If you are looking for a gift that makes a difference not only in the lives of people who receive it but in the lives of the people who made it then this Fair Trade Christmas gift guide for 2016 is a good place to start. Before we get into the list let’s define what fair trade is and how it helps people.
THE FAIR TRADE FEDERATION PRINCIPLES ARE:
- Create opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers.
- Develop transparent and accountable relationships
- Build capacity
- Promote fair trade
- Pay promptly and fairly
- Support safe and empowering working conditions
- Ensure the rights of children
- Cultivate environmental stewardship
- Respect cultural identity
Artists are paid a fair price for products with most receiving 50% up front and the balance upon shipment. This allows them the ability to purchase raw materials and hire other craftsmen.
As you may imagine these principles are much different from the “Big box retailers” whose major objective is to earn a profit for their shareholders and big bonuses for themselves.
If you are looking for unique Christmas gifts that also make a difference in the lives of others then check out our Fair Trade Christmas Gift Guide for 2016. We’ve included information from each company about how they are changing the lives of people. If they had videos we’ve included them as well.
Fair Trade Christmas Gift Guide 2016
As parents, we believe all children should have enough food to eat and the opportunity to thrive, so when we saw a documentary on the devastating impact of childhood hunger on millions of children around the world, it inspired us to help. On that day, we decided to start a company whose purpose is to help improve the lives of children and to make a difference.
We created cuddle+kind because we wanted to make beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. So for every cuddle+kind doll sold, we give 10 meals to children in need.
Our goal is to provide one million meals a year.
We’re also super proud that every doll is lovingly handcrafted by incredible women artisans in Peru, providing them with a sustainable, fair trade income.
Empowerment Projects are Alaffia’s mission in action, funded by the sales of Alafﬁa products. Alaffia invests in our communities because it is our moral responsibility and to ensure African resources empower African communities. The goal is to alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality. Our Empowerment Projects include several Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Reforestation. To explore their store click here.
Beza Threads is a growing community that values the life, freedom and worth of all people. We serve our Ethiopian friends because we cannot imagine sitting back and doing nothing if our own sons or daughters, brothers or sisters were being abused and treated like commodities.
We’ve seen that compassion and love through radical action can overcome even the greatest pains and scars of child slavery. We believe any effort that promotes freedom in the life of an enslaved child has immense value. Click here to visit their store
I love this story because it shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of people. Products they have developed are creative and unique. This is how it all started. When I was 16 years old, I went on a mission trip to Honduras. For me, it was like coming alive for the very first time. I loved the people, the culture, the food, even just “the different”. Over the years I continued to travel back to Honduras and as I did, I came face to face with extreme poverty. I looked into the eyes of women who were desperate to provide for their families but not having the means to do so.
That’s when slowly, gradually the idea for SoloHope began to evolve. These women needed jobs that renewed hope and gave dignity. So the journey began…
April 2012: I had an idea to create bracelets out of pine straw + thread. I met with Dilcia (our first SoloHope artisan in Honduras) showed her sketches and asked if she thought it was possible. She said yes.
December 2012: At a youth rally, I began selling SoloHope (Spanglish for “OnlyHope”) bracelets in the States!
August 2013: I felt God pushing me to take a risk. I quit my full time job with comfy salary and benefits and moved to Honduras for 4 months to create a product line. We grew to 3 artisan partners.
November 2014: The LUXE Collection // Christmas ’14 launched with bracelets, necklaces, earrings, ornaments and coasters.
January 2015: Approved as a non-profit corporation by the State of Georgia. Tax-deductible 501C3 status granted. Our SoloHope HQ in Cairo, GA opened.
They carry bracelets, earrings, gifts, headbands, necklaces, and scarves. Click here to visit their store.
Lauren founded FEED in 2007 with the simple idea of creating products that would engage people in the fight against hunger in a tangible way. Every one of our products has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. Nine years later, we’ve built a movement connecting our customers to the cause, one bag at a time.
Feed provides fair trade gifts, bags, accessories and tees, each helping to eliminate hunger. Click here to visit their store.
Mata Traders – a design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry. Made by artisans in India and Nepal, our colorfully original designs are now sold in 50 states and 12 countries, and provide a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Click here to shop their store.
Shortly after arriving in Bangladesh, Samantha Morshed started Hathay Bunano ps, a non-profit organization. Through a local NGO she invited 12 young women to her home in Dhaka and taught them to knit in her spare room. After three weeks practicing knitting they started to work on the first order.
Hathay Bunano, means hand made or hand knitted in Bangla. The women create contemporary, beautiful soft toys all by hand. Click here to check out their site.
