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How video can help your church outreach and evangelism

Using video for evangelism

Here is a simple and effective way for your church to reach more people – create and share videos.

There has been a tremendous growth in the number of videos on the web.  Did you know that YouTube is the 3rd most popular website n the world and the 2nd largest search engine?  Guess who is 2nd?  Facebook and Facebook has a ton of videos.  Yes people are watching a lot of videos.

Did you know your church can use videos to spread the Gospel and grow your church?  With today’s technology it is simple but most churches are not using videos to reach people either in their own community or around the world.  In this post we are going to give you the basics of how to create a video and some ideas on what they could be about.

First know this, they don’t have to be professionally created.  Many videos that go viral with millions of views are shot with a smart phone and have not been edited.  Some of the most popular videos include children, so why not let the children of your church make a few videos.  It is easy and can be done even if you have just a few children.

In a separate video I’ll be covering how to upload the video to YouTube for maximum exposure along with a few ways to promote the video on various social media channels, but today I’m going to cover ideas for your video and what you’ll need.

What should your video be about?

There are lots of great topics that can be used in a video.  Here are a few:

  • Christmas video – What does Christmas mean to you.  A few questions that you could ask kids include:  What is Christmas all about?  What is your favorite part of Christmas?  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  What is the best present you have received?  Why did Jesus come to earth.
  • Valentine video – What is Valentine’s day?  Why do we celebrate it?  What is your favorite thing about Valentine’s day?  You could include facts that show how the origins of Valentine’s day were Christian.  Other questions to include:   What is love?  What does the Bible say about love?
  • Easter – Ask similar questions:  What is Easter?  What is your favorite part of Easter?  Why do we celebrate Easter.
  • Mother’s and Father’s Day – What is the funniest thing you remember about your mom (or dad).  What is your favorite thing to do together.  What makes your mom or dad special?  Is there something you want to say to your mom?  If you are creating this video early enough you should include information about your Mother’s day or Father’s day events along with a link to the church website.
  • VBS or summer events like a mission trip.  I recommend creating two videos.  The first one would be used to promote the event.  Ask kids questions like: How many times have you been to VBS.  What is your favorite thing about VBS and the second one I would do at the end of VBS where you get the kids reactions to the event.  You can either use those clips to create a new video or use them the following year.  If you are creating one for a mission trip you should get some powerful responses from the kids who just returned.
  • End of summer, back to Sunday School – Most churches have a fall kick off and a video could be a powerful way to promote it.  The video would be similar to the VBS one in that you are using it to promote Sunday School and let the kids talk about how Sunday School has had an impact in their lives.
  • Who is Jesus – A few questions to ask could include: When did Jesus live?  Who was Jesus’ mother and father?  What books of the Bible tell about Jesus?  Who was Jesus?  Why did he come to earth?  Why is having a relationship with Jesus important?  This video could go in two directions;  first you could use it to let people know about your church and what it offers for children.  Second you could use it as an evangelism tool.  If you are using it to let people know about your church you’ll want to include information about your church along with an invitation to come visit.  If you want to create it to share the Gospel you should link it to a site that gives more information about knowing Jesus.  One that I recommend is Steps to Peace with God by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  Another one is NeedHim and finally we created one on Memory Cross.

Here are two videos that will give you some idea of how they might look.  The second one was created with Animoto.  It allows you to create professionally designed videos without any knowledge of video editing and with very little work.  There is a cost but it is as little as $8 a month at the time of this writing for a personal plan.

 

 

What you will need

Making good videos has become so much simpler over the last 5 years.  All smart phones can now take very good videos.  A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Lighting – make sure you have enough light and be aware of natural light coming in from windows.  Shoot a quick video of the room to see if you have anything that is going to be causing you a problem.
  • Sound – Be aware of any background noise since it will be picked up by your phone and can ruin the video.  Stay 3-5 feet from the person you are videotaping.  If you want to back up further consider a inexpensive corded mic.  I bought one from Amazon which was under $20 and works great.  You might want to pick up the extension cable also.
  • You can either pause the video between kids or stop it and then put it together with a video editing program or Animoto or any of the video editing software programs available.  If you don’t have someone who can edit the video and don’t have $96 for Animoto then pause the video between shots.  You can still get a pretty nice video without any editing. There are also a number of apps available for Android and Apple products  (Apple: iMovie, Video shop, Fast Edits)
  • Finally keep the sections short.  I find under 15 seconds per “scene” works best.  You want to keep the video moving.

