By Gail Marsh
- Celebrate all of your church family’s graduates with a special picnic this month. Plan simple games to involve all ages, kindergarten through college grads. Think about relay races, water-balloon tag, and beanbag target practice. End the celebration with an outdoor movie, complete with popcorn and other goodies to eat.
- Send your graduates off with a Bible-based gift from CTA’s new theme Celebrate the Past, Embrace the Future. You’ll find gifts for every budget and grads of all ages.
- Invite a camera buff to take pictures of graduates after worship one Sunday in June. Set up a simple photo booth in the church entryway and invite grads and their families to pose for pictures. Consider including a few fun props or hats for the graduates to wear! Mount the photos inside CTA’s Celebrate the Past, Embrace the Future two-sided photo frame. It comes with a complete gift package!
Father’s Day (June 18)
- Take dads and granddads out to the ballpark to celebrate this Father’s Day. Purchase special group-rate tickets, if possible, so that families can enjoy the game together. Or, invite dads to participate in a sports day designed just for them: golf-putt challenge, batting cages, Frisbee toss, bocce ball, and more.
- Let the children in your Sunday school or vacation Bible school make a special gift for dads this Father’s Day - a decorative stepping stone. Purchase kits at a big-box store or make your own molds. Plan to insert one of CTA’s Blueprints for Life pocket pieces into each stone. Have students present their gifts after worship on Father’s Day.
- Order CTA’s Blueprints for Life waterproof notepads several weeks before Father’s Day. Invite moms and children to write special notes to dads or grandpas or fatherlike mentors on a few of the pages. Present the gifts at a swim party or BBQ hosted by the church in honor of Father’s Day.
- Check out the wealth of information at Daddy University. Which topics impact the fathers in your ministry? Discuss pertinent articles with your church’s family-life director. Think of ways you might communicate this information and specific pieces of encouragement to dads.
- Present the Skit Guys’ Fourth of July video to your teen youth group. Follow the video clip with a discussion about what it means to celebrate freedom as a Christian. (See John 8:36; Galatians 3:22; and Galatians 5:1.)
- Before the local fireworks begin, sponsor a Freedom Concert for your community. Invite local choirs, high-school bands, and individual musicians to join your praise team in a celebration of America. Be sure to include patriotic-themed favorites for audience participation, as well as hymns and contemporary songs that praise God for his blessing of freedom. Consider thanking all service members and veterans in attendance with a small gift like CTA’s patriotic pocket coins with prayer cards or key chains.
- Consider sponsoring a grandparent-grandchild camp this summer. Check out GrandCamps for information, themes, and complete program guides to assist you in hosting a camp experience dedicated to strengthening the bonds between grandparents and their grandkids.
- Many children miss out on the blessings of a grandparent. Some live too far away or are estranged from these vital mentors. Gather with your ministry team to brainstorm ways you might connect interested seniors to young children and teens within your congregation.
- Ask teens and tech-savvy adults to teach grandparents techniques for keeping in touch with grandchildren who live far away. A grandparent who learns how to Snapchat, FaceTime, text, or e-mail can help support a grandchild no matter where he or she lives!
- Summertime is a great time for your women’s group to recharge and refocus on the Lord. Check out CTA’s Steppin’ Out in Faith products. You’ll find everything you need for a summertime women’s retreat.
- Encourage church board members, event planners, and others in leadership roles to take a personal retreat during the summer. If necessary, make reservations, arrange meals, and help individuals choose a few books that will support them in their selected church roles (trends in evangelism, effective leadership, managing volunteers, and so on.) Challenge them to unplug for a few days to read, rest, and reflect on their work for the Lord.
- The financial cost of a retreat can derail some churches. Why not try some new approaches this time around? Ask local businesses to provide food, discounted accommodations, participant giveaways, and whatever else you need in return for recognition in your retreat participant’s booklet. To encourage more participants to attend, invite church members to cover retreat fees and “sponsor” a participant. Plan your retreat for the daytime so you can eliminate the costs of an overnight stay. Talk with other local church leaders and ask for tips on ways to cut retreat costs.
- CTA has several resources that are ideal for summer mission trips. Small, lightweight, Gospel-focused gifts will encourage believers long after your mission team leaves for home. Some items are even available in Spanish!
- Give mission trip participants several of CTA’s Gospel Story by Colors bracelets to wear on their arms during the trip, with the story cards tucked into their back pockets. That way, both items are easily accessible for handy giveaways throughout the day.
- Your mission team will need water - and lots of it - during summer mission trips. Did you know that CTA will personalize water b ottles for you and your team? They’re practical and they make a great memento for participants!
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