Tribe Alive utilizes a passion for fashion and responsible commerce as a platform to help alleviate poverty among women. We work with artisan partners all over the world to employ impoverished women at fair trade wages and give them access to a safe job, sustainable income and a chance to determine their own future.
We strive to create positive change in the lives of women by providing market place access through the fair production and sale of our beautiful and unique pieces. We believe that every purchase should be made with a purpose, and that there is nothing more stylish than giving back. Hope is our message. Fashion is our medium. Click here to learn more.
I Thought of You’s mission is to expand the global marketplace of hardworking people in developing countries. We sell Fair Trade, handmade products that are not only beautiful, but also have beautiful stories behind them. Each piece purchased represents a building block for constructing a sustainable business that will provide income to people who need it most.
Personally I think they have some of the most amazing products. Click here to visit their store.
Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Co. partners with farmers and local community leaders to develop the coffee into a sustainable income, pay a just Living Wage, and strive to further meet the needs of the people. When you buy Land of a Thousand Hills, you are receiving coffee that is 100% Arabica, fairly traded, and roasted fresh.
Jonathan Golden, founder of Land of a Thousand Hills, recognized a simple and tangible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the Rwandan people. This realization led Golden to start a coffee company that pays a fair wage to the farmers of Rwanda, helps them with their basic needs, and brings a quality product to coffee lovers. Click here to visit their store.
Toms carries shoes, sunglasses, bags, apparel, backpacks and coffee. Shop Now
In 2009, Manos Zapotecas founder Shelley Tennyson was volunteering with a microfinance non-profit in the small Zapotec village of Teotitlán del Valle in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. She was offering business classes to the female loan recipients, many of whom were weavers. Shelley realized that no matter how exquisite the product, or how savvy their business skills, without buyers, these hardworking and skilled artisans were not able to support themselves or their families adequately.
Three years later, Manos Zapotecas was born out of a belief that commerce can, and should, change lives for the better. What began as a wild idea to sell Zapotec bags globally, in a village where most of the women had never even left the state, has grown into a fair trade fashion brand run by a team of five women in the US that supports over 50 weavers in Oaxaca.
We strive to make a positive impact on the lives and communities of the artisans, by nurturing lasting relationships and always abiding by fair trade principles. Our designers work closely with the weavers to incorporate traditional handwoven tribal designs with modern styles, the results of which are beautiful, expertly crafted and unique bags.
Each MZ bag holds an element of discovery. From the significance of the Zapotec designs, to the bold color combinations, and most importantly, the distinct story of the artisan who wove it. Visit their store
Mitla Moda is a social entrepreneurship startup that focuses on increasing economic development in artisan communities and preserving traditional artisan techniques through ethically made and fairly traded clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
The talented artisans we work with are the crux of our business. They live and work, in small, family cooperatives in Oaxaca, Mexico, and we’ve had the honor of visiting each workshop we collaborate with, through fair trade procurement practices. Mitla Moda is a very small business, manged and run by Mitla Moda’s founder and director, Dusana. Dusana has had a love of Latin American artisan goods and clothing for as long as she can remember, a love she credits to her father, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, who filled their home with handmade items he had purchased from artisan friends while abroad.
Mitla Moda is a fair trade shop that specializes in bringing you unique, artisan-crafted clothing and accessories. We are committed to the slow fashion movement, offering you high-quality items meant to last for years, that are made sustainably, using natural materials and on traditional, foot-powered looms.
They carry dresses and tunics, tops, bags and purses, iPad and tablet sleeves, purses, backpacks, scarves and shawls and ponchos. Click here to visit their site.
is an online based boutique that partners with artisans in developing countries who create their products with an emphasis on design & quality. These artisans are treated with respect & are paid a living wage for their region. Our mission is to help support sustainable, long-term employment for men & women with limited opportunities by connections to international markets.
As their name suggests they sell primarily handbags, purses and clutches. Click here to visit their store.
Creating a broader world consciousness and a satisfying exchange between cultures are intrinsic to Cheppu from Himalaya’s mission. Our Nepalese artisans produce unique one of a kind pieces reflecting the care and tradition of their ancient cultures, while appealing to Western marketability.
Cheppu from Himalaya helps to provide sponsorships for students in need. We presently have 34 young Nepalese on scholarship programs throughout the country, ranging from Kindergarten to University, Nursing Programs, and Chartered Accounting Degrees. Cheppu from Himalaya supports individual students and also establishes direct relationships with students and Western sponsors.
Click here to visit their store.
Ten Thousand Villages sells jewelry, scarves and bags, kitchen and dinning, wall decor, home accents, baskets and holiday gifts. Click here to visit their store.
I hope you will take time to check out the amazing resources offered by these companies. If you would like to add to our list of fair trade Christmas gift ideas, include a link and description in the comments box.
