Ministry and Service Ideas

The following lists are categorized by the general type of format and/or activity into which they fall. Click on any activity to expand a short description on what it is about.

One of the easiest ways to determine local needs is to connect with local organizations that are already engaged in fulfilling such needs. Meeting with your local Mayor’s office, or even a local Police or Fire department seeking ideas for how to fulfill community needs can be an excellent first step in helping to find areas your church or school may be able to help with.
If your church or school is located on a busy street or you are able to find a location where people can pull off into a parking lot, you can offer drive-through prayer. All you need are some signs with the title “drive-through prayer” and a group who are willing to take prayer requests and pray for the people that pull in. It helps to have a variety of tracts such as from GLOW on a variety of encouraging topics as those who pull over tend to have things going on in their lives which may be blessed by further encouragement. Encouraging Bible promise cards or bookmarks are another idea which would be suitable to offer people before they drive away. That way, they can take something tangible with them to remind them that God cares.
The North American Division has a compassion initiative which occurs each year where Adventist churches and schools have the opportunity to take a few days to serve their community in a tangible way. Learn more here: compassionmovement.org
One way this has been implemented in Dallas, TX was by purchasing yard equipment and cleaning up the yards around one of our churches. This provided a tremendous opportunity for young people from the church school to get in community service hours while also meeting and getting to know those in neighboring homes. A couple families were so touched by the care extended them by the students that they began attending the local church and eventually were baptized.
Lets’s face it, nobody likes being stuck at a hospital. Those in nursing homes often miss family and friends outside of a nursing home environment.

Why not contact a local nursing home or hospital and see if they would be interested in starting some kind of small group Bible study or musical concert depending on what you and your church or school are able to coordinate?

Even visiting patients to just pray with them can be a huge encouragement to many.

Food pantries provide a great opportunity for churches to give back to their community and can provide relief to those going through a hard time even among their own members.

If you have a small, dry room that can be easily accessed and can serve as storage, why not start a food pantry? Church members can contribute canned and dry food items which can be made available to those in need depending on how you promote it.

If you want to go all out and your community is already aware of your presence in this area, local city or town food banks often have a surplus of food items which they are willing to give to organizations that are doing similar work. In Texas, several churches have received truckloads of food and drink items to distribute to their communities once a year. They start by promoting the event their community (this works best if the church is located in a needy community) and then set out tables and a distribution line in their parking lot on the desired day. Vehicles can drive through and bags are placed in their trunks based on the number of people in their household.

It is helpful to also have a small card that can direct people to other resources in the town or city for things that you do not provide when asked. It might include information for homeless shelters and organizations that help people find jobs.

In Dallas, one of the churches hosts a booth at their annual veggie fair. Literature is distributed on health and wellness, people can sign up for more information on community activities like cooking schools and other initiatives run by the church. They can also request Bible studies. Sign-ups are entered into a drawing for a cookbook or something else that is considered of value by those at the fair.

If you have medical professionals in your church who might be willing to help, you could also offer basic health screenings.

For county or state fairs, the objective and nature of the booth might vary, but these types of events provide a great opportunity to connect with the community and find people who may be interested in learning more about health and God.

Small Group Ministry Ideas

The idea behind small groups is that building community and friendships with others as you live life with them is an excellent way to eventually introduce them to Christ. People will often sign up to be involved in a non-religious activity who might never otherwise have done so. We recommend that every group have three leaders:

1. Upreach (To seek ways to connect with God),
2. Inreach (To seek ways to connect with one-another)
3. Outreach (To seek to connect intentionally with the unreached).
See our getting started guide for more information.

Proficient at car maintenance and mechanics? Hosting a group in which you teach others how to do basic auto-maintenance can be a great way to connect with people while helping people who have basic car maintenance needs.
A helpful format to use is to begin with time for personal review of the chapter, followed by going through contributing feedback based on what is discovered in the following sequential categories:

Structure
Repetitions
Observations
References/allusions
Applications

For a helpful book on good the technicalities of good study methods, with exercises, see: Grasping God’s Word

If you or someone you know has the medical expertise and interest in facilitating a depression and anxiety recovery program, this can be an excellent way to reach and help people in need.

The kits produced by Dr. Nedley can be a bit pricey, but are very good: Nedley Health Solutions

If you live in a city or town where there is a population of immigrants or refugees seeking to learn English, this can be a tremendous way to engage a church and school in reaching out to help others. It can be offered in parallel with a school semester on a weekday evening or weekend and provides a great opportunity to connect unreached people groups with God and the truths of the Bible while providing them with a skill that they will need to succeed.
A small group teaching people good money management, how to use a budget, and incorporating accountability can be a big blessing to people who want to get in charge of their finances, rather than being a slave to them.

Some good resources include:
GYC Seminar: Beyond the Tithe: Practical Lessons on Personal Finance
Financial Peace University – Dave Ramsey

There are so many options here. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, running, walking, etc.

Live in a large city? You might select different local parks or lakes each week to get together.

Love Gardening? Why not share the knowledge and teach a new skill?

Clueless? Find some people who might are willing to teach and invite others to join you!

A couple resources are:
Johnnyseeds
CASFS

If you’re good at either of these, hosting a group teaching photography or graphic design can be a great way to bring people with similar interests together or help others develop a new hobby and skill.

There are a variety of websites that have classes as well, including lynda.com
Many libraries have partnerships to provide free access to if you have a library card.

One group in Dallas, TX met on Sabbath evenings twice a month at a variety of locations to sing, share, and close the Sabbath together.
Sewing, crocheting, and quilting groups can be a neat way to come together, have fun, and make things to donate to local children’s homes or hospitals.
If you have a hobby or skill that others might enjoy learning, consider hosting a weekly class or small group in which you teach it. Alternately, to get started, you could use the Learn Quick YouTube channel to select from a variety of random skills that your group could learn.

Misc.


Most communities have people who are interested in learning how to live and eat healthier. Hosting a cooking school is a great way by which a church can reach out to a demographic that they might not otherwise reach.

Some helpful resources for this, include:
Natural Lifestyle Cooking Workbook

One way to connect with and get to know other young people is by participating in something that they already enjoy doing. This can be challenging during the school week, so one way some churches adopt is by hosting frequent GYM nights where youth and young adults can attend and bring friends to participate in a sport or activity (I.e. Basketball). A short devotional is often appropriate before starting, with some kind of food towards the end.
One note to keep in mind is that not everyone is into a certain type of sport or sports in general, so it’s important to have a other options for those who may wish to do something less active. Board games and other activities often work well. The key is to ensure that you interact with each group so that you aren’t leaving some out in an isolated way.

[More coming soon!]

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