At Group, we’ve learned the top-5 ways your Halloween alternative can reach families for Jesus.
So you’re having a Halloween Alternative event? Good for you! Whether it’s a Fall Festival, Backward Trick-or-Treat, Trunk or Treat, or something else, you’re on the right track for reaching families in your community. That’s because parents are looking for safe alternatives for their sweet kids.
In the many years that we’ve been creating Fall Festivals here at Group, we’ve learned a few things about how to ensure that your Halloween alternative event reaches families for Jesus.
1. Have lots of candy.
The Apostle Paul said that he becomes all things to everyone in order to reach them for the gospel. If Paul were here now, I believe he’d say to load up on the candy—that’s the sweet treat that pulls kids in. If you’re not providing candy, they’ll go elsewhere (like to the mall where the candy’s aplenty). This is not a time to be a sugar disciplinarian!
2. Communicate costume filters.
Let your guests know ahead of time that they’ll need to wear appropriate costumes for the good of younger children—nothing scary. Remember, families are looking for a safe place for the kids.
3. Focus on one point.
What’s the point of having a Halloween alternative if you have no point? And what’s the point? It’s not about candy and costumes—at least not if you’re trying to reach families for Jesus. “The point” is the truth that you want families to walk away with.
4. Train your staff.
Use a few minutes before you open the doors to communicate your vision for the event. Let your staff know that this may be the one time that families come to church this year. Tell your staff to permeate everything they do with Christ’s love and acceptance. Remind them of The Point. Encourage them to smile—and have lots of fun. Joy is contagious!
5. Plan for follow-up.
Some people complain that they’ve done all the work for a Halloween alternative, had hundreds of people attend, and only one family returned on Sunday.
I’ve got two things to say about that: First, outreach is a multifaceted strategy; not a one-time thing. Keep reaching out to those families through other seasonal events and activities.
Second, figure out a way to capture families’ contact info (email, mailing address, phone) at the event. You can have them register at the door before entering the event. Or you can have a photo booth where you capture their information to mail or email them a fun photo of their family.
You want to reach out to them with a nice personal note after the event. Then ensure that you send them invitations to other events. Even better, encourage them to come back to get a special gift—give them special coupons for a cool T-shirt. And be intentional once again when they return.