This is the time of year that churches are planning fall festivals and fellowships. Most of the fall festivals that I have attended…well, all of them…are a time of fun and outreach. Fun for the kids and families who regularly attend the church. Outreach to the community, to bring in kids and families who may not come to your church but could.
Now I’m all about finding new families that need to learn about God and Jesus. And there’s nothing wrong with having some fun with your friends at church. But could your fall festival be a way that kids could minister? Here are three ideas that use your fall festival as a way to help kids connect to the larger ministry of the church. (If you don’t have a fall festival, these ideas could be incorporated in your kids ministry in other ways.)
1. Create Something – Include an arts/craft station in your fall festival. But not just making something for yourself. Make something that can be used in a ministry of your church.
NAPKIN RINGS – Cut paper towel tubes into 2- or 3-inch sections. Kids can glue squares of orange and yellow tissue paper to the rings; provide glue sticks for easy, no-mess gluing. Add fall stickers (or other stickers) for additional decoration. Use the napkin rings in your homebound or nursing home ministry. Or use the napkin rings as a part of a church-wide special meal. Your kids will be excited that they could contribute to a church event. (And you can use up all those paper towel tubes in your resource room!) If napkin rings won’t work for you, pick something else to make for a ministry of your church.
2. Ministry Store – Set up a ministry store at your fall festival and help your kids give to a specific ministry.
Ask church members to donate items that will support one of your church’s ministries–food for a food pantry; toiletries for a homeless or prison ministry; school supplies for a school ministry; special items for a missionary. Choose whatever will support what your church is already doing. Place the items in the ministry store with "price tags" on each item – each item worth a certain number of tickets. During your fall festival, give out tickets instead of candy or prizes at your carnival games. Kids can come to the store and "purchase" the items to give to the designated ministry. Kids have fun playing the games but also help support what your church does to minister to others.
3. Reverse Trick or Treat – Help your kids give instead of get during the fall festival…and reach out to your neighbors.
Make care packages of cookies or popcorn for the neighborhood around your church. Ask families or Sunday School classes to go to the houses around your church. Knock at the doors with lights on but give away your special treats rather than take anything. If lights are not on, just leave the treat at the door with a note. (Print notes ahead of time.)
Fall festivals can be a fun time. And a time for kids to be involved in ministry. What ideas do you have?