Share this fair trade Christmas guide with your friends. Together we can make a difference.
Trunk or Treat Ideas for 2016
Trunk or treat has grown in popularity as churches have found it a very effective way to reach out to the community. Here are a few ideas that will help make your Trunk or Treat more fun and effective.
Plan Ahead. Determine how many cars you need and get people to sign up ahead of time. If more people show up that will be great, but you don’t want to run out of treats and you don’t want the parking lot half empty.
Get as many people involved as possible. Most trunk or treats were started by youth groups or the children’s ministry but to make it as successful as possible encourage other groups to get involved.
Have live music. Get your praise band or members of the choir to put some music together. A concert will encourage people to hang around.
Use a Nintendo Wii or Xbox, projector and screen, and a dance game. Kids will enjoy imitating the dancers on the screen. I could not find any Christian Dance games for the Wii, but here is the dance revolution bundle on Amazon. If you use it preview the music first. There will be some that is not appropriate for a Trunk or Treat. If you know of a Christian dance program for the Wii or Xbox put it in the comments box.
Serve food. Hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza are a good choice because you can quickly cook more if your crowds are larger than you expected.
Include games. They don’t have to be games specifically for Halloween, just something the kids will love playing.
Have a craft area. Many kids enjoy creating something and a craft area makes a nice addition to most trunk or treat festivals. Memory Cross has created two coloring cards for trunk or treat that can be colored and embellished with stickers but also lets the children know about God’s gift.
Have a welcome table. Use it to let people know what is going on and costs if any. Make up a flyer in advance that tells them something about the church and the activities that are coming up. If you have another event coming up print up tickets that and put a complimentary pass on it, good for the whole family. Even if you are not charging for the event it is a great way to encourage them to come back and visit.
Show a movie. Look for one that is around an hour. Usually kids have school so getting them to stay for 2-3 hours may not work.
Have a pumpkin decorating table – If your church is also selling pumpkins set up a table with the mini pumpkins, I believe they are called Jack Be Little pumpkins, paint, markers and stickers and let the kids decorate the pumpkins. Kids love this activity. If your church is not selling pumpkins you can buy them for around $1.00 each and probably work out a discount on a large quantity.
Collect email addresses. Have a prominent sign up where parents can put their email to find out about other things going on at the church. Have a check box that lists categories they might be interested in such as worship, children’s activities, scouts, daycare etc.
Share the Gospel. Hand out a Christian trunk or treat tract that ties the candy into the great gift that God is offering all of us along with a flyer that lists activities that parents might be interested in.
Promote, Promote, Promote. Create flyers and posters to put up around your community. Send an announcement to local radio and TV stations and newspapers. Post on Facebook and online communities. Send a flyer home with the children of your church and ask them to invite a friend. If you have daycare at your church send a flyer home with each child.
If you have other suggestions let us know. We always appreciate the comments.
Shop Memory Cross Halloween Tracts on Amazon
This year there are more churches than ever holding Trunk or Treats so I decided to put together 7 ways a church could reach children who attend their trunk or treat with the Gospel.
- Have several cars hand out Christian tracts. They need to tell the Gospel story but also something that children love. At Memory Cross we have created tracts for trunk or treat that are available on our website, but other companies have also created tracts that you can us.
- Consider handing out a Christian children’s book. This can get pricy if you have hundreds of kids but talk to your Christian bookstore. They will often cut a deal on a large order.
- Hand out information on your church, worship services and other activities that children or parents might be interested in.
- Set up a mini movie theater and show a short Christian video. There are several at I Am Second including Bailee Madison and Bethany Hamilton.
- Have plenty of adult volunteers around with name tags that are available to answer any questions that children or adults might have.
- Have your praise band play Christian Music.
- Have a welcome table set up where parents can register their kids. Ask parents for their email address so you can keep in touch with them about upcoming events.
Remember the children and adults are there to have a good time so sharing the Gospel needs to be incorporated into the strategy. Your goal should be to convince them to come back and visit your church at other times and give them a few things that they’ll value that also share the Gospel.
Memory Cross has created a number of Halloween Tracts for Trick or Treat and Trunk or Treat. We’ve put together a video that shows how our cards work.
They may be purchased from our store.
If you have other trunk or treat ideas, post them below.
I am teaching the 4th and 5th grader Sunday School class about the Beatitudes and decided to use videos and was so impressed with what was available that I decided to create a blog post and list them. I spent several hours going through each video and picked out the ones I liked best for this age group.
