and with who, then craft an event around it with a realistic time-line. This can make a great Canada Day gathering.

    Event Time – All depends of what you feel the Lord is telling you to plan and carry out.  You may want to make this a regular monthly event rather than just once a year.  Trust Him to reveal His plan for your community to you, and then carry out His plan with excellence and see what He will do!
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