The beginning of a new school year is an opportunity to try new approaches and to make a statement about the priorities of the congregation. Here are a few ideas that have proven successful over the years. Recommit to becoming a welcoming church. September could be the month where you see a greater regular flow of guests. Families often move in the summer, so their children can start in a new school at the beginning of the school year. Take a look at two of my books to help guide you in this recommitment. Becoming a Welcoming Church is pretty much a complete guide for your church leaders and members. We Want You Here is a unique book meant specifically for the guest as a gift. Dedicate a part of a worship service to praying for students and teachers. Pray during the service. And follow the service by writing brief thank you letters to the teachers at one of the schools nearby. It will have a huge impact on both the teachers and on members. Adopt a school. Request a meeting with a local school principal. Ask him or her what your church could do to best help the school. If it is within the scope of what the church can do, organize a ministry to meet that very need. Some churches paint classrooms. Some churches clean school grounds. Other churches provide back-to-school resources for students and/or teachers. Revitalize the groups in your church. Regardless of what you call them, community groups, life groups, Sunday school classes, or many other names, these groups are the lifeblood of assimilation, ministry, and stewardship in your church. Do whatever is necessary with a new school year beginning to re-energize and grow your groups. Re-cast the vision of the church. Many church leaders re-cast the vision of the church at the beginning of the calendar year. Consider casting the vision at the beginning of the school year. You will likely have more new members and guests in September than in January. You have a great opportunity to ride the wave of freshness that a new school year brings. These are five of the most effective back-to-school ideas for churches all across North America and beyond. So, get started now! Source: Lifeway Resources Shelby Systems has decades of experience working with ministries of all sizes, for more creative ideas and suggestions contact your Shelby Sales Consultant today!