Take advantage of warm summer weather and create a fun and cost-conscious family outreach event by planning an outdoor movie night once a month. Last summer, a church in Tyrone, Pa., hosted two movie nights. The 55-member church was so excited about the response (200 people came from the community!) that they’re planning three more church movie nights this summer. This is one easy, low-budget activity everyone is sure to love.
Advertise. Make ﬂyers to place in local businesses and tickets that church members can give out in the community. On the day of the event, hang extra banners around the church to direct and remind people.
Verify. Make sure you get the proper permissions. In order to host a public performance of a film, you need a movie license, and to promote your movie night using the name of the film, you’ll need a title-specific license. For a limited time, you can buy three movie licenses from Outreach Films for the price of two (offer ends 7/2/10).
Find A Location. You’ll need a large, light-colored wall or large screen; room for seating and picnics; and access to electricity. If you select a public location, check with the city to get the necessary permits.
Pick A Family-Friendly Movie. Choose a film that the whole family can enjoy together. Feature a prize drawing to generate extra interest. Ask local businesses to donate door prizes. The night of the event, ask attendees to complete an entry form for several prize drawings.
Feed Them. Purchase popcorn for the night at a bulk food store and sell it to offset the cost of the event.
Give A Brief Introduction. Before the movie starts, ask the pastor to introduce himself and the church. Invite visitors to a sermon series or small group based on the movie’s theme. Have your church members wear name tags or shirts with your church logo, so that visitors with questions about the church or its ministries can easily get answers.
Excerpt from “Keep the Change, Outreach on a Shoestring” by the editors of Outreach magazine. Copyright @2006 by Outreach magazine. Used by permission. All rights reserved.