Each video is on YouTube but if you don’t have internet connection at your church, you can download each one either by clicking the link that I’ve included or adding “ss” to the YouTube file. For example if the video is http://YouTube.com/watch…. your would put ss in front of the file so it would look like this: http://ssYouTube.com/watch… If you get a security warning, which shows up on some browsers with certain security settings, the site is safe. It will allow you to download the video to your computer.
Saddleback Church Kid’s program put together one of the best series of videos to help children understand the Beatitudes which is why I’m including them first. There are five videos each covering a couple of the Beatitudes.
Saddleback used these videos over a 6 week period but you could fit them into one Sunday School lesson if you did not have any discussion but they would be best spread between at least two weeks.
A few other videos about the Beatitudes that I liked are listed below. I personally did not have time to show them to the kids so I don’t know how they would have reacted to them but I liked them and they certainly should work.
In this video Hillsong sings The Beatitudes. This video would make a good into into the discussion of the Beatitudes.
Link to download video: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=8clFkbP0lQw&index=77&list=PLDtb6MuZ5Mf61WhMTLjeA17cid5qQBg9Z
Finally this short four minute video puts the Beatitudes into today’s language. It could be used all by itself if you are just looking for one video to show kids about the Beatitudes.
Link to download video: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=aml9KYredtI
I talked about using these videos to help kids in Sunday School learn the Beatitudes but you could certainly use them in a small group setting other than SS or even at home with your own children.
Finally if you are looking for a way to help children memorize the Beatitudes check out this card by Memory Cross. It is a unique way to help children memorize any Scripture, including the Beatitudes. When you browse our store you’ll find printed cards that teach all kinds of Bible verses and Bible stories along with blank cards that can be used to memorize any Scripture verse.
Watch the video to see how it works and if you are interested click one of the links above. If you find other videos that do a good job teaching children about the Beatitudes, list them in the comments section below. Normally we ban links but for this post feel free to post any appropriate links. Links not relevant to this post will be removed.
The story of Moses – Lessons to teach kids
If you grow up attending Sunday School, you know that the story of Moses is one of the most taught and most familiar stories in the Bible. You know about the story of the baby in the basket, 10 plagues, the 10 commandments, God’s miracle in the Red Sea, the water flowing from the rock for the people of Israel, the gold calf and many more stories related to Moses. We learned so many lessons from the story of Moses that we never forget. Moses is one of the well known leaders in the Bible and his life has always been God’s instrument in helping the Israelites free from the bondage of Egypt. Children can learn so many lessons from the life of Moses which is why we continue to retell the stories to children.
Today, the Story of Moses is still one of the stories most often taught in Sunday School. Over the years, the churches and Sunday School organizations have come up with so many innovations and ideas to make our bible lessons a fun-filled one. Here are some resources, activities and crafts that we can use in teaching the life of Moses to our little ones.
1. Ready-to-print Lesson Plans
Lesson plans are the first things to bear in mind in preparing for bible lessons during Sunday school. Thankfully, there are many organizations and churches that have created some great resources that help children learn the lessons of Moses. They offer free lesson plans we can use to help us get started with our lesson for our little ones. Most of them have an outline, bible verse and activities we can do in church to help kids remember the verses and the lessons easily.
A. Baby Moses in the basket free lesson plan from Ministry to children.
B. Moses and the burning Bush lesson plan from Kids Sunday School.
C. Lesson plan about The 10 Plagues from Bible Fun for Kids.
D. Crossing the Red Sea lesson plan from Sunday School Center.
E. Moses and the 10 commandments from DLTK’s Growing Together.
2. Craft Ideas
Memory Cross has three origami coloring cards that teach children about the life of Moses plus a number of cards about the 10 Commandments. Each card has four panels that makes an endless loop. The video below shows how each card folds. To order free samples, click here. The cost is only $3.00 for shipping and handling (in the USA).
2. Activity ideas
Activities after bible lessons are what the children look forward to. Children are known to be energetic and we want to take advantage of that by giving them wonderful activities after the lesson that will help them remember the bible lesson even more. Activities are very effective in repeating the lessons to the children without them getting bored. Below are some activity ideas we can do for our children:
A. Baby Moses in the Basket
Activity: Baby Moses Sensory Play
Source: Michelle Paige
Materials Needed: For small baby baskets – Paper towels, Juices boxes, plastic tapes, material scraps, glue sticks & glue guns, popsicle sticks, sharpies
- Have each kid drink a beverage.
- Wrap brown material over the top half and the sides of the box.
- Glue the material in place.
- Adhere the plastic tape over the seam of the material all the way around the box.
- Using sharp scissors cut a small rectangular opening on the top of the box. Have each child dry out their box with a paper towel.
- Have each child use a small piece of felt to wrap up a broken popsicle stick to make Baby Moses and have each child draw on two eyes and a mouth on the popsicle stick.
