Don’t we all love fall? Cooler weather, pumpkins, camp fires, candy, and fall festivals. Fall Festivals are a wonderful opportunity for churches to engage their communities. Many churches invite families from their local schools, apartment complexes, and neighborhoods to join them for food, games, fellowship. But most importantly a time of sharing the gospel and making connections. I have seen so many creative ideas over the years as churches work hard to connect to their community for the goal of sharing Christ love with them. This years fall churches festivals will look different but there should also be excitement in planning with new and fresh ideas. Below I will share a few ideas I have seen. Feel free to take these and adapt them to work for your church. Do you have other ideas to share? If so comment below or email them to [email protected]
This is a wonderful time for churches Â to empower their families to connect with the people in their own neighborhoods. You can do this by providing them with supplies and tools so that they can host their own neighborhood fall festival. Create aÂ Fall Festival in a BoxÂ where you provide promotional material, tracts, small crafts, game supplies or games ideas. A possible theme for this fall festival could be Light the Night. The church can provide the glow sticks and attach information about the church. Your encouragement can help your church members feel prepared and ready to share Christs love to those that live around them. This type of event is truly allowing the church to bring Christ out in the community. Your church families that live in the same neighborhood could work together to host the event.
When families arrive they will be given a pumpkin and a bag of supplies. They will walk along a “trail” and stop at stations to complete an activity. Activities could include rolling a dice to see what you draw on your pumpkin, rolling the pumpkin down rain gutters, balancing the pumpkin as you walk through zig zags, using water guns to shoot ping pong balls along a track, ring toss with glow sticks, balloon stomp. Make sure to have a volunteer at each station to keep things clean. Almost all items used will be in the families bag and they will take them home at the end of the night. In the bag you can also include a small craft and the ingredients to prepare a simple fall snack at home. Have some type of pumpkin gospel presentation tied in with pumpkin trail.
Some churches may choose to go ahead with their trunk or treat by using safety measures. Be sure to spread the cars out so that a line does not form. Think about spreading the cars out all around the church campus and create a scavenger hunt where clues lead them to the next car. That way not everyone will visit the cars in the same order. Try to limit contact by having pre made treat bags. You can also host a drive thru trunk or treat.
If your church has the capability host a drive in movie on an outdoor screen. Ask families to stay in their cars to watch the movie and provide treat bags. Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Monsters Inc are good choices. There are many other options out there just be sure you have the correct license to show the movie.
If your town has food trucks invite them to come to your church for families to enjoy. If your church is in the financial position cover the cost of the food. Also have outdoor games for the family to do at their own car.
Set up tables outside for each family. Provide the family with a pumpkin and supplies needed to carve and/or decorate the pumpkin. Give out pre packaged snacks to each family and provide family minute it to win it games. Sign ups may be needed to ensure you have enough supplies. Be sure to end the night with some type of gospel presentation.
The goal of a Fall Festival is to build relationships with families in your church and community. After relationships are formed you will have opportunities to share the gospel and invite people into a relationship with Christ. No matter how you choose to have your ministry event be sure the focus is on Jesus and His love for everyone. At this time ministry may look different but different is not always bad, sometimes it’s better!