Church cookout

The church is commanded to “Go and make disciples.” However, so many churches never do anything outside their own walls, this is Biblically wrong; we need to go where the lost are. The Sunday School Day at the Park is designed to reach the community with the Gospel and help your church build a relationship with people in the neighborhood. Spend some time in prayer about this event before planning this outreach ministry.

First you will need to get approval from the right person, whoever that is, in your church then you will need to get members involved. This event can only succeed with the commitment of several members of your church; all Sunday school teachers should be involved in some way.

Choose a date and park for the event and start planning well ahead of this date. The park you choose should be one that has a lot going on and many visitors, a park with baseball and softball diamonds is a good choice. Call your local park to see if there are any Little League games or tournaments going on, if there are they would be ideal days to pick for the Day at the Park outreach program; there will be many families there and all ages.

Plan what will take place at the event. Here is a list of things you can do: A free cook-out is a good place to start. Hotdogs, and home-made side dishes are ideal and cost effective. (You will need a grill and a volunteer to operate it.)
Provide a craft table for preteen children. (You will need crafts, a table and a couple of volunteers to run it.)
Have some outdoor games for older kids (9-14yr old) (You will need volunteer game coordinators.)
Offer cold bottled water with your Church’s info place over the label.
Hold a drawing for a gas card and other items- this will allow you to collect information for a prospect list.
Have a story station for younger children (3-5yr old) (You will need a volunteer story teller and a blanket set up under a tree.)
Have fliers, tracts, business cards and any other church info that you would like to offer, have them out on a table for adults to take.

Promote the event. Have an announcement in your local paper and put it on radio station community calendars, some stations will announce it free of charge. Make fliers to put up and hand out around the neighborhood. Make a sign or banner. Use banners on the day of the event; put a banner at every entrance and right in front where the event is taking place. Blank banners can be purchase fairly cheap, I find mine on eBay. You can use paint or permanent markers on the banner. Be sure to put FREE COOK-OUT on the banner, this will drawl a lot of you visitors. If you don’t put dates and times on the banner, you can reuse them.

On the day of the event all of your volunteers should arrive early to set up and go ever what they are doing. Instruct the volunteers to be friendly, introduce themselves and ask people if they attend a church. If the visitor does attend a church, thank them for joining you that day. If the visitor does not attend church, try to engage in more conversation. Ask them what they think about church. The volunteers should not be pushy in conversation but always invite the person to your church….direct them to your information table if they seem interested.

The cook-out should last about an hour and a half. With set-up and clean-up the volunteers will be there 2-3 hrs.