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5 Family-Friendly Outreach Ideas for Your Children’s Ministry

Encourage families at your church to reach out and share God’s love in your community with these family-friendly outreach ideas.

Want to connect with families in your church and reach out to families in your community? Both are possible! We asked children’s ministry leaders to share their favorite and most creative outreach ideas. Check them out!

Family-Friendly Outreach Idea #1: Random Act of (Keep Coming Back) Kindness

We do Random Acts of Kindness events that last several weeks. I distribute envelopes weekly to each family with an act of kindness inside for them to do together. Throughout the week, families send me photos of them doing the activity to post on Facebook and Instagram. We set up a hashtag so every time a family completes one “RAK,” they can tag it.

Each week’s envelope is labeled “Secret RAK Mission.” Inside, there’s a card outlining the mission, a list of any items families may need to complete it, and several RAK cards describing what our church families are doing and why. We also include invitations for recipients to join us at church services. Some of the RAK missions our families have done:

  • Make cookies and deliver them to a neighbor or friend.
  • Put a sealed bag of uncooked microwave popcorn in a resealable bag and tape it to a dvd rental box at a grocery store or something similar.
  • Make a card for someone who’s ill, lonely, or confined to home.
  • Tape coins to gumball machines and candy dispensers as a fun surprise for someone to find.

Each week, families are excited to get their secret mission. I get lots of texts and photos from our families showing their efforts, and some families without kids have requested cards so they could participate in the secret missions each week, too.

Bethany Hardy 
Lafayette, Indiana

Family-Friendly Outreach Idea #2: Box of (Boomerang) Blessings

To keep families in our church engaged and forming relationships, we do Boxes of Blessings where we deliver boxes packed with food and lots of love to other families in need. This project provides a common goal for our families over an extended period of time. For six weeks prior to the actual “boxing” event, we collect food. Each week, we ask families to collect and bring specific items. We always include kid-friendly food, coloring books, and crayons. Once the church-wide collection is complete, we have families come together to make cards for each box and assemble the boxes.

We partner with a local food pantry to select the families who’ll receive the boxes. Our families personally deliver the Boxes of Blessings, from one family—and our church family—to another.

Sarah Trosen 
Marshalltown, Iowa

Family-Friendly Outreach Idea #3: Meetcha at the Four-Way

Our church is out in the country, located near a four-way stop. We’re allowed to set up tables throughout the year for various things such as bake sales and other fundraisers. In the spring, we use it so our church families can bless the community. We give away free tomato and pepper plants at the stop. The plants are a gift—no strings attached, no preaching—just showing love from our families to our community. Our families make signs representing our church, but we don’t hand out church materials, preach, or even invite anyone to our church. It isn’t about drumming up new members or making anyone feel anything other than God’s love. Our families give plants to every person who stops at the four-way. The giveaway is a great success, and it makes families feel great to give back.

One of the best benefits is that people aren’t surprised to see us at the four-way now. We use the location to announce our annual free community barbecue, where our families provide the labor and serve hundreds in our neighborhood. We use the four-way to let everyone know about our fall festival in October and when we’ll feed the high school football team at the beginning of each season.

Our church is where our families connect and grow in faith, but our four-way stop is where families in the community look for us, curious to know what we’re up to next.

Cheryl Bolton 
Valley, Alabama

Family-Friendly Outreach Idea #4: F.R.O.G.s (and Family) for Lunch

I go to a local public school and eat lunch with a bunch of “my” kids from church. At the beginning of the year, I gave the kids frog pencil toppers and told them whenever school gets tough to remember that they could “Fully Rely On God.” I bought a big bag of small plastic frogs on Amazon to take with me when I have lunch with the kids. When I come to visit, I give each kid a frog to remind them to fully rely on God.

As I sit with the kids, their friends are intrigued and want frogs, too. So I give “my” kids frogs to hand out. As they do, I explain who I am and why I’m there. “My” kids invite their friends to come to church with them. I emphasize that I’ll be there and the kids’ friends will be there. I follow up the invitation by letting kids know their entire families are welcome.

This experience is awesome. We probably invite more kids to church in that lunchtime than in most of our outreaches, all because of some plastic frogs and some really great kids. Our Frogs for Lunch serves two purposes: Inviting kids to church who don’t usually attend, and it motivates our attending families to keep coming back because of the personal connection they feel or because they bring friends with them. It’s reinforced for me how much a small thing like this can mean. And I get texts from parents thanking me for visiting their kids at school, which is also pretty cool! (Important Note: Be sure you get an okay from the children’s parents and the school office to visit your group of kids from church.)

Christina Embree
Wilmore, Kentucky

Family-Friendly Outreach Idea #5: Open House at God’s House

We partner with the local schools to offer free child care at our church on open house nights. This way, parents and older kids can interact with their teachers and listen to their presentations. We background check everyone and let the schools know we do. This service brings many people through our doors, and we publicize it to families who regularly attend and those who attend our outreach events. To ensure kids have a great experience, we provide activities and lots of fun. Families throughout the community have come to rely on our church for this exciting and helpful evening every year.

Penny Dunn
Ruston, Louisiana

Resources in this article:

  • Buzzly’s Buddies: Cave Buddies Activity Book – You can gift this activity book to families where kids can sketch, do puzzles, and color for faith-building fun!
  • Shepherd’s Watch Background Checks – In today’s challenging environment, it’s critical to take steps to protect those in your church’s care, especially during outreach events. Properly screening your staff and volunteers is an important step in that process!

Looking for more ideas for families, including more family-friendly outreach ideas? Check out these articles! And for even more ideas and daily posts of inspiration, follow us on Facebook!

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