From Luv 'em by Andy Williams
Holding a Family Fun Day in your church building, hall or grounds can be a great way to engage with a large number of people over a few hours. Family Fun Days don’t have to cost the earth; you can use the talents of the congregation.
Basically anything goes – you are only limited by your budget, space and imagination! The idea is to open the church for several hours, say 11am to 4pm to the community so that they can come as families and enjoy the events on offer. It is good to offer as much variety as possible, so there is something there for everyone. Publicity before the event is essential: use local press, leaflet schools, put a banner outside church.
If there are groups that use church buildings, or other local groups, you could ask them to provide some entertainment by giving an exhibition of what they do. Wherever you can, get people to set up and run, or hire in. Make use of the resources of local churches – maybe you can help them next time.
Here’s a list of things that can be organised, either free or quite cheaply.
As always it is important to have some kind of refreshments on offer. Barbecues work really well (and they can be done under gazebos if the weather looks dodgy). The usual tea and coffee with cakes, scones, etc. is also good. If the weather is good scrounge as many garden chair and table sets as you can so that people can sit out and eat. To help with the costs of this Warburtons (the bread makers – www.warburtons.co.uk) will often donate bread rolls and McDonalds have been known to supply juice and cups.
Usually lots of people will come through the church on a day like this, and it is important to keep things moving. One idea is to use a puppet group to present a Bible story every so often during the day – the children will come and watch and often their parents too.
You could have an ‘Ask the Vicar’ stall where questions about Christianity, Jesus and the church can be asked and answered. Consider having a team of people, with badges, whose job on the day is to talk to people, at tables or during the various activities. Some good contacts for future enquirers’ courses etc. can be built up this way.
It could be possible to have a special service the Sunday after where some of the activities are represented and prizes given out. Always make sure there is some kind of exhibition about the church with some leaflets with contact details and regular activities for people to take away. If possible have one or two people compiling names, addresses and telephone numbers of those attending for future publicity about events.
These days often work best when they are free (or as cheap as possible) for the families attending. You could look upon them as a gift to the community. People will soon be asking when the next one is taking place.