It’s no easy task to keep your church running efficiently and effectively. From weddings to hospitality and from small groups to church potlucks, a thriving church is one in which you engage your congregation, keeping them involved with the church community and the community around them.

 

In this post, we offer eight ways to engage your congregation, and we make it super easy to do so. Each idea includes a short video tutorial of precisely how to set-up your signup.

 

 

1. FELLOWSHIP

TIME TO ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY

 

Fellowship is in the air, and COVID-19 is less in the air! Can I have an Amen ?!

 

As we begin to enjoy each other’s company in person again, why not schedule a summer or fall potluck? Consider holding it at a park or outdoor area as we edge toward herd immunity.

 

Here’s an example of a Church Potluck and Attendance Signup.

 

And here’s a helpful video showing you how quickly you can set it up. Note that you can track attendance, get signups for food items, and for volunteers too…all in the same signup. You can even collect a fee if you are providing the main dish.

 

Remember, our Signup Tool doesn’t have those pesky ads that may conflict with your church’s brand and messaging…and confuse older parishioners.

 

There’s also no need for participants to create a PlanHero account to RSVP, which can be a barrier for new folks wanting to slowly get to know your church.

 

woman-delivering-meal-to-senior-man 8 ways to make your life easier as a church administrator

 

2. ORGANIZE MEAL DELIVERY

FOR CELEBRATION OR TRIBULATION

 

I can still remember when friends brought us hot dinners after the births of our sons. It was such a highlight after a near sleepless night and a fussy afternoon with a newborn.

 

Back then, there was no DoorDash or Uber Eats. Yet even with the advent of commercial meals delivered to your door, there is something about a homemade dinner prepared by the hands of friends and relatives that says We Care.

 

If you have a parishioner who is undergoing cancer treatment, recovering from an operation, bringing a new baby home, or who has suffered a recent loss, organizing a group meal delivery says just that, We Care

 

Our Tools make it super simple to organize, so don’t let lack of time stop you. 

 

Here’s an example of a Meal Delivery Signup.

 

And here’s a short video showing you how to quickly set it up. Our software handles the scheduling, the email confirmations, and the email reminders (via text too). So once you set it up and send the link out via email, text, or social media, your job is done.

 

 

3. 24-HOUR PRAYER

FOR A DAY, A WEEK, A MONTH

 

If you scan the news, it’s easy to come away disheartened. In fact, there is scientific evidence confirming that we’re drawn to bad news. 

 

Here at PlanHero, we get to witness the small, yet heroic efforts of our fellow citizens every day. Whether it is volunteering for those in need, organizing events to benefit children, or creating fellowship with others, it’s truly comforting to know that there is so much goodwill in our world.

 

 We’ve also had the privilege of seeing an abundance of creative prayer initiatives in which our Tools have played a small role. 

 

Have you been contemplating a 24-hour prayer? Don’t let organizing the signup stop you. That part is easy. 

 

Here’s an example of a 24-Hour Prayer Signup.

 

And here’s a short video showing you how to quickly set it up.

 

serving-food-to-homeless-at-risk

 

4. OUTREACH MINISTRIES

MAKING ENGAGEMENT EASY

 

Do you remember your first exposure to volunteering? I think mine was going along with my mom when she would sing for a local elderly blind group. Both of my parents did volunteer work for our community in a variety of ways, so naturally, my sisters and I followed suit.

 

Getting parishioners involved in helping others builds a strong ethos of concern for one’s community…and the idea that it’s incumbent upon each of us to do our part.

 

Our Tools make it easy for people to sign up for volunteer shifts. We’ve seen that shifts of two to four hours allow people to help out, yet still enjoy the rest of their day…so they’re more likely to participate. Also, breaking down the volunteer “jobs” ensures that no one is standing idle.

 

Here’s an example of a Volunteer Signup.

 

And here’s a short video showing you how to quickly set it up.

 

Bible-trivia-backyard-adults-1000x750

 

5. GET TOGETHER – BIBLE TRIVIA

WE’LL MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU

 

I can still remember my 4th grade Sunday School teacher, Mr. Simmons. He always came up with clever ways to make Sunday School fun. 

 

I especially loved the Sundays that we played Around the World with Bible trivia. I even continued to love it after my epic fail when I erroneously answered the question, “Whose wife turned to a pillar of salt?”

 

I blurted, “LET!” — a bit too confidently. Goodhearted Mr. Simmons and I had a lifelong joke about that one.

 

You can quickly organize signups for your own Bible Trivia Night using PlanHero. It’s a great activity for any age. Meet at a home, a restaurant, a microbrewery, the church…wherever best suits the culture of your group. 

 

Here’s an example of Bible Trivia Night signup.

 

 

Don’t miss the Bible Trivia websites below to help you with the questions and answers!

 

Over at King James Bible Online, they have a filter that allows you to select questions by difficulty, category, subject, or book of the Bible.

 

Parade has 100 Bible trivia questions for each category of easy, medium, and hard. Bonus: They’re printable!

 

And Useful Trivia has a cool approach. Along with the answer, it cites the corresponding scripture along with its text. This is handy for the person reading the questions and answers. #channelyourinneralextrebek

 

 

6. SMALL GROUP OUTINGS

BIG FUN

 

One of our executive pastor customers is an avid Planning Center fan, but he loves PlanHero’s simple signup capabilities. His churches use either our Signup Tool or our Club Tool (because they like the church branding) for organizing outings. Think ice skating on Friday night, getting a group together for a Sunday afternoon at the movies (now that some theaters are open again!), or a Saturday afternoon of bowling.

 

People don’t need a PlanHero account to sign up, so it’s a great way to bring others to join in the fun as well.

 

Here’s an example of a Friday Night Ice Skating signup.

 

And here’s a short video tutorial showing you how to create the signup.

 

Tips:
  • Use our Collect Money Lists if you need to collect fees for the outing. 
  • You can choose whether or not invitees can see who else has signed up. Fear of missing out (FOMO) can encourage people to attend!
  • Share the signup link via email or text.

 

 

 

7. HELPING THOSE IN NEED

FROM SUMMER SEND-OFFS TO BACK-TO-SCHOOL BACKPACKS TO THE HOLIDAYS

 

Most of us have an organization or two in our community that provides essential services and hope for homeless and at-risk people. This might be a Family Promise chapter, a Union Gospel Mission, or a grass-roots nonprofit like our own Storyteller Children’s Center or Transition House here in Santa Barbara.

 

You are likely familiar with Adopt-a-Family signups during the holidays. But what about the rest of the year? How can you help? What about an Adopt-a-Family program going into the summer? Or prior to the start of school? What about determining what’s needed for families after a natural disaster strikes?

 

Here’s an example of an Adopt-a-Family signup.

 

And here’s a short video tutorial showing you how to create the signup.

 

church children on floor

 

8. ORGANIZE SUNDAY VOLUNTEERS

SAVE TIME

Whether you need signups for who is going to be in the nursery or who will be greeters, our Signup Tool will make organizing your worship service volunteers quick and easy. After all, participating in the functioning of the church brings everyone closer together.Here’s an example of a Worship Service signup.

 

And here’s a short video tutorial showing you how to create the signup.


 

Ready to get started?

 

Have questions or want to hop on a Zoom with our team? CONTACT US!