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Thanksgiving is a great time of year for encouraging a culture of gratefulness in your church and community.
Here are some ideas for making Thanksgiving a special season in your church.
1. A Thanksgiving Wall – In the foyer, have sticky notes and markers for people to post something for which they are thankful. Fill the wall through November leading up to Thanksgiving.
2. Fall Family Photo Day – Hire a professional photographer for the day to take a great photo of each family in the congregation, as a free gift from the church. Give them out in an album on your church Facebook page the following week.
3. Turkey Sandwich Outreach – Have your Youth group and leaders come together to make sandwiches and hot chocolate to give away to the homeless. (Or find other warm meal items to give away.)
4. What Can You Give, What Do You Need? Bulletin Board – During the holidays, have this board up in your foyer with sticky notes and markers. Have people write something practical they can give (2 hours of babysitting on a Thursday night, a Thanksgiving meal, free lawn tools), and others post something practical they need (1 day of lawn help, a night of babysitting). Everyone should include their name and email address at the bottom. (You’ll need someone to curate this board.)
5. Celebrating Moments Of Gratitude – Choose a few people to pre-prepare and share 1 minute stories of God’s faithfulness to them that year – and how thankful they are. Save 15 minutes at the end of a service to accommodate these 5-7 moments of sharing. (Get ready for great applause!)
6. Social Media Gratefulness Challenge – Challenge your congregation to give thanks, on social media, for one thing each day of the Thanksgiving holiday week. Have them tag your church in their post, then share the joy on your church Facebook page!
7. A Thanksgiving Message – With A Surprise Ending – After you (if you’re the pastor) preach a message on the power of gratefulness, give out Thanksgiving treat bags to every person in the congregation. (Make sure to include invitations for them to give away for your seasonal services.)
Check out The Power Of Gratefulness Sermon Outline & Slides here on the VDM.
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