- Have each child make a bed for Moses with a cotton ball then put Moses in the basket. Have the kids decorate their baskets using Sharpies.
For the river – Big water tub, blocks of Styrofoam, fake plants and water.
- Fill a great big plastic tub full of water for ‘the river’.
- Load blocks of Styrofoam with greenery to hide the baskets.
- Have each child try out their basket making sure they floated in the water.
- Review the lesson and talk about God’s protection to Moses while he was in the basket.
Activity: Paper Bag Fall Tree
Materials Needed: Brown paper lunch bag, Scissors, Glue, Paper (Fall colors)
Source: Pikadilly Charm
- Cut lunch bag into half inch strips. Start at the opening and cut half way down the bag.
- Open bag and stand it up.
- Hold base of bag with one hand and twist the middle of bag to create the trunk of the tree.
- Twist two of the bag strips together to create branches.
- Rip strips of colored paper into tiny pieces and glue them all over the branches of the tree.
C. The 10 Plagues
Activity: Drawing and coloring the 10 Plagues
Materials Needed: Pencils, crayons
- Download this free coloring sheet or this coloring from Bible Pathway Adventures online and reproduce to distribute to the kids.
- Assist the kids while they draw and color their work sheets.
D. Crossing the Red Sea
Activity: Re-enactment of crossing the red sea
Materials: plastic blue tablecloths, outfit for Moses and the Israelites, Moses’ rod
Source: Bible School Teachers
- Retell the story and have one child act as Moses.
- Ask assistance from the helpers to hold the plastic blue tablecloths.
- Have “Moses” raise his rod and the helpers raise the “waters.” Then let the children who were not Moses cross on dry land.
E. Moses and the 10 commandments
Activity: 10 commandments folding craft sticks
Materials: Permanent Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
Source: For more information on this craft please visit Danielle’s Place
What other activities that aim to teach children about the Story of Moses do you know? Please share!
Halloween Gospel Tracts – Fun Tracts that Kids Prefer to Candy
Halloween has become one of the best times to reach children with the Gospel. There are an estimated 41 million children that will trick or treat this year.
Memory Cross has created fun Halloween Gospel Tracts that children prefer to candy. Each card has four panels and is designed to create an infinite loop. Watch the video at the bottom of the page to see how it works. Children and their parents are amazed at how the card never stops folding. The design captures their attention so they’ll fold it multiple times trying to figure out how it works and as they do they’ll read the salvation message on the Halloween tract and since parents look over what their kids receive they’ll take a look at the Halloween tract also.
Besides giving God’s plan of salvation most cards also have a place on the back to invite the parents to visit your church.
Here are what a few people have said about Memory Cross Halloween Gospel Tracts:
- “Love this product! Our church does “Trunk & Treat” in the fall, kids were so excited to receive candy but took time to look at the Memory Cross that I handed out.” – Penny Ott
- “We used the Memory Cross Halloween cards for our Trunk or Treat. When we use regular tracks for children they would often get thrown away without being read. This gets children to want to look at them and read them.” – Tina Baughman
- “I’ve used many a tracts to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have found this to be an incredible tool.” – Constance Revels
- “Memory Cross has the most creative tracts that I have ever seen.” – Holly B
- “Your Memory Cross ministry is so over the top, I can’t even explain the powerful tool your cards are.” – Brenda
- “Our church has experimented with tracts in the past at various children’s outreach events. Most of them get tossed aside and never read. The one tract that seems to captivate the attention of the kids (and parents) is the Halloween Memory Cross card. It is creative, innovative, and most of all biblically sound and gospel-centered. I want Christians to realize the treasure they have in this product for child evangelism. There is nothing better.”- Derek Combs Pastor Jessieville First Baptist Church
Halloween Tracts for Children, Halloween Tracts for Kids
At Memory Cross we are committed to helping you reach children with the Gospel through Scripture memory cards, Bible story cards and Gospel tracts for kids. Our Halloween tracts for children compare the gift of candy to God’s gift of salvation. They are fun, creative and positive. On the back panel they either provide online resources or have a space where you can stamp the name of your church. Memory Cross Halloween Gospel Tracts can be given to your trick or treaters, handed out at a trunk or treat at your church or used as a craft activity.
If you would like to receive a free sample just click the link below. You’ll only pay $3.00 for shipping and handling. Besides Halloween Gospel Tracts Memory Cross makes Crafts for Sunday School, Christian Tracts and Bible Memorization cards, each using the four panel design that never stops folding. If you would like to see all the cards we produce visit our store today. We also have added a Amazon store. If you prefer to shop there click on the following link: Halloween Tracts.
The video below shows how this card folds.