Give it a try.  Most of your kids will really enjoy making the video.  Next blog post will cover where to upload and how to tag it so the video gets found.  Comments?  Leave them in the box below.

Making an Easter Egg Hunt an evangelism event

Across the country thousands of churches will have millions of kids come to their Easter Egg Hunts, many who are not members.  Here are some ideas to turn an Easter Egg Hunt into an event that adds new members and presents the Gospel.

Easter Egg Hunt and Evangelism

I’ve been to many church Easter Egg hunts where kids come, hunt for Easter Eggs and 30 minutes later go home.  This is such a wasted opportunity.   A church down the road does it right and this is what I’ve learned from them, plus I’ve thrown in a few ideas from other churches.  If you have additional ideas let me know by posting in the comment box.

Many churches gather kids together before the Easter Egg hunt begins.  Here are three things you can do during this opening time:

  1. Have a sign in table where parents are asked for their email address if they want to know about activities going on at your church.  In my opinion this is the most important thing because you can now keep in touch with them.  For more information click this link which was about collecting and using email address at Halloween but would apply to Easter also.
  2. Hand out information to each parent with some children’s activities and invite them to come back and worship.  It can be as simple as a black and white sheet or something nicer.  (If you need help creating a postcard or flyer call or email us)
  3. Hand out a tract to each kid that explains what Easter is all about.  We have some really effective ones available on our website.  When you are there order a free sample.

As they gather play child friendly Christian music.  The church I mentioned above has a 20 minute Easter play that portrays the last days of Jesus.  They are a large church and have the resources to put this on but if your church is not that large or don’t have the time or resources there are a many short videos that you can show.  Here are a few from YouTube.  To download them to your computer watch the video on youtube and put “ss” in front of YouTube.  For the video below the url would be: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=Y3UKd6LQKng

 

The following video is by Steel House Media and it does a really nice job of presenting Easter by asking children questions.  You’ll have to purchase it but the cost is only $19.95.  Here is the link to purchase.

 

 

The Skit Guys have a number of videos available.  Click here to see their entire Easter collection.

Finally there are many craft projects available which help children understand what Jesus did at Easter.  Two of my favorite resources can be found at Ministry-to-Children.com and at Danielle’s Place.  If you have other resources post them in the comments box.

If you want help promoting your Easter Egg hunt using Facebook, visit our page on Facebook advertising for churches.

How to share your faith with others

Have you ever wondered how to share your faith? You are not alone.  Many people want to share their faith but don’t know how or are afraid.  Today we’re going to look at the early disciples and see how they shared Jesus with others and provide some practical advice for sharing your faith today.

Jesus called each of us to make tell the Gospel and make disciples.  The story is found in each of the Gospels.  I have used the one from Matthew 28:  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The early church took Jesus’ call seriously.  Wherever they went the early disciples told people about Jesus and within a few hundred years Christianity had spread to all parts of the known world.  The thing is it is a never ending cycle.  We have to pass our faith onto the next generation.

The early church was alive, vibrant and excited and they passed their excitement onto people they met.  They were not perfect and as Christianity expanded people appeared who wanted to use Christianity for their own purposes.  That threat corrupted the church and still poisons churches today killing off the joy God gave to us and killing our witness.

How to share your faith

The first thing we need to do it to draw near to Christ and that means spending time with God.  In James we are reminded to come near to God and he will come near to you.  Psalms 46:10 says be still and know that I am God.  We’ve been given an amazing gift: eternal life and for this life the gift of the Holy Spirit.  If that really sinks in it will have an effect on every aspect of our life.  We’ll want to share the joy that we are experiencing and when that happens doors will open that we never would have expected.

