24 Oct 2019

5 Things Your Church Can Do During Halloween

Christine Bové

Halloween is always an interesting time for the Christian community. While there are many stances on whether or not to celebrate Halloween, this is one thing we can unify on: sharing the love of Christ at any opportunity.

In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

The time around Halloween is an excellent opportunity to create fun events that can include your local community. Whether it’s a Harvest celebration or a Halloween shindig, there are a lot of possibilities for welcoming in the community, building relationships, and sharing Christ with them.

No matter the size or financial status of your church, there are many ways you can have fun and reach out to your community. Here are five things your church can do during Halloween.

Community outreach ideas

Trunk or treat

A fun way to celebrate with your community is to get all of the families involved! Trunk-or-Treat is an event where kids and their parents dress up in their costumes and go from car to car in a parking lot instead of a neighborhood. 

This is a great way to invite people to your church. People who don’t normally attend church are able to be a part of this event with other families in your church community. 

Your church can bring in a live band or play fun music in the background to create a festive environment. Your church can also offer fun snacks in addition to the candy other families are giving out. If your church can afford it, you can even offer a meal and other fall-themed activities.

There are a lot of ways to make a Trunk-or-Treat really personalized for your church and the community you are trying to reach.

Small group activities

Another idea is to have community within small groups. If your church has small groups or something similar, your groups can spend time together and do various fall-themed activities.

Your groups can go to a local pumpkin patch. Small groups can together decide to purchase other families’ pumpkins. This is a great way to strike up conversations with other people and invite them to come to church or another fall event. Your groups can also hand out hot chocolate or cider to people visiting the pumpkin patch.

Another small group activity is a community food drive. Your church can announce to the community ahead of time that you will be doing a food collection instead of “trick-or-treating.” Typically, churches will attach a flyer to a paper grocery bag and put them in people’s mailboxes. 

Instead of people bringing them to the church, all of the small groups can go out into the community and collect the food donations at people’s houses. This gives church members a great opportunity to interact with their neighbors right where they are at! When collecting the bags, you can make it an opportunity to converse, pray for people, and invite them to church.

Small groups can participate in service projects together. Similar to the previous idea, each small group can create their own community outreach opportunities. There are so many needs in a community! Serving is one way to meet those needs while interacting with the community at the same time! This is a great way to show the love of Jesus.

Fall party

In addition to the ideas above, having something fun to invite people back to will make them more inclined to come. 

Some people feel pressure when invited to church. Inviting them to a harvest party, however, takes the pressure off, and they are free to come, interact, and have a good time. Doing this also opens opportunities for them to want to come back to a regular church service. Now they know people and made those connections!

You can host a party of any kind at your church or a local area and invite your community to come and participate. Your church can make this party fall-themed with fun activities for kids, booths, food trucks, music, and more. 

Other churches have done movies in the park, offering free snacks and a place for families to interact. If you choose to show a movie, please note that you will need to purchase and obtain a license to show the film. Copyright laws prevent a movie from just being shown in public. You can obtain a Public Performance License to show movies in this kind of capacity.

Whatever your church chooses to do, these events can be really creative and reflective of your church’s personality!

Protecting your church during these events

No matter how large or small your church is, there are many ways to interact with the community during the fall season.

With all the various activities, there are certain precautions churches will want to take to make sure their organization and people participating are kept safe.

Security

Something very important to have is a security team at your events. The very nature of people being in costume with children around calls for more precautions. Having a security team onsite will ensure families’ safety. 

It’s also important to have a security team for people who are needing extra protection. People who tend to be disruptive or threatening have been known to attend larger events. With a security team, they are able to dedicate full attention to dealing with problematic individuals that may even need legal enforcement.  

They are also incredible in ensuring parking safety and managing traffic flow. If there is anything people get frustrated about, its unnecessary traffic!

Learn more about how your church can create a security team by reading our blog here.

Liability forms

Depending on the type of activities your church decides to host at their events, there will need to be policies and procedures in place. 

One such example will be bounce houses with extra physical activities that could result in injuries. With these types of activities, you will want to have liability releases readily available for people to sign when they chose to participate. 

This also goes for volunteers going out into the community doing various kinds of work.

There have been cases where individuals will sue the church for their injuries sustained during physical activities at one of the church’s events. Having policies and procedures protect both parties and educate those who are wanting to participate in the potential dangers they could incur.  

Need a liability form? We want to help make sure your events go as smoothly as possible. Call us at 877-494-4655 for a free liability form. For other policies and procedures mentioned above, look to our Policies Suite!

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Background checks

We cannot stress enough the importance of doing background checks. 

With events that have families and children, ensuring ultimate protection is necessary. We recommend having background checks for all volunteers who chose to participate in the events. 

This ensures not only the protection of the kids and families participating but also the other volunteers who are helping with the event.

We have written a blog post in the past about volunteer processes involving minors here.

Need a background check form? Check out our Documents Suite!

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Financial protection

While this one might seem out of place on our list, when creating events like this with many different factors, it’s important to have your church books in order.

There may be a variety of charges coming from all kinds of stores and vendors. All of those expenses need to be recorded in your church books. You will want to set a budget for any of your events and then keep a record of all spending and items purchased. 

Keeping track of all expenditures will not only help you stay on budget, but it will also help make sure funds are not misallocated or missing entirely.

We have a couple of resources that will be very helpful for this kind of management. For keeping a record of the items you purchase for your church inventory, look to our Secretary’s Suite.

For managing your books and keeping track of your finances, look to our bookkeeping service! Our team of dedicated church financial specialists is ready to help you and your ministry thrive.

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The harvest is ready

While it might be overwhelming to plan these events, they are an incredible way to share the Gospel. There is hope people can know about and a local community in your church they can be connected to!

Through what you “sow” in your community, you will be able to “harvest” on the other side with new relationships and new opportunities to show the love of Jesus.

To learn more about our Policies Suite, Documents Suite, or our Bookkeeping Service, give us a call at 877-494-4655 or schedule a call below to have a specialist contact you.

What are some successful fall events your church has hosted in the past? Let us know in the comments below!

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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