A few years ago, we tried a method of ministry that worked well. We called it WWW for short but its real name is “Wednesday Without Walls.”
James says that we should be ‘doers” of the word versus only being “hearers.” Our congregation like most congregations spend a great deal of time in the study of God’s Word. We would all agree that this is time well spent and the benefits are great. However, there is a time when we need to ‘put to work’ what we have heard and learned in Bible classes and from the pulpit and we need to go outside the walls of the church building to serve.
WWW encourages that. The first year we did WWW, we used only one Wednesday evening for ministry projects during that year. The next two years we used 3 Wednesday evenings a year. A great number of “Wednesday evening” attenders actually did projects. We encouraged members to do their projects on Wednesday evening during the time we would have had Bible study on Wednesdays. Most did so. However, some of our older members preferred to do their projects during the day when they felt safer. These folks were members of a Wednesday morning Bible class at that time.
What kind of projects did people do? We had folks go to local nursing homes to visit, sing, do crafts and generally make the residents feel good. Some folks visited shut-in members. Some did home projects for church members who could not do the projects because of failing health. Some sent cards to members who had fallen away. A group of young couples did a “Fun Day” for the local YMCA. Some sent special gifts to missionaries. One team did some work for a local non-profit.  Another completed a deck and roof for a member.  I think you get the idea. We encouraged ‘creativity’ among the members. We encouraged members to work in teams, couples, singles, etc.
Yes, there is a downside to WWW. I think the biggest downside is that some folks will just sit at home and do nothing on the nights that WWW is scheduled. We ceased WWW after 3 years; it had run its course like most ideas do. Maybe your congregation can do WWW and keep it vibrant and useful. The whole idea is this: the church has left the building and the church is doing what she has been taught.
Feel free to share ideas on WWW or other ministries that you have found helpful.
Trav