20 Innovative Summer Outreach Ideas

Schools out and that means parents everywhere will struggle to find positive, engaging, and reasonably priced activities for their children. Churches have a great opportunity to reach out to their communities during typically slow months, as well as help parents and caregivers, by offering creative youth, camp, and family summer activities.

Parents in your community would be thrilled to find activities for their kids and families that are healthy, fun and even educational. We’ve put together some of our favorite ideas from across the web.

  1. Summer Outings for Kids (S.O.K)  – a special day in the summer where you charge a nominal fee and can take a field trip to a zoo, children’s museum, bowling alley, or farm.
  2. Day Camps – hold a themed day camp with planned activities such as crafts, cooking, games, and stories.
  3. Design a T-Shirt Party — Do this activity at the beginning of the summer and have kids design a theme shirt for the summer. Provide fabric paint and have kids bring T-shirts to decorate. Then set kids free to create.
  4. Pizza Party — Set up a topping bar and have kids make their own pizzas on English muffins. Combine this food-fest with a Frisbee golf tournament on the lawn. You could call this one “Par Wars and the Pepperoni Strikes Back”!
  5. Movie Party— Rent a movie with permission to show the movie to a group. Pop plenty of popcorn. Have kids make this a “drive-in movie” by making cars out of boxes before the movie starts. Kids can sit in their “cars” and watch the show.
  6. Make-a-Movie Extravaganza — Use Bible themes and re-enact biblical stories, or create your own theme. Give plastic “Oscar” awards after the screening.
  7. Plan a “summer nights series” of outdoor worships and fellowship.
  8. Stage an outdoor Christian music concert or produce a Christian dinner theater dramatic production.
  9. For the Sunday prior to July 4th, plan a “red, white and blue jean” Sunday.  Invite local government leaders to attend your worship service, present them a gift, and voice a prayer for them.
  10. Do a reading club or weekly kids’ story hour in the church library.
  11. Organize a bike ride that ends at the church.
  12. Arrange a Christ-focused teens’ art day-camp.
  13. Invite the community to join you for outdoor tournaments, such as volleyball, horseshoes, softball, bocce ball, 3-on-3 basketball.
  14. Plan a father and kids’ camp out on the church lawn or a huge kids’ sprinkler party.
  15. Your teens can organize a drive-through to pass out free snow cones and an invitation to Sunday worship.
  16. Mom’s Morning out – a 3-hour window where moms can drop off in order to run errands or get some work done.
  17. Date Night – provide donation only child care during local events.
  18. Short and Sweet Summer Choir Summer marks the end of school and the conclusion of many church activities, groups, and gatherings. People have lighter schedules in the summer. Seize the opportunity to invite people to be a part of a summer choir.
  19. Staycation – Everyone likes to get away from it all. Teens are no different. Create an entertaining, more grown-up vacation Bible school. Give young people a chance to get away, live independently for a few days, have fun and be inspired.
  20. Mission Mania Go beyond the church walls! Youth model well for us the connections that exist between fellowship and service. What about involving your congregation in a week of mission mania? Look around your community for places of service and ministry.

Music greatly enhances any summer program, and CCS’s PERFORMmusic Facilities License makes it simple and easy for you to legally play and perform more than 20 million songs anywhere on your campus and satellite facilities during all your programs and activities. Annual fees start as low as $229/year covering Christian, holiday and all music genres from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

Thinking about streaming any of these programs on your website? Not a problem…you can legally feature your music with the WORSHIPcast Streaming License, the ONLY one-stop streaming performance license covering 20 million songs.

We would also like to credit our sources for many of these amazing ideas. LifewayChildren’s Ministry Magazine, and United Methodist Communications are great resources for outreach ideas no just during the summer months, but all year long.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.