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25 Fall Outreach Ideas

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From the pages of Outreach magazine and OutreachMagazine.com, and from churches around the country, here are 25 fall idea starters to help you reach your community in creative ways.

1. Host a back-to-school clothes sale.

Host a kids’ consignment sale, selling gently used clothes to your community. Give proceeds to your nearest schools.

2. During the first weeks of school, encourage teachers and faculty at local schools.

Drop by the school offices with coffee, donuts and notes that say, “[Church name] loves the faculty and staff at [school name].”

3. Start an after-school ministry.

Serve children outside the church, as well as congregants’ kids, with a structured, low-cost program. Separate kids by age and schedule homework time, snacks and outdoor and indoor play.

4. Tutor local students.

Each Saturday during the school year, open your church building for students to come and receive free, one-on-one tutoring from high school students and adults. Include refreshments.

5. Before local high school football games, host tailgating parties in your church parking lot for fans.

Consider holding a raffle for football-themed prizes.

6. Feed the football team.

Connect with athletes in your community and their families by providing a meal and gathering place after games.

7. Empower your volunteers by sending them to local football games to run the concessions.

Or, when the weather gets cold, have them set up a table and hand out hot chocolate and coffee to fans entering the stadium.

8. Serve local Pee Wee league families.

If you’re near a field where youth sports teams play, open up your building and allow athletes, parents and other fans to use the restrooms. In colder weather, serve free hot chocolate and coffee.

9. Send teams of three or four people to rake lawns and gather up leaves free of charge.

Deliver baked goods and invite residents to church.

10. Grab some ladders, trash bags and gloves, and send volunteers to clean their neighbors’ rain gutters.

It’s messy work, but homeowners appreciate it.

11. Provide college-application assistance.

Host workshops to help high school seniors with their college applications, including essays.

12. Consider a harvest event.

Such as a pumpkin patch, carnival, hayride or other activity designed for family fun.

13. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Invite someone who has battled breast cancer to speak at your church. She can share her story and testimony of how God worked through the situation.

14. October is Fair Trade Month.

At your fall outreach event, serve fair-trade coffee, give fair-trade products as prizes and use fair-trade chocolates for candy. Set up a table or booth providing more information about the benefits of purchasing fair-trade products and how people can get involved.

15. Hold a “pumpkin chuckin’” fundraiser.

Invite community residents to see how far they can throw a pumpkin. Charge a small fee for a pumpkin, and award prizes to those who can throw it the farthest.

16. Create a community pumpkin patch on church property.

Invite people to visit, take pictures and pick up a free pumpkin.

17. Encourage your people to join in the trick-or-treating fun on Halloween night in their neighborhoods.

Suggest activities like leading lawn games for kids as they’re in between homes; hosting a table for the adults with hot apple cider, coffee and hot chocolate; and running a photo booth for costumed kids and their friends and family.

18. Organize a pumpkin-carving contest.

Give away prizes for different categories: Best Overall Pumpkin, Most Creative Pumpkin, Funniest Pumpkin, etc.

19. Raise awareness on National Orphan Sunday (Nov. 13).

Christian Alliance for Orphans equips churches to host a Sunday dedicated to orphans and learning how Christians can help through adoption, foster care and other initiatives. For more information: OrphanSunday.org.

20. Host a Veterans’ Day Car Show.

Invite veterans in your community to show off their classic automobiles. Bring in local veterans’ service organizations to set up booths and hand out information.

21. Comfort the wounded on remember those who have served, on Veteran’s Day.

Encourage the quilt makers in your church to sew quilts for veterans. The Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF.org) can help. Present quilts as gifts on Veteran’s Day.

22. Launch a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) support group.

Make your church a place to which combat veterans can turn for help by launching a support group for PTSD and other issues. Ask military veterans in your church to lead the group.

23. Help Thanksgiving holiday travelers.

As droves of people head to and from airports around Thanksgiving, serve them by helping them get to and from the airport. Enlist volunteers to provide a free shuttle service.

24. Provide a meal and fellowship for international students on Thanksgiving.

Work with area colleges to host international students at either a large Thanksgiving church celebration or through families who sign up to host students in their homes.

25. Plan a multicultural Thanksgiving feast.

Partner with local refugee organizations and host a Thanksgiving meal for people of different countries, cultures and religions.

Find even more fall outreach ideas »