So how do you draw near to God?  For me there are several things that strengthens my relationship.  First is quiet time and that usually means a walk.  If I sit and read or pray I’m usually fast asleep in a few minutes.  I have my great grandfather to thank for that trait.  He could sleep any where almost instantly but when I walk my mind is clear at least most of the time and I can talk to God and He can talk to me.  At times I’ll put on one of my favorite pastors and split the 2.7 mile course up between listening and praying.  The internet allows me to listen to and be encouraged by my favorite pastors every day.

Next is teaching 5th graders.  I hope they get as much out of the class as I do.  Spending time with God focused on teaching children draws me closer to God.  I recommend that everyone try teaching children in Sunday School.  The preparation brings me closer to God and it is a great way to become comfortable with sharing your faith.

Finally there open up your eyes.  I compare seeing God to seeing a car.  Have you ever noticed how many cars you see that are just like yours but how many other do you see?  Probably not many.  That is because we are tuned in and see cars that are like ours or ones that we are interested in but tuned out to all the others.  God is working all around us but if we are not tuned in we’ll miss our opportunities but when we are tuned in we’ll have opportunities to share our faith every day.

I think the most important factor in sharing our faith is allowing God to take over our life.  When we draw close to God amazing things will happen all around us.

Here is a simple card to share your faith when you go out to eat and a testimony from someone who used it.  If you would like more information on this card click here.

How to share your faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another praise for for how God is using your materials….. I use the “thank you …your service was awesome” cards all of the time.  This past week the waitress tracked me down as I was going out the door and said how timely Jeremiah 29:11 was for her that day.  Her husband had asked her for a separation and that morning Jeremiah 29:11 had been the verse that she had been thinking about…then to receive it in your card was an extra encouragement.
Only in Heaven will we know how far reaching each piece of material has been used!
Blessings as you continue serving Him!
Sincerely,
Kathy Yanchick

Gospel Tract Reviews

Gospel Tract Reviews: Do you use Gospel tracts?  Why?  Which ones do you like best?

Gospel Tract Reviews

Gospel tracts have been used for centuries as a short, effective (or not so effective) way to share the Gospel with both children and adults.  While the internet has changed the way many of us share our faith, Gospel tracts can still be an effective tool.  They are generally a short read and easy to carry around.

My daughter works at a Seafood restaurant, Sanibel’s in High Point NC and every week she receives 3 to 5 tracts.  Some are well done with a personal invitation to visit the church and some are very ineffective.

Here is my opinion on what makes a good Gospel tract:

  • Positive message that draws people to God.  I personally do not like any of the burn in Hell tracts that she receives.  Jesus came with compassion and love.  His anger and warning to turn back and follow God or you will burn in Hell was mostly directed toward the religious leaders.  While I know of a few stories that someone gave their life to God as the result of receiving at Gospel tract I think most are one step in leading people to God.  I like them if they present the full Gospel or have a link to the web with more information.  A QR code with a link is even better but I do not eliminate Gospel tracts that do not present the entire Gospel on them.
  • An interesting design or graphics that draws attention.  If you find one that captures attention either through really cool graphics or a creative design that Gospel tract will far more likely to be read and kept.

Top Gospel Tracts

Here is a list of some of the top Gospel tract companies that you may want to check out.  I left out one because I do not agree with their methods (or designs.  They make really ugly tracts).  I know a lot of people love them and their message but personally I would not want to be standing in front of Jesus trying to explain why I handed out those tracts so here is my “sanitized list”

  1. Living Waters tracts.  They do a lot more than just tracts but each tract that I have seen I’ve liked.  Good message and nice design.
  2. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – Billy Graham has been a beacon since the 50s sharing the Christian message and his organization continues to spread the Gospel in many different ways.
  3. Crossway – They are a large publishing house and purchase American Tract Society a few years ago.
  4. Memory Cross – Ok you are on our site but if you landed here from a search engine we make a variety of origami inspired tracts for children, youth and adults.  There is a video below that shows how they fold.
  5. Tract Planet – They produce tracts both custom and standard
  6. Fellowship Tract league – They take donations to cover the cost of tracts and then offer them for free if you cannot afford to pay for them.

