Park Ministry is a great way to minister to children over the summer. Whether you go to different parks and low income housing projects each time, or go to the same park at the same time every week, it can be very effective. Here are some tips to make park ministry work for you.
Decide where to go. This is a very important step. Going to a park to do ministry, when there are no children there, can be very discouraging. Canvas your city. Find out when sports practices that are held in city parks are and plan to be there when they let out. Find out where children congregate. Then contact the people in charge of that area and get their permission.
Develop your team. Park ministry doesn’t just consist of front people. Teach a group of people of various ages how to witness and release them to talk with people in the park an hour before your program. One effective tool is to teach your students how to witness, then have them play in the park. They can be instructed to invite the other children to the event when it starts.
Have upbeat music and entertainment that present the gospel in a fun and nonthreatening way. Some methods you could use are balloon animals, juggling, gospel illusions, drama, puppets, and object sermons. Make sure to make each presentation short and to the point.
Have information available about your church. If someone is interested in learning more about God, have information about your church and your children’s ministry readily available.
Find a way to get names and addresses for follow up. One way could be to have a drawing for a giant candy bar or a ten dollar bill. That way, you have a legitimate way to ask people for their contact information.
Use park ministry to start other things. Park ministry could help launch other ministries in your church such as bus ministry, sidewalk Sunday school, backyard VBS, and benevolence ministries.
Bath it in prayer. Whenever you have park ministry, plan a time before it takes place to have a prayer walk around the park.