4. Focus on outreach.
Reaching out to the community and helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus is what a Fall Festival is all about! And the benefits are twofold. First, church members are blessed as they love others and serve the community. Second, community members are blessed as they encounter Jesus in and through your volunteers.
We want to equip and motivate children to reach out to others. When kids share their Christian faith with others, they’re not only strengthening their own faith. They’re also spreading the Good News about Jesus to people who haven’t heard.
The most effective way to reach unchurched kids is by encouraging your church kids to invite their unchurched friends to the Fall Festival. But keep in mind that unchurched kids may not be attracted to the idea of a “Christian program.” So emphasize the fun of your event, too — the games, crafts, candy, and friendships!
Also check out Outreach Ministry in the 21st Century for more than 200 ways to connect with people and help your church embrace outreach.
5. Choose a theme.
Be creative! Your theme can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, but make sure it’s exciting for kids. Whatever theme you choose, build decorations and games around it. If you choose a beach theme, decorate with beach umbrellas, sunglasses, and sand. For a Western theme, decorate with hay bales, wagon wheels, and ropes.
No matter your theme, make clear connections to God’s love throughout the event. Kids need to know that Jesus loves them and wants to be their friend. Your main focus should be bringing kids and their families closer to Jesus.
Also, keep in mind that kids from the community will wear costumes that may or may not be in line with the theme. And that’s okay! Encourage everyone to attend and share God’s love with each person at the Fall Festival. After all, that’s why you’re there.
6. Stretch your budget.
Finally, get creative about money. If you worry about pulling off a Fall Festival on a tight budget, find ways to cut costs or raise funds. Consider these ideas:
- Ask parents to donate a bag of candy.
- Ask for donations of supplies. (Let your church know what specific materials you need.)
- Charge a per-child registration fee. Consider offering discounts to families with more than one child.
- Have church members sponsor a game booth by contributing or paying for specific supplies for it.
- Have a carwash, bake sale, or other fundraiser. (Emphasize that the money raised will help reach out to kids and families in your community.)
This article about fall festival planning originally appeared here.