Jump-start your church’s new year with these 7 inspiring ideas

January 5, 2023

As the busy holiday season winds down and the new year begins, it's a great time for your church to evaluate current programs and consider new ideas for engaging and inspiring your congregation. It’s also a good opportunity to align your leadership and rally your congregation around your church’s mission and vision. 

Check out these seven ways your church can jump-start the new year and set the stage for an impactful year ahead!

7 ways to start the new year strong

“Being in Christ, it is safe to forget the past; it is possible to be sure of the future; it is possible to be diligent in the present.” —Alexander MacLaren, Scottish minister

1. Host a vision-casting event 

Invite your church staff, leadership, and key volunteers to come together to dream and plan for the year ahead. To help get the creative ideas flowing, host a retreat or workshop to focus on your church's vision and goals. Encourage everyone to participate in the process of brainstorming and strategizing ways to move forward to better fulfill your church’s mission. 

Dedicate some time to celebrate wins from last year and all of the behind-the-scenes work that led to their success. Honoring and cheering on your team will help get everyone excited about personally contributing to this year’s goals!

2. Launch a new group for a key demographic

Small groups can be a great way for people to connect, grow, and serve together in a more personal setting. Consider starting a new small group focused on a specific topic or interest, or perhaps offer different types of small groups (such as parents with young children, sports groups, or single adults) to meet the diverse needs of your church community.

Be sure to have small group locations, descriptions, and signup forms available on your church’s mobile app and website. For some inspiration, check out this blog, 5 tech tools to help your small groups thrive, as well as the Interbay Community Church small group page

3. Plan a local service project 

What better way to kick off the new year than by serving others! Plan a service project for your church to participate in as a way to give back to your community and make a positive impact. 

Here are some simple service ideas to help inspire your next project: 

  • Help out at a local food pantry 
  • Clean up an area in your local community
  • Gather supplies to a local school in need
  • Create care packages for children in foster care
  • Spend time with residents at a retirement community

These efforts not only engage your congregation, but they show your community that your church cares in very real and practical ways. 

4. Host a church retreat or conference 

For many, making it through the holidays can be full of distractions and stress. One great way to start your new year strong is by hosting a retreat or conference to provide a time for members of your church to get away, rest, and be refreshed. These events are ideal for helping attendees connect with God, each other, and speakers who can provide spiritual guidance and inspiration.

5. Offer a new ministry or program

What are the most pressing needs of your church? Consider launching a new ministry or program that focuses on meeting those needs. This could be something as simple as a new Sunday school class or as involved as a mentorship program for young adults. Either way, it’s a wonderful way to support the people in and around your church.

6. Host a community event

As this year begins, your church has a wonderful opportunity to be a beacon of hope and love in your area. Hosting a community event, such as a block party, family picnic, or public concert, is a great way to reach out and engage with people in your neighborhood. 

Don’t be afraid to hype up your event with an outdoor banner, printed invitations, and encourage your church members to invite friends through social media. Get your teams involved with each step of the event, from greeting guests to cleaning up afterward.  

7. Plan a retrospective celebration 

The start of the year is a great time to look back at the previous year, celebrate big and small victories, and give thanks to God. One simple way to do this is by planning a special event to celebrate all of the good things that happened last year and mark the start of the new year.

Have your team make a list of accomplishments, goals that were reached, and challenges that were overcome last year. Have your creative team gather photos and videos to create a slide deck or video presentation that can be shared during your event. Don’t forget to honor your staff members and volunteers for their impact.

Reflecting on God’s faithfulness and goodness will help your church launch into the new year with gratefulness and hope. 

More tools for starting this year strong

As you consider these ideas, be sure to keep your church's vision and goals at the forefront and to involve as many people as possible in the planning and execution process. By working together and being intentional about your church's direction, you can jump-start the new year with inspiration and purpose.

Check out these other free resources to help your church start strong:

Over 16,000 churches and organizations partner with Subsplash to better reach, engage, and disciple their people with powerful digital tools, such as:

All of these tools are easy to use and available through Subsplash One. To discover how your church can better reach and engage your people, [.blog-contact-cta]contact us today! [.blog-contact-cta]


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