Instead of viewing Halloween as a “non-holiday,” why not use it as another outreach opportunity? Parents and children will be out in droves. Therefore, that's an incredible opportunity to turn Halloween into a fruitful and positive community outreach during a church trunk or treat event. You'll find this is particularly true if you're a church that is struggling to attract young families.
Hosting a “Christian Themed” Trunk or Treat Event
Who says your event has to follow the traditional norms? Step outside the box and change a few things up by including the Gospel and introducing Christian themes. Encourage children and parents attending to dress up in costumes, but handle the rest of the event a bit differently. Here are some suggestions:
- Encourage those who bring their vehicles to decorate them according to a Christian theme. These could include Jonah and the Whale, like the Arch, and so on.
- Set up a “Candy Land” themed church trunk or treat event whereby each attendee has to “travel” from one vehicle to the next, play games, and receive Christian-themed prizes.
- Instead of using decorated vehicles, have your youth ministry decorate booths according to a theme. Challenge them to come up with something—maybe a competition where they can win prizes. Then, they can run the booth with games, prizes, and handing out goodie bags according to their theme.
Plan on a lot of families to come to your event. Trunk or treat events draw large crowds because parents are looking for safe places to bring their children as an alternative to trick-or-treating. Consider serving a meal or finger foods for those who arrive when the doors open.
Have a Trunk or Treat and Hayride Combination Event
Who doesn’t love a hayride? Hosting a trunk or treat in combination with a hayride is an excellent outreach opportunity. When setting up your event, create or order posters with Biblical scriptures. Place them on a wagon with bails of hay or hang them prominently throughout your venue.
Set out a series of pumpkins spelling “Jesus,” as well as other phrases. These pumpkins can decorate the entrance to your church, or lead the way to where you’re having the hayride. Place flickering battery-powered tea-light candles inside each one. That way, you don’t have to worry about flames going out or any safety issues.
Conduct the hayrides throughout the church trunk or treat event. That way, parents and children can enjoy a ride after they’ve had the opportunity to visit each “trunk” and enjoy the Gospel. Here’s another opportunity for introductions to occur and to get to know young members of the community.
Pass Out Biblical-Themed Goodies
Some communities don’t like change. When they go to a trunk or treat event, they have certain expectations. If you’re unsure how the community will react to change, hand out Christian-themed goodies. You can approach this in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions:
- Set up a booth specifically for handing out copies of the New Testament and other Christian-themed materials in goodie bags.
- Create goodie bags that include candy and kid-friendly tracts.
- Add kid-friendly Christian-themed goodies to bags including pencils, stickers, and small puzzle books.
When handing out goodie bags, make sure you’re thanking guests for visiting your church. Every goodie bag should also include your church’s pamphlet. That way, everyone knows how to contact you, when you’re worshipping, and when you’re hosting other events.
No matter if you plan to host your church trunk or treat in the parking lot, your church’s gym, or at a local non-profit, you’ll find it’s a positive opportunity for reaching young local families. Encourage everyone to wear non-scary costumes. Plan your event early and be sure to market it on social media, as well as throughout your community.