Here is the video I mentioned that shows how a Memory Cross folds.

What do you think makes a good Gospel tract and which one do you use?

Evangelism – How to use Facebook effectively

Many people think about visiting at church during Christmas and Easter.  Here are a few ways you can use Facebook to reach people.

Evangelism – How to use Facebook

Ready to get started?  There are several ways to reach people using Facebook both free and paid.  Today I’m going to talk about the paid option.  We’ll cover the free option another day.  Check back or subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out.

Facebook allows you to reach a very specific group of people using their advertising platform.  You will need a Facebook business Fanpage.  To get started click here and then create your ad.  The first thing you will see is to choose your objective which could include:  boost your posts, promote your page, send people to your website, reach people near your business, raise attendance at your event or get video reviews.  Several are potential options depending on what you are trying to accomplish.  If you have already created a post and want to promote it, choose boost your posts.  You could also send people to your website for more information or if you have an event you are promoting you could choose raise attendance at your event.  For this example I’m selecting reach people near your business.

When you select this option you don’t (as of this writing) have the ability to target specific groups but you can target men, women, both and age plus the radius around your church.  You’ll see something like this.

Evangelism at Christmas using Facebook

This is the quickest and simplest way to run an ad on Facebook.  Just set your budget per day and how long you want to run the ad.  Facebook will tell you approximately how many people you will reach each day. In later posts we’ll talk about other targeting options that allow you to choose a more specific audience.

Here are some of the other ways to reach people and some of the advantages and drawbacks we’ve found.

  • Newspaper advertising – This has historically been one of the ways churches have used to reach out to people.  If the price is right it might still make sense if you have some extra money in your budget but there are a number of reasons I do not recommend newspapers.  First their readership is declining so your ad is going to reach less people. Second people have a tendency to skip over ads.  Finally you will reach people who are to far away from your church.
  • Radio – Expensive and the reach is generally 50 to 100 miles so people hear your ad and will not travel that far.  Also most radio stations are experiencing a decline in their audience.
  • Direct mail – The post office has actually done a good job creating a very targeted program called Every Door Direct Mail.  While you cannot target the kids of people you want to reach, you can reach everyone in a carrier route.  I’ll be covering this option in another post.  It is more expensive than Facebook.

Church marketing for Halloween – 1 idea your church should include

Halloween will be here in a week and many churches held their Trunk or Treat on Sunday October 25, 2015.  We decided to take our grandchildren to two Trunk or Treats tonight. Both were packed.  The weather was perfect which probably helped but I praise God for the huge turnouts.Church marketing for Halloween

The first church we visited was Community Bible Church in High Point and they had a good church marketing piece for Halloween.  They probably have a membership of 2,000 or so.  The children’s pastor, Dave Annan is a friend of mine and I saw his post on Facebook and decided to go.  They had a children’s service at the beginning with music, entertainment and a message.  There were so many kids there that there was not enough room in their sanctuary to hold them all.  We arrived about 10 minutes late and could not even get into the sanctuary.

Afterwards they held their trunk or treat.  If logistics can be worked out I recommend having a check in where you ask for parents email address if they want to keep in touch with what is going on at the church.  In this case it would have been difficult since there were at least 1,000 kids and parents.  They did the second best thing by creating a simple postcard that told about the children’s ministry and gave the website and phone number for people who wanted more information.

Church Marketing for Halloween

It was something that was simple, inexpensive and could be done by every church that holds a trunk or treat.  Our church did not do that, but next year we will!

Another good idea that one of the members of the church I attend, Covenant Church United Methodist, did was to hand out stickers instead of candy.  Kids had so much candy another piece meant little to them by the end but the last car had run out of candy and were handing out stickers.  The kids were loving them because they were something different.

