Summer is a season of sunshine and opportunities to gather as a community. For churches, it's also a time to engage members and reach out to the wider community with events that offer fun and fellowship.
Whether your church is large or small, there are countless ways to create memorable experiences that connect people, but we know it can be hard to think through all of the possibilities. To help with some ideation, we've compiled a master list of event ideas that churches could host during the summer.
From summer bible studies and community service day to outdoor worship services, talent shows, and more, there's something for everyone on this list.
So read on, get inspired, and start planning.
1. Vacation Bible School
A week-long program for children that includes Bible lessons, games, crafts, and snacks. We know this one will require a bit more planning and promotion, so we found a couple of resources to help you get started if you do decide to host VBS at your church. Planning >> How to Plan An Amazing VBS | 20-Step Guide Decorations >> VBS Supplies and Decorations on Oriental Trading
2. Church Picnic
A fun-filled day of outdoor games, grilled food, and fellowship. If you have green space at your church you could host it on-site, or you could find a nearby park. Encourage attendees to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and invite their neighbors or friends outside of the church.
3. Youth Group Outing
A day trip to a nearby theme park or water park for Youth Groups at your church. A couple of things to think about if you decide to do this is to ensure you have plenty of parents willing to help carpool (unless you book transportation) and chaperone, and if you will be providing lunch during or after the trip.
4. Family Movie Night
A movie screening on the church lawn or in the fellowship hall with snacks, popcorn, and drinks. You could even make it an Oscars theme night and roll out the red carpet.
5. Sports Tournament
A week-long or weekend sports camp for young adults. This could be volleyball, pickleball, basketball, or even a corn hole tournament.
6. Summer Worship Nights
A weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly concert series featuring local Christian musicians in your area or your worship team. You could also provide snacks and drinks if it’s in the budget.
7. Summer Bible Study Series
A weekly Bible study on a particular topic, book of the Bible, or theme. Consider creating a version for younger kids, a section for them to complete, or questions parents could ask so families can participate together.
8. Community Service Project
Invite your congregation out for a day of volunteering in the local community, such as cleaning up a park, serving at a food bank, or at a homeless shelter.
9. Weekend Summer Camp
A weekend overnight camp for children and youth. This could include activities such as hiking, swimming, and campfire devotions. You could research campsites in your area and see if they will allow you to reserve cabins for a weekend, or if you have the space you could host it at your church and ask everyone to bring their sleeping bags.
10. Family Game Night
A night of board games and snacks for families to enjoy together. This could even be an event that you host weekly or bi-weekly for families and encourage them to bring their favorite games.
11. Parents' Night Out
Although summertime is fun for all of the kids, for parents that’s not always the case. Give the parents in your church an evening out! This could look like providing them with a list of restaurants great for a date night or hosting them at your church and offering dinner and maybe even dancing! Think prom for parents, but way more casual, and you’re home by 10 pm.
Tip: If possible, offer a list of people in the church willing to babysit that night or offer childcare at the church.
12. Talent Show
Host a talent show featuring members of the church showcasing their gifts and talents. This may require a little more planning in terms of promotion and encouraging people to participate, but it could be a fun idea as part of an “end of summer” bash.
13. Karaoke Night
You either love it or you hate it. This could be an event in and of itself or an addition to a game night or summer camp.
14. Backyard Bible Club
Think VBS, but a little more calm. This is a week-long or weekend program for children held in a backyard and would include Bible lessons, games, and snacks (of course).
15. Prayer Walk
Encourage small groups or life groups to choose different neighborhoods around your city, stopping at various locations or houses to pray for the resident and if they feel led, to share the gospel.
16. Local Mission Trip
You don’t have to go to another country to be on a mission. This could be a weekend or day trip to a different city or different part of your city to serve the community and share the Gospel.
17. Book Club
A weekly book club for members of the church to read and discuss different topics. You could also provide your church with a list of recommended books to read as a small group or family. You may even consider starting a GroupMe chat to invite people who want to be a part of it and encourage conversations.
18. Ice Cream Social
A simple and easy event that could be hosted right after Sunday services or on a different day during the week. This could be as simple as providing various types of ice cream bars, providing different flavors of your favorite brand, or catering an ice cream truck.
19. Car Wash Fundraiser
Host a car wash fundraiser, where members of the church can sign up to wash cars to raise money for a local charity or mission trip. Working at the car wash has never been so fun!
20. Water Games Day
A day of water games and activities, such as water balloon toss, slip and slide, and water gun battles, to beat the summer heat and have fun!
21. Family Summer Catechism Program
A summer program for children, where they can read and discuss deep theological truths and also earn prizes for completing the challenges. Similar to the book club we mentioned earlier, but this one would follow a guideline and encourage families to discuss and answer questions together. One resource we recommend is The New City Catechism created by Crossway. You could download the resources from their website or download the app to your phones and tablets.
22. Community BBQ
This could be a great 4th of July event. Host a community-wide BBQ event, where members of the church can invite their friends, family, and neighbors to enjoy food, music, and fellowship at your church or at a member's or pastor's home who is willing to host.
23. Neighborhood Cleanup
Invite your congregation to a neighborhood cleanup event, where they can work together to clean up the streets and parks in their local community.
24. Back to School Swap Meet
Let’s face it, growing kids are expensive. Hosting a back-to-school swap meet, where church members can exchange gently used clothing and supplies for their children's upcoming school year, could help out a lot of families within your church and in your community.
25. Host a Job Fair
Our current economy is unpredictable and uncertain. Hosting a job fair event, where local employers can meet with potential employees from the church congregation and greater community could be a great way to care for those who are in need right now.
26. Serve & Swim Day
Gather a group of your church members and go out into the community to do service projects (such as cleaning up a neighborhood park), and then cool off in a nearby community or neighborhood pool.
27. Day Trip to Your Venue of Choice
This could be bowling, laser tag, roller skating, go-karts, rock climbing, this list goes on! Consider reaching out to your local venues to inquire about reserving a time slot for your group to enjoy these exciting activities.
Tip: Many venues require waivers for participation, so make sure to obtain them in advance and have your students complete and bring them along. Alternatively, you can have their parents bring them in to sign the waivers before they depart.
28. Field Day
Some of us remember this from elementary school. Set up individual and team competitions that involve physical activity, such as an obstacle course, water balloon toss, relay races, and more. Make sure to include some silly activities like the potato sack race or three-legged race for a fun twist!
29. Beach or Lake Day
If you’re near enough to the coast, or near a lake, plan a day trip. Encourage everyone to pack a picnic lunch and swim gear for fun in the sun. You can also plan some games like volleyball, corn hole, or frisbee.
30. Helping Hands & Home Maintenance
Encourage adults in your congregation to help those who are older or physically impaired by painting, changing light bulbs, mowing lawns, gardening, doing home chores, and other tasks that need to get done. This could be executed through a sign-up sheet that includes members who need assistance and what needs to be done.
Hopefully, after reading this, you’re feeling inspired by the possibilities! As we think of more ideas, we’ll continue adding to this list, but if you have event ideas that you think should be on this list, let us know and we’d love to add them to this list.
Once you decide which events you want to host this summer, check out this article on the 9 best practices for planning and promoting your church events this summer and start executing!
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