Crafts and Skills Fair: Use the “Indoor Months” for Ministry

Every winter comes the challenge to not just hibernate but continue seeking to engage in missions and ministry. Colder weather seems to limit outreach ideas to our lost and unchurched neighbors. But what if the temperatures that drive people to stay indoors could work with us, not against us?

Many people who are unfamiliar with a church environment need to see the church as a friendly place, a place where they already know someone before they attend services. So invite them and their families to a crafts and skills fair.

For a couple of hours, open your church and teach basic life skills and crafting classes in different parts of the building. Ask church members with various gifts and talents to teach and pull in others from outside the church. Encourage adults and students to rotate in and out of the classes they desire to take.

Consider offering these classes:

  • Cooking 101—Prepare 1 or 2 dishes from start to finish in the church kitchen. Serve the food to all participants at the end of the fair, providing another chance to fellowship.
  • Seasonal Crafts—Make a simple craft such as a wreath, soup mix in a jar, bath salts, etc., for participants to take home.
  • Crocheting or Knitting Basics—Teach 1 or 2 basic stitches so participants can go home with a skill they can take off and use.
  • Sewing and Alterations—Allow participants to bring items in need of repair or alteration. Show them how to mend tears, sew on buttons, and make minor alterations to clothing. Borrow several sewing machines to set up for use.
  • Financial Basics and Household Budgeting—Decide what to cover in this class (e.g., finding bargains, using coupons, commonsense advice for learning to make ends meet) and whether to offer specialized help for creating a budget as a separate class.
  • Auto Maintenance 101—Designate an area in the church parking lot to teach the basics of car care. Tell participants what to look or listen for to identify engine trouble and demonstrate how to change the oil, among other simple maintenance lessons.

Be sure to offer classes designed just for children and open the nursery for babies and toddlers. Teach children to play a simple instrument like color-coded handbells, cook, or make a craft. For recipes and craft ideas, visit pinterest.com/missionfriend.

Whatever combination of classes your group comes up with, it is sure to be a blessing! You’ll be teaching skills, building relationships, and making people comfortable with the church body.

Tips:

  • Encourage all church members to participate, not just those teaching classes.
  • Practice all activities in order to time them, ensuring they fit within your rotation time.
  • Strive to keep classes close to the same amount of time.
  • Allow restroom breaks between classes.
  • Advertise your event using flyers, social media, and the local newspaper.

Sheila Gosney lives in Monroe City, Missouri. She loves writing to glorify God and equip believers with fresh ideas for missions and ministry.

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