How to Use Halloween to Increase Attendance at Your Church
Here is a simple and inexpensive way to invite a lots of people to visit your church this fall. Create a flyer that lists everything going on related to children’s ministry and ask members to give it to their trick or treaters along with candy. That’s it. It does not have to be anything fancy. Something put together with your word processing program and run on a copier will work.
What makes it so effective?
- First very few churches are doing this so you won’t be cluttering up the kid’s trick or treat bags.
- Every parent will look at it as they go though their kid’s candy
- The cost is cheap. You are not paying postage and there is no requirement on the kind of paper it needs to be printed on
- The number of children that you can reach can be significant. As an example suppose you have 100 members who are willing to hand out flyers and on average they give out 20. You just invited 2,000 kids to your church! How many times a year do you reach this many kids outside the church? Plug in your own numbers to see how many children you can potentially reach.
If you decide to try it here are a few suggestions to make your flyer as effective as possible.
- Make the heading as powerful as you can. Write several potential headings and ask people to tell you which they like best. Remember to write it based on a parent who has young children and is NOT presently going to church. This is who will receive most of the flyers. If your heading is not strong they will pitch it. You have about 2 seconds to capture their attention so keep it short and powerful.
- Highlight or emphasize key points. This could be benefits or things the children might be interested in at church.
- If your church has a preschool or after-school program include this information. They may not be ready to visit your church but may be interested in your preschool or after-school program.
- Make the flyer kid friendly and keep it short. I recommend a half page which is 5.5 x 8.5. If you are printing in color use bright colors.
- Include a couple testimonials from members with children. This can be the most powerful thing on the flyer. Include their pictures if possible.
- Include the church website and if you have a video with reasons parents should take their children to your church include that.
- Add a QR code on your flyer. Over 50% of smart phones are now equipped with a QR code reader. If your video is on YouTube then it is probably already mobile enabled. I recommend sending them to webpage that includes a video. You can create a QR code for free at this site.
- Review the flyer for the following: spelling, readability, persuasion to take action, and that it is written from a non church member standpoint.
- Remember you are not selling. You want people to read the flyer and say: “wow I want to check this church out. My kids and I could benefit from becoming involved there.”
You’ll find this to be an effective way use Halloween to increase attendance at your church. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, post them in the comment section.
Halloween is just around the corner and it can be the single largest evangelistic outreach for Christians in America. What other day of the year do are there millions of children knocking on the door of Christians asking for a treat? Statistics I found say there are 41 million trick or treaters between the age of 5 and 14 and 1.1 billion pounds of candy given away.
What do you think the odds that those 41 million kids knock on at least one follower of Jesus? What if that one follower gave them a Halloween Evangelism track that also invited parents to visit their church? A recent study found that 82% of unchurched would consider visiting a church if invited. This same study found that 98% of church members never invited even one person in a given year.
That could easily be changed at Halloween. During every day of the year except Halloween Christians would have to be proactive to share their faith, which a lot of people are uncomfortable with, but during Halloween kids ask you for something. Go ahead and buy some of the 1.1 billion pounds of candy but also give them a Halloween evangelism tract or an invitation to visit your church.
Some will respond. If the number that responded is 1% that would be 410,000 families either visiting church or responding to the Gospel. When Abraham was pleading for Sodom he asked God if he would spare the city for 50 people, finally saying he would not destroy the city for the sake of 10. If Christians united in their desire to reach the lost at Halloween and only 210,000 people were saved is that worth the effort and expense? Suppose only 105,000 respond? What if the number is 52,500? What if only 26,250?
Jesus last commandment found in all four Gospels is “Go and make disciples of all nations” – Matthew 28:19. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity which Halloween offers us.
There are many Halloween evangelism tracts already printed and ready to buy. A few even have a spot to include your church’s name and information. Here is a link to some of the Halloween Gospel tracts available:
Halloween Gospel Tracts
- Amazon – If you already shop on Amazon and if you are a Prime member you can find hundreds of Halloween Gospel tracts with free shipping.
- Christian Book – They have a wide selection of Halloween evangelism tracts from a variety of companies.
- Memory Cross – Origami Halloween tracts, many with room to put your church information. See the video below that shows how each tract works.
- Let the Little Children Come – I’m a big believer in making Gospel tracts creative because they capture attention and are far more likely to be read. I think Memory Cross cards are the most creative, but then I work there. The other company that incorporates the creative use of paper to share the Gospel with children is Let the Little Children Come. Be sure to check out their products.
- Crossway – While they don’t (as of this writing) have tracts specifically for Halloween they do have well written child friendly Gospel tracts.
- Moments with the Book – They have the best selection of KJV tracts. If you love that version check out their products.
