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10 Ways to Make Church Events More Accessible

Learn how to make your church events more accessible and welcoming. These practical tips and insights can help you make your church activities more inclusive.

As an event planner for your church, your ultimate goal is to create memorable events that impact your community and bring people together. In order to appeal to a wide audience and encourage participation, your events must be accessible and well-planned. Remove barriers that might keep people from participating to increase attendance and make your events even more successful.

Ready to make your events more appealing to everyone in your community? Let’s dive in!

What Keeps People From Attending Church Events?

While numbers aren’t everything, the size of your audience does impact your outreach. So, how do you get more people interested in your church programming? Here are a few common reasons people might not show up to your events.

Lack of clear communication: Unclear instructions or missing details can often lead to confusion and misunderstandings, which can deter people from participating in church events. It’s important for event organizers to communicate clearly and consistently to ensure everyone is on the same page. Set up a calendar to make it easy for your guests to see what’s coming up. Include important details on your events page so registrants know what to expect and what exactly is included with registration.

Inconvenient scheduling: When events are scheduled at inconvenient times or on days when people are busy, attendance can suffer. Church event planners should consider the availability of their congregation when planning events to maximize participation. For example, retired adults might enjoy a weekday event during the late morning, but that same time might be difficult for school-age kids or most working adults.

Lack of diversity: Events that cater to only a specific group of people may exclude others and discourage them from participating. It’s important for church event planners to create diverse events that cater to different age groups, cultures, and interests.

Poor marketing: Even the best-planned events won’t be successful if people don’t know about them. Invest in effective marketing strategies to promote your church’s events and ensure they resonate with your community. Discuss your upcoming events as part of your Sunday announcements and put out signs to promote events that are open to the community. A regular presence on social media can also provide a great channel to help spread the word whenever you have a big event coming up.

Limited accessibility: The event space or setup can hinder participation for people with disabilities or those who require special accommodations. Sometimes, people feel uncomfortable reaching out to ask for accommodations, so it’s better to work inclusivity into your planning process from the start. Prioritize making events accessible to everyone so people know they are welcome to your event.

Not sure how? Let’s look at ten simple ways you can make your events better suited for a wider audience.

10 Ways to Increase Accessibility for Your Church Events

Events at your church should be welcoming to everyone, providing an opportunity for people to connect with their community and deepen their faith in a supportive and inclusive environment. Making events accessible to all can help build stronger relationships and a more vibrant church community. Here are 10 ways you can increase accessibility for your next church event.

  1. Choose an Accessible Location.
  2. Provide Transportation.
  3. Make it a Family-Friendly Event.
  4. Provide Sign Language or Interpreters.
  5. Use Captioning Services.
  6. Make Accommodations for Dietary Restrictions.
  7. Ensure Visual Aids are Clear.
  8. Offer Assistance with Seating.
  9. Boost Communication.
  10. Provide a Quiet Space.

Let’s get into it:

1. Choose an Accessible Location

Ensure that your event location is accessible to people with disabilities. Choose a location that is wheelchair accessible, has appropriate parking, and is close to public transportation. Provide ramps, assistive devices, and accessible facilities to ensure the space is ready for those who may need extra support.

2. Provide Transportation

Not everyone has a car or the ability to drive. If your church has a large number of elderly or disabled members, consider providing transportation to the event. This will ensure that everyone who wants to attend can do so. If you attract larger crowds, consider using a shuttle for those who have to park further away from the entrance — especially if you set up overflow parking in another lot.

3. Make it a Family-Friendly Event

Many families have young children who require special accommodations. Consider providing childcare services, planning kids’ activities, or creating an area where children can play while their parents attend the event. Offering childcare helps encourage parents to take a much-needed break and lets them be part of the church community without the added stress of trying to find a sitter.

4. Provide Sign Language or Interpreters

Sign language can offer a beautiful visual aid to support your speakers and singers. If there are members of the deaf community in your congregation or community, provide a sign language interpreter to make the event more meaningful to them.

5. Use Captioning Services

You never know who is going to watch your online content. Consider automatically using captioning services for any video or audio content during the event to support people with a hearing impairment.

6. Make Accommodations for Dietary Restrictions

Allergies and intolerances can make events frustrating for some people. Make sure you aren’t leaving anyone out by creating an inclusive spread. Provide a variety of food options to accommodate dietary restrictions, like those who can’t have gluten, sugar, dairy, or nuts. Often, a fresh vegetable and fruit platter helps cover all your bases. Clearly label all food items for those with allergies or other dietary needs. People will appreciate knowing what is “safe” and what they should avoid.

7. Ensure Visual Aids are Clear

If using slides or other visual aids during the event, make sure they are clear and easy to read for all attendees. Use a large enough font that it’s easy for weaker eyes to read. This includes creating images that are not difficult to decipher for those with color blindness.

8. Offer Assistance with Seating

Some attendees may need help finding a suitable seat, such as extra cushions or a designated area for wheelchairs. Consider offering this assistance ahead of time or have ushers available to assist during the event.

9. Boost Communication

Think about providing materials in different formats, such as large print or braille, for those with visual impairments. Send event information in advance and through various channels to support those with cognitive disabilities or severe anxiety.

10. Provide a Quiet Space

For those who may need a break or have sensory sensitivities, provide a designated quiet space where they can remove themselves from the noise and activity. It’s also a great idea to set up a private nursing station if your event is going to include mothers with infants. Make sure these areas are clearly marked so people know they are available.

Use Brushfire for Better Event Planning and Management Tools

Brushfire provides a range of tools that can help churches offer events that attract a wider audience and increase accessibility. With our event registration and management tools, you can easily create custom registration forms that include any necessary accessibility accommodations or special requests. You can also set up ticketing options that make events more affordable and flexible for attendees, including discounted rates for seniors, children, or groups. Additionally, our software integrates with popular payment gateways, making it easy to process payments securely and efficiently.

Get access to real-time data and reporting to track attendance, collect feedback, and make adjustments for future events. With Brushfire, you can streamline your event planning process, increase accessibility, and offer events that are more successful and impactful for your church community.

Ready to get started? Download our guide on Smarter Planning for Church Events or reach out to our team and schedule a consultation today!