If you decide to hand out stickers Memory Cross has some of the best prices on stickers.  You could hand out a sheet of stickers to kids for less than the price of a piece of candy.  We also have some fun Halloween tracts that children are sure to appreciate which present the Gospel.

If you attended a Trunk or Treat did you find anything that was particularly effective?  Be sure to post it below.

Here are a few pictures from our Trunk or Treat

Kyles-wallace-pastor-covenant-church-umc

trunk or treat covenant church high point nc

Evangelism during Halloween

Halloween started as a Christian celebration and many Christians are taking it back and using it as an opportunity for evangelism.

evangelism during Halloween

Some of the ways Christians are reaching their community through evangelism during Halloween are by handing out Gospel tracts to children and through Trunk-or-Treat events.

Gospel Tracts for Halloween

Handing out tracts to children along with candy is an easy way to put the Gospel into kid’s hands.  Some people prefer to hand out the Gospel of John which is available on Amazon for under $2.00 per book while others prefer Gospel tracts with a Halloween theme.  Both can be an effective way to present the Gospel to children and invite parents to visit their local church.

Presenting the Gospel through Trunk or Treat

The history of Trunk or Treat is sketchy but it started in the 1990s.  Wikipedia says it was started by either churches or schools looking for a alternative to going door to door trick or treating but whatever the origins churches have clearly embraced the celebration with thousands hosting a Trunk or Treat on the church grounds.  Many have gone far beyond parking some cars in the church parking lot and handing out candy out of the back.  You can now find live music, games, bounce houses, food and even movies.  For many churches it has become an event where hundreds or even thousands of kids come from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Churches benefit because many kids and parents attend that do not come to church.  The event opens up opportunities to let visitors know what other things are going on at the church and invite them to come back.  Kids and parents benefit from a fun, safe Halloween event where kids can get candy and enjoy the other activities that have been prepared.

Between handing out Gospel tracts during trick or treat and Trunk or Treat millions of children are exposed to the Gospel each year, which in the writers opinion is a pretty cool thing.  Lest you think Christians should stay away from all Halloween activities either because they are of the devil or you don’t want Christians messing with a Satanic celebration Halloween is actually one of the pure Christian events.  Yes it has been modified by people looking for the darker side but that happens with every Christian event.

Wikipedia has this to say about Halloween

Halloween or Hallowe’en also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.  Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”

So this Halloween celebrate life!  Jesus has come, died and was raised from the dead.  As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

This year join in and let children know that Jesus has a plan for their life not only for this life but for the life that is eternal.  Olaf in Frozen says: “Let’s go bring back summer!”  With the same enthusiasm let us say let’s go make disciples!

Comments?  Leave them below.  We publish all legitimate comments, good or bad so let me know what you think.

 

The most important Trunk or Treat activity which most churches do not do

There are a lot of pieces involved in putting on a successful Trunk or Treat.  First there are all the details involved in setting up a Trunk or Treat: getting the church members involved, decorating cars, food, music, games, bounce houses.  Then there is promotion and publicity.  After all if you don’t get the word out then no children from outside your church will show up.   The list can seem endless.

All of these activities are necessary but from my experience most churches do a pretty good job managing these various tasks.  Promotion probably could use the most help from the list above but the item I am thinking of is not even on that list.

The missing piece:

Collect email addresses

What?  you may be thinking.  How can that possibly be the most important?   It is the most important thing that churches do not do and I’m going to show you why this one overlooked task is the most important task that is not done.

How are you going to stay in touch?

If you don’t collect email address how will you stay in touch with the visitors who attended your Trunk or Treat?  The answer is you probably can’t but with email you suddenly have the ability to reach out after Halloween is over.  There is a variety of information that you should be sending them: other children’s events (children’s choir, Christmas dramas and events, Thanksgiving events).  Then there is information that might appeal to the parents.  Each church is different but maybe an email about Sunday School classes for parents of elementary school, social opportunities, the pastors sermons, invitation to attend church.  You don’t want to overwhelm them but one or two emails a week will begin to take them from an attendee at your Trunk-or-Treat to an active church member and follower of Jesus.

