Attract Crowds With an Ice Cream Blitz

Need a fun outreach idea for kids? Want to rally the children at your church and welcome families from the neighborhood? Then try this fun Ice Cream Blitz for cool treats and sweet, friendly outreach.

Randy is the first to hear it. “The ice cream man is coming!” he yells. The other children go scrambling for coins to purchase a frozen treat, wondering what their dollars will buy them.

As they gather around the ice cream truck, the kids don’t see prices anywhere. Is he selling anything? They see the sign: “Free! One frozen treat per child (ages 0-80).”

Free? Too good to be true. The ice cream man says, “I’m Bill. Here, have a kid’s pack each, too.” Each kid grabs a bag, discovering a small toy, a piece of gum, and a colorful flyer with some cool-looking cartoon kids. The header reads “Discover Kids’ Church!”

Randy pipes in, “How come it’s free?”

Bill says, “No catch! We’re into having fun at our church and want to get to know more kids. Tell your parents about us and ask if they’ll let you come to the Wednesday afternoon movie club.”

“Movie club?” Rachel asks. “What movies? When?”

Bill continues, “Lots of movies. This week it’s Toy Story—with lots of popcorn. First, we have the Bible time puppet show. Then we watch the movie. But you can’t come without permission, so be sure to ask your parents!”

So the children’s ministry picks up steam. And it all got jumpstarted with an ice cream blitz. The most potent summertime sound is probably that of the ice cream truck blaring its music. Why not turn that magical sound of summer into an outreach idea for kids?

Ice Cream Blitz Outreach Idea

COST: Varies (up to $1 per child served)

DURATION: One-time or periodic

DIFFICULTY: Moderately easy

Trinity Baptist Church in Vidor, Texas, converted its church van into an ice cream truck. Pastor Mike Richardson explains, “We attached a loudspeaker with a strong magnet on top of the van, piped children’s church songs through it, and placed two large magnet banners to the sides. We designed labels to glue to ice cream cups with the Gospel and information about our church.

“Then we go through each neighborhood on alternate Saturdays. We give out 30 to 50 ice creams in cups we purchase or have donated each week. While children are there, we share a little five-minute Gospel message. Kids who bring their empty cups to Sunday school the next day get a prize.”

The church promoted the blitz with flyers, free community ads on cable TV, word of mouth, and just plain driving the van around with music blaring. It got the community’s attention! Previously, the church averaged seven children in Sunday school. Three weeks after the outreach efforts, attendance skyrocketed to more than 70 children and is still growing. Some parents of these children have become involved with the church and outreach program as well.

Read on to discover how to plan, implement, and evaluate an outreach idea for kids.

How-to Pull Off an Outreach Idea for Kids

Planning Questions

  1. First, how effectively is our children’s ministry presently promoted?
  2. What event should we mention on the ice cream invitations (children’s church, midweek club, Sunday school, VBS, special event, etc.)?
  3. How might our church kids become creatively involved in each step? And how can we equip them as “inviters”?
  4. What resources do we have to implement this idea (facility, people, money, programs, etc.)? Do we need any additional resources?
  5. Who should be involved in making this idea a success?
  6. What obstacles do we foresee in implementing the idea?
  7. How will we define and measure success?
  8. What timeline do we want to apply to implementing the idea?
  9. What specific prayer is required around this idea?

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