The final option is to create a small card that tells what your church has for children and youth activities and invites the parents to visit. It is more work, takes a longer lead time and is a little more expensive but is more effective. Memory Cross can help you with the printing and design of your card. The lead time is about two weeks. Click here for more information.
If Jesus has changed your life and you want to share the Good News with others then Halloween is one of the most effective times of the year. Simply drop a Halloween tract in with your candy and pray that God uses it to change lives.
I have included two videos below. The first shows how each Memory Cross card folds and the second video is the story of someone whose life was changed because of a simple Gospel tract/invitation.
Teaching Children To Pray
Teaching children to pray is critical in helping them develop a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Here are some tips to help you teach children how to pray.
For younger kids teach them to pray out loud at first. Your child may not yet understand what praying is so try replacing the word “prays” with the word “talks.” Encourage them to talk with God. It is said of men of old that they walked and talked with God.
Teaching your children love and patience is important when they are learning to pray. These two virtues when practiced keep our hearts soft and teachable. The prophet Samuel was able hear the still small voice of the Lord because his heart was teachable.
Part of praying is asking the Lord to meet our needs. When we teach children that God loves them, we help them feel positive and hopeful about their future. Their prayers will be more uplifting and from the heart.
Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe and God’s love for us made it possible to have a relationship with Him. When children are little they may not understand the word “love” but they certainly understand the emotion. You have been there for them from the beginning and you can share with them how God has been there for both of you.
Adults have learned that God may not immediately answer our prayers or answer them in the way we prayed for. A child, however, has not yet learned this, therefore, we need to teach them patience.
Children can learn to be patient when we set a good example. When I look at the times I become impatient I see an opportunity to teach my children. When I am driving for example, I do not have to be the first person to arrive. You can share with your children that this is patience. You are willing to wait a little longer to arrive at your destination just like you are willing to wait on the Lord.
When we teach our children to pray we also need to teach them about love. God does not always answer our prayers as we would like, but we can teach children that God loves us no matter what happens. Sometimes we have to wait for the answer and sometimes the answer is not what we had prayed for.
Even Jesus did not always get the answer he would have liked. When he was in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed: “My Father, if possible, don’t make me drink from this cup. But do what you want, not what I want.” It is hard for adults to understand why our prayers are not answered in the way we wish and it is even more difficult for children but we have to teach them that God is love and that no matter how hard life gets he promises to never leave us or forsake us.
Discussing spiritual matters with young ones can be a challenge. If you have ever attempted it, you know that their insatiable curiosity will lead them to ask many questions which might end up stumping you. So when you are teaching your children to pray, you will have to be very strategic about it.
To start with, you should pray with your child on a nightly basis. He or she will be able to learn by example, and in seeing you bring yourself before the Lord, a good example will be set. But this isn’t limited to nightly kneeling sessions by the bed. Teaching prayer is something that should happen in your day-to-day life. Watch the video below by Mark Schultz called She Was Watching.
Whenever even the smallest blessing occurs, point it out to your children and thank God for it. This will establish with your child that for everything precious in the world, God is to be thanked.
Be aware of when the prayer of your child is answered. It is too easy to pray for something, and then when it happens think something along the lines of “wow, that was lucky!” If you notice that some prayer of your child has come true, make a huge deal of it and show the child the importance of looking for God in daily life. If your child is old enough to write, start a prayer journal. This is a great way for kids to remember how God has answered their prayers. There are many options for creating a prayer journal depending on the age of your child: Paper, app, web solution.
From the beginning of your child’s life, teach him or her to enjoy the creation that God has given. Point out the sheer natural beauty of the world we live in, and point out how God has given us the gifts to enjoy. Teach them to be still and listen to God. Psalms 46:10 says: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Just as you appreciate beauty and miracles through prayer with your children, teach them to use prayer to cope with unpleasant situations. For example, if you pass a car crash, say a quick family prayer. This will teach your child that prayer is multi-faceted, and an outlet for showing gratefulness as well as appealing to God’s good will. If you take walks with your children pray for the people in the houses you pass.
Teaching children to pray
Every evening, bless and pray over your children. Use the classic blessing before bedtime: “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” This will help your children to realize that God is always present and protective.
Prayer, like anything taught to a child, is better taught through actions than by trying to explain. Show your child what it is like to pray on a regular basis. Bring prayer up regularly, and relate it to the current situation. If you can truly impress the importance and the significance of prayer on your child, you will have accomplished a truly great feat as a parent.
Here are some additional resources to help you teach your children to pray.
- Prayer craft ideas on Pinterest. 1000 ideas that you can use to teach children about prayer. There are many great ideas on this board. I encourage you to check it out.
