INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–A three-foot-tall Spiderman and his parents are driving past your church, looking for a safe, fun Halloween alternative. Need fresh ideas for a community outreach event?
Free Family Foto. Create a beautiful lighted outdoor photo site on your church lawn with pumpkins, mums, hay bales and autumn leaves. Advertise well. Enlist amateur photographers to quickly pose and photograph families who stop by. On Sunday, display photos in the church foyer for pick-up or mail them to families as a postcard with a personal note on the back.
A Community-Wide Costume Parade. Stage it in your church parking lot, with an emcee, spotlights, Christian music and free hot chocolate. Prepare a gift and church invitation for onlookers. Chalk the parade route, designate a staging area for the children and decorate a golf cart for your parade marshal, the pastor!
A “Trunk or Treat” Event. Hundreds can be attracted to your church parking lot as joyful, costumed church members circle their cars, open their decorated trunks and pass out candies, tracts and invitations to church.
Fall Festival. Some churches plan a free festival, with carnival games, tractor rides, box mazes, pumpkin carving or cupcake walks. Others rent bouncy games, feature a Christian band or do a Noah’s Ark party.
Hallway Parade. Ask children from your church to meet at a local nursing home for a pre-arranged costume parade down the halls. Distribute large-print tracts and pre-approved treats for residents.
Reverse Trick-or-Treating. Teens or families deliver homemade cookies to neighbors, along with a packet of information about your church.
Make a goal that each guest for any event will receive two verbal invitations to church along with a tract (such as atsTracts.org) and a printed invitation to worship.
Leave the Light On. If church members stay at home that evening, challenge them to give out big candy bars or treats along with a tract and church invitation.
The Apostle Paul challenged Christians to “make the most of every opportunity.” There’s a little guy in a Spiderman costume in your town who needs Jesus.
Diana Davis, on the Web at www.keeponshining.com, is the author of the “Fresh Ideas” series; her latest: “Deacon Wives” (B&H Publishing 2009). Her husband is executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.