Harvest Festival


by David Boyd/ September 27, 2018

When it comes to Harvest Festivals, here are a few questions to ask: 

  • Am I doing this to give our church kids a chance at something fun and safe at this time of year?
  • Am I doing this as an opportunity to reach out to kids who don’t come to our church and gather their information so that we can communicate with them and try to get them to give our church a try?
  • Am I doing this as something that will impact our community and let them know we are here to provide safe alternatives?
  • How much manpower do I have to commit to this event without creating burnout with our existing workers and ministries?

 
Once you have determined your goals, it helps guide your activities.  

Here are some clues:
 

Think outside the box.  

 

Do your event differently from what every other church is doing.  Make your event feel different.  Consider other alternatives instead of a big event inside your church.  Host your event at a skating rink with a small price to get in, subsidized by your church.  Have a petting zoo on the front lawn of your church with bags of candy given away at the top of each hour.  Have a “Trunk or Treat,” where parents make the trunk of their car a mini game with prizes.  Have a costume contest with prizes for “cutetist, funniest, most biblical, best animal,” etc.  Stay away from scary costume prizes.  All of these options require much fewer staff, and to the family in the community considering a place to go, it gives them a fresh option.  Consider a bounce house event outside the church but during daylight hours.  Or consider a bike course through your parking lot with a bag of candy for everyone who rides the course.
 

Give them a reason to go inside your church.  

 

Free hot dogs are in the kids church room.  Free cotton candy. Free ice cream cones.  Give the families a reason to see inside your church. It makes it easier for them to come back.
 

Capture their information.  

 

Have a way for them to register.  On the form, ask “Church Home”…. Give a blank, also write “none”, also write your church.  This way it is easy for them to circle your church if they are one of your kids or none if they don’t have a church and if they say “catholic” you know they are catholic but they don’t have a church.  If they write down, “Berean Baptist” you know they have a church home and your follow-up is different. 
 

Meet and greet.

 

Have a way for families to meet your senior pastor and children’s leader and their spouses.  Once a visiting family has met these people, it is easier for them to come visit. Have plenty of church people working the crowd, meeting the adults who have brought kids, giving tours of the church, making people feel welcome.  People need to know church is free, they can sit anywhere, and they can wear anything.
 
Be the fun, unique church in the city, and you will be more apt to get lots of different kids who potentially may fall in love with your church.