Autumn is finally here (at least it’s only just arrived here outside of D.C.) and with it the celebration of many Fall Festivals.
It seems like every town, church and county is throwing one, each trying to outdo the other.
And because so many Fall Festivals happen in the surrounding communities, we found we couldn’t compete.
In the end, our Fall Festival was expensive and drained a lot of volunteer energy going into the Christmas season much more than accomplishing our goal of bringing the community to our church.
So we made a decision to do a smaller Fall Festival, during church, with a focus on the families within our church inviting families they know.
It’s much less expensive, encourages personal evangelism within our members, and allows us to simply use the volunteers who are regularly scheduled to run it.
But even if cutting your current Fall Festival isn’t an option, this is something you could easily do on top of it to invite people back to.
Here’s what ours will look like this year to give you a feel for this idea.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Since we’re within the window of Thanksgiving, we’re going to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and eat popcorn.
It’s less than 30 minutes, teaches a good lesson, and the kids always enjoy movie day.
We’re also providing apple cider.
If this is the only time one of our guest kids ever comes to a church, we want them to have the opportunity to hear the gospel and be able to respond to it.
We give a short, simple explanation and invite any kids who want to follow Jesus to do so.
Our services are about an hour, so the second half will be fun time.
We’re going to have four stations.
Station 1: Pumpkin Chuckin’ (if you don’t know what this is, just search it on Youtube; you won’t be disappointed): We bought a giant water balloon slingshot on Amazon. We set up a big target about 100 feet away. Two leaders hold each side of the slingshot, while a kid launches an orange water balloon and tries to hit the target.
Station 2: Potato Sack Races: I don’t know that this is technically a Fall game, but it’s sure fun to watch kids and leaders compete.
Station 3: Gaga Ball: Basically we set five plastic tables on their sides in the shape of a pentagon, which makes up the boundaries. And kids hit a ball around trying to hit someone else below the knees to get them out. It has a wide age range appeal and both girls and boys love it! You can find the official rules here: https://www.gagacenter.com/nyc/about/what-is-gaga/
Station 4: Cookie Walk: If you’ve ever done a cake walk, this is the same thing except with cookies. Basically, the kids step from number to number while music is playing. When the music stops, a leader pulls a random number from a hat, and whichever kid is standing on that number gets to come to a table of cookies and pick one.
At the end of the day, doing a Fall Festival during church, instead of separately, accomplishes the same goals.
Our families are inviting people from our community.
We’re able to have a natural time for sharing the gospel that everyone who comes hears.
Instead of inviting them to come to a church service, parents already get to experience one, while their kids have a great time.
This article originally appeared here.