Timely Tips

4 Ways to Start Fall Off Right!

Author Gail Marsh

Labor Day (Monday, September 3)

  • Consider surprising church workers with the gift of a gas card this Labor Day - or any time. Let all workers know how much you appreciate their contribution to the Lord’s work with a gift from CTA. Also, check out Custom Connections to see how easily you can personalize gifts with your church logo, mission statement, or favorite Bible verse.
  • One evening during Labor Day weekend, gather your youth group together for an outdoor volleyball game. For even more fun, add this twist: attach twinkle mini lights to the volleyball net! Nighttime play is more fun when played under the stars! (If weather doesn’t cooperate, move the game indoors and turn off all the lights except the ones adorning the net.)
  • Consider ending Labor Day weekend church services with this video from Worship House Media. Thank God for the blessings we receive from our daily work.
  • Invite families to a Labor Day picnic. You supply the meat (hot dogs, anyone?). Families bring sides and desserts. After a fun meal, give each family a brown paper bag with a scavenger hunt list printed on the outside of the bag. At your signal, families can search the property around church or within a predetermined area. Tell everyone to return to the picnic tables within an hour with as many of the items as possible. Award prizes to everyone: family with the most items, least items, most creative use of an item, and so on.

Back to School

  • At your backpack blessing, give each student one of CTA’s Walking with Jesus Backpack Zipper Pulls as a reminder of Christ’s presence throughout the school year.
  • Host a Back-to-School Bash for junior- and senior-high students this year. Invite older youth to plan games and snacks for the younger students to enjoy. End the event with a Bible study based on Jeremiah 29:11. Give all attendees a Celebrate the Past, Embrace the Future water bottle - plastic or stainless steel.

Fall Festival

  • Look at CTA’s website before choosing a theme for this year’s festival. A theme can provide focus and inspiration as you decide on decorations, games, and even snacks for your festivities. A theme will help families better remember your event, too!
  • How can you increase participation in your event? Contests! Yes, contests will bring in people who are eager to demonstrate their skills as well as entice visitors who love to eat. Plan several contests for your fall celebration this year. Consider a pumpkin pie or apple cobbler baking contest or a chili cook-off. You can let attendees sample and vote on their favorites. Be sure to award prizes to the best cooks in town!
  • Ask your local newspaper to cover your event. Invite reporters to interview the event leaders, get reactions from participants, and take photos of everything! Plan to use parts of the resulting news article in next year’s promotion blitz to the community.
  • Kids aren’t the only ones who love a parade! Promote this year’s fall festival with a parade that includes event vendors, contest participants, kids in costumes, and more! All along the parade route, hand out flyers detailing your festival’s location, date, and time. Check out CTA’s FREE, downloadable flyers!


  • Fall often marks the beginning of a new year of ministry. This year, before the schedule resumes, take your staff and volunteers to a team-building event. Check out local offerings, beginning with church members who have a background in group dynamics and are willing to help set up a cooperative experience. Also look within your community for opportunities like a ropes course at a nearby park, or an activity that fosters teamwork like volleyball or an urban scavenger hunt.
  • Treat the women in your ministry to a fall getaway retreat. CTA’s Living the Sweet Life theme is the perfect fit for women of all ages and all life stages. Check out the retreat planning guide and be sure to order the great gifts that go along with the theme, as well!
  • Did you know that no matter what theme you choose for your fall retreats, CTA can make a customized T-shirt for your group? What a great way to advertise! Let the planning committee wear the shirt to boost interest in the weeks before your event. Then after the retreat comes to an end, participants can receive their own shirt as a reminder of their experience!

The external links included in this article are provided for informational purposes only. CTA makes every effort to ensure the information included in these links is accurate and relevant; however, CTA cannot guarantee the content, nor does CTA endorse any of the products or services offered on the external sites.

You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.


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