11 Back to School Ideas That Make a Difference

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Get your backpack ready; it’s that time of year again! We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for back to school ideas for churches.

Churches must prepare for an influx of new students and families in the fall. Back to school season is an excellent time for your church to connect with members who have attended sporadically over the summer. It’s also an opportunity to reach out and build community relationships.

We’re excited to dive into eleven back to school ideas you can use to guide your efforts inside and outside the church.

11 Back to School Ideas Your Church Will Love

Churches of all sizes can put these eleven back to school ideas to good use; read on for more!

1. Host a family worship service.

Although it’s great to have children and student ministry tailored to specific age groups and stages, this is an ideal moment to bring everyone together. Having young people front-and-center in service helps remind people of the vital importance of pouring into the next generation.

You can do a full family worship service with kids and adults together, or bring the kids in for a special part of the service like worship and prayer and then release them back to their classrooms.

2. Highlight student and kids ministry.

If you have a strong student and kids ministry, highlight those in your back to school communications. That includes social media, emails, and in-service announcements. People are looking for a church home for their family and want to know that their children will be cared for and challenged spiritually.

You can incorporate a video or live testimony from kids, students, and parents. Also, be sure to have information, resources, and next steps ready following the service to get people plugged in immediately.

3. Pray over educators and students.

As you’re probably aware, our teachers, students, and the education system are under more strain than ever. Prayer is absolutely essential! You can pray for everyone in education, from teachers to bus drivers, during the weekend service, asking them to stand and be recognized.

Also, consider praying throughout the week, live on social media, or sending out a devotional or prayer guide to help people in their prayer endeavors. We really cannot pray enough for our education system right now.

4. Kick off a new sermon series.

You’re never too old to learn! So back to school is the perfect opportunity to start a new sermon series that helps people dive deeper into their faith.

This could be anything from teaching families how to have spiritual conversations at home to looking at the biblical view of education or exploring how God wired each of us differently. You could also kick off more of an adult learning series like “Back to Basics,” studying the Bible, or discipleship series.

5. Have a back to school party.

A back to school bash with food, activities, music, and fun is always a hit for kids and families. Giving people a reason to hang out after service allows you to get to know new families and students and help them feel welcome.

Activities could include a photo booth, face painting, back to school trivia, cornhole, or other games. It doesn’t have to be expensive or have many bells and whistles. Be sure to invite people from the community and give them more information on your children’s ministry and student programs.

6. Back to school outreach.

In this next section, we move on to back to school ideas that reach beyond the four walls of your church. We know “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28), and we’re called to follow that example.

Many schools struggle with limited funding or students in need. Contact schools in your area to see how you can help. For example, maybe your church could provide school supplies, clothing, or snacks. You could also organize a work day where members can help with landscaping or building improvements, setting up classrooms or other projects the school needs assistance with.

7. Adopt a school for the year.

What about a long-term commitment? Your school could adopt a school or two for the coming school year. You can encourage members to pray for the school regularly. Throughout the year, bless the teachers with gifts and acts of service. Also, figure out how you can help meet the needs of students and families in the school.

8. Help supply foster/adopted children with school supplies.

Fostering and adopting children is beautiful, but these families often need ongoing support, especially if they’re caring for multiple children. You can serve families you know within your church or reach out to community organizations to find families to bless with school supplies, help with drop-off or pick-up, and cover the cost of after-school activities and other needs.

9. Home school meet-up.

Homeschooling is on the rise, and there are likely families in your church and community that homeschool their children. As a church, you can facilitate the logistics of connecting these families and create a support system.

You could have a meet-up once a month or every other week. This gives kids a chance to socialize and parents an opportunity to connect. You could also have guest speakers, field trips, or service projects as part of your meet-ups. Of course, appointing a homeschool parent to lead, organize, and facilitate the group is the sustainable way to go.

10. Launch fall youth groups.

Fall is a great time to start new youth groups or small groups, which give students a chance to connect with other kids their age and grow in their faith. You can conduct groups of all kinds, from Bible study to sports to fellowship. You can hold groups in homes, parks, or other locations in your community.

If you already have a robust youth ministry, use this time to promote groups and get new students involved.

11. Hand out family devotional kits.

Discipleship isn’t relegated to pastors and ministries; it’s the responsibility of families. The Bible charges parents in the following way:

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Ultimately, families are responsible for teaching children the ways of the Lord, and nothing is more important than this! You can equip them with digital or physical resources to help them on their journey.

Ready for Back to School

Churches can significantly impact their local communities by implementing some of the back to school ideas mentioned in this blog post. Whether it’s organizing an event, reaching out to schools, or helping foster children in your community, churches have many opportunities to make a difference. We encourage you to prayerfully consider how you might be able to serve your community, and we’d love to hear your ideas as well. Please comment below!

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