- Ministry to Children Sunday School lessons on prayer. Over 75 lessons, videos and crafts that can be used with your children or during Sunday School. Ministry to Children has in my opinion the best resources available for children on the web and everything is FREE. Tony is a remarkable person who has created an amazing resource to help raise children that love God and with 9 of his own he uses what he writes about. If you would like to know more about Tony and Kellie check out their blog and mission work in Haiti.
- Videos to teach children about prayer. YouTube is one of my favorite video resources. There are a ton of videos on children and prayer. The link I included has 84 videos. While I did not look at every one the ones I watched before including it in our resources were good, especially for younger children.
We can read the Bible from cover to cover and memorize hundreds of Scriptures but without Love we are nothing. Prayer opens up our hearts to God. There is nothing more exciting to me than to see people who are on fire for God, who pray and love God with all their heart, soul and mind, no matter what is going on in their lives. You can help your child become one of those people who are on fire for God. May each of our children burn with the love of God.
If God has put it on your heart to share the Gospel with children this Halloween then there are a number of trick or treat Bible tracts available written specifically for kids that you’ll want to check out.
Halloween is the one day of the year when children knock on their neighbor’s doors asking for a treat. Along with candy handing out a simple Halloween Gospel tract, especially one that also invites parents to visit your church can be an effective way to let children know that there is a God and that he loves them and has a plan for their life.
I realize that Christians have differing views on Halloween and whether to avoid it, join in the activities or use it as an evening of evangelism. Personally after reading the history of Halloween I find many of the customs are either directly Christian or have been taken from Christianity. It has been mixed with elements that are not Christian just like Christmas so in my mind I’ve decided to use Halloween to plant seeds that God could use to further his kingdom.
When Paul was in Athens he found common ground with those who were worshiping other gods and used it as his starting point to talk about Christ. Acts 17:22 -23. Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
If you are unsure which way God is leading you, read the Bible and pray about it. For those who want to share the Gospel with children at Halloween here are a few trick or treat Bible tracts for kids that are worth checking out. First a disclaimer, I’m a partner in Memory Cross and involved in the creation of Halloween tracts for kids, so I’m biased and I do receive compensation if you choose to purchase a Memory Cross trick or treat tract for children. Having said that we work very hard to create relevant and engaging tracts that kids will want to keep and read over and over again.
With every tract we make we follow the following guidelines:
- Make sure the tract gets kid’s attention and engages them. If it does not get their attention it will be discarded without even being read.
- Make it something kids want to keep. We do this through the unique design, images and wording.
- Create Halloween tracts so they presents the Gospel in a kid friendly, positive and loving way. They do not have to present the plan of salvation but if it starts a conversation, opens a door, or makes kids want to know more then a seed has been planted. With most of the trick or treat tracts there is a space for you to invite parents to visit your church. Hopefully that is where children will come to understand who God is and accept Jesus as their savior and become a disciple of Jesus.
Favorite trick or treat Bible tracts for kids
This Halloween tract shares the Good News in four panels that make a never ending loop. The copy is as follows:
- Happy Halloween. Have you heard the Good news?
- God loves you and has a plan for your life.
- For God so love the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16 ESV
- I have come that you may have life and have it to the full – Jesus (John 10:10). Come visit us this Sunday and there is space to either stamp the church name and address or hand write it. If you are ordering before September 30th you can also get it printed with your church name if you order 250 or more cards.
Free Candy Halloween trick or treat Bible tracts for Kids
This trick or treat Bible tract asks the question what could be better than free candy? That is what Halloween is all about. Just dress up in a costume, say trick or treat and get free candy. What could be better than that? God’s love.
Panel 2 says: “God loves you. He sent his Son Jesus to earth to die for your sins so that you can have eternal life.
Panel 3 says: “That is the greatest and sweetest gift in all the world and all you have to do is accept it. Invite Jesus into your life and ask him to forgive your sins. Simply say this prayer and long after the candy is gone Jesus will still be by your side.
Panel 4: “Lord Jesus I know I have done wrong and need your help to do right. I believe that you died for my sins and that you are alive today. I want to be like you and I want you to be Lord of my life. Please forgive me. I invite you to live in my heart. I will obey you and live for you the rest of my life. There is space to write the name of your church or other message.
These are just two of the trick or treat Bible tracts for children that we’ve created. To see the entire line of Halloween tracts, visit our store and pray that God may use all of our efforts to build His kingdom and bring children into a relationship with Jesus.
Here are a few other resources worth checking out:
- LifeWay has several good trunk or treat tracts. Click here to check out their supply.
- Amazon has a number of tracts from a variety of suppliers.
- Christian Book also has a number of tracts available on their website.