The good news is it does not take that long to put all of this information together.  A good email service like MailChimp can make automating your emails easy.  There are tutorials on their site so I won’t go into all the details but first you will set up an email list.  Call it something like Trunk-or-treat kids.  Now add the emails you collected.  First name and email address is all you are going to need to collect.

Next set up your emails that you want to send out.  On MailChimp it is called Automation.  Others may call it something else, but they all do the same thing.  You’ll decide when you want to send the email out.  I recommend sending out  a thank you for attending our Trunk or Treat within a couple days of the event.  The others should be about upcoming events or programs at church both for parents and children.  If your church is organized you may have enough information to write emails that cover all the way to January.  Most churches though find creating emails for the next month work well.  Just remember that you need to write the next set of emails the beginning of December.  Make a commitment to stay in touch with them for one year.  Set aside a couple hours every month to write the emails.  If you keep a list of what you want to send them you’ll be able to cut the actual writing down to less than an hour.

By doing this you have turned a one time event into a outreach ministry that will have results.  MailChimp is free until you get 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month so your cost is going to be your time.  Once you start this outreach you’ll find other events where it makes sense to collect email addresses and start another outreach list.  Don’t add them to the same list because they’ll receive the outdated emails.

If you found this helpful let me know and we’ll expand on it in other posts.  You also might want to check out our post on how to promote Trunk or Treat in 2015.

 

 

Moses and Faith – How it applies today

Moses plays a very prominent part in the Old Testament both as a leader of the Israelites and as a writer of the books of the Bible, but what about his faith?  God’s hand was on Moses from birth, helping him escape death by the Egyptians and in raising him as a son of Pharaoh where he was educated under the best instructors of the time.  God prepared Moses for the work he would call him to later in life.Moses and faith

Moses was also one of the privileged few who have actually heard God’s voice and experienced his glory.  I am writing this post because I’ll be teaching 5th graders about the faith of Moses and I find writing helps me clarify my own thoughts.  This is not meant to be a Sunday School lesson but I’ll provide some of the resources I’m using at the end.  It seems to me that with everything Moses experienced he would have been a very forceful leader for God, but on several occasions that did not happen.

He first met God through the burning bush where God actually talked to him.  The story is found in Exodus 3 and 4.  When God spoke to Abraham he listened and moved.  When God spoke to Moses he tried his best to get God to change his mind.  Even after he finally went Pharaoh would not listen to him and Moses complained to God. After he had seen God’s glory when God gave him the 10 Commandments he listened to the leaders of Israel and did not go into the territory that would become Israel.  I would have expected that he would have told the people that God had brought them out of Egypt, promised them their own country and that he was going in with our without the people of Israel.

Moses and faith – How you can live a life of passionately following Jesus

Least I judge Moses to hard what have we been given and how do we respond?  God has given us the Bible so we can read the many stories of people living (or not living) out their life as God wanted.  Since Jesus came, died and sent the Holy Spirit each believer has also had God living in them, an experience that radically changed the Apostles, members of the early church and many people around the world today.

God gave Moses what seemed like a huge task: Free 1 million people from Pharaoh and move them back into the land that God gave Abraham.  It was a task that should have taken three months but that ended up taking him the rest of his life.  God has given us a task that is even bigger.  Everyone who becomes a Christian is instructed to go make other disciples.  What is known as the Great Commission is found in every Gospel.  I’ve quoted from Matthew 28 in God’s Word translation:  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations:  Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.  And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.

What will your story look like at the end of your life?  Are you focused on serving Him or serving yourself?  Where are you storing up treasures?  Living a life of faith, trusting in Jesus is not always hard.  Yes many people I know have sold what they owned and left to be a missionary in another country, but God needs people who serve him right here.  Sometimes it is as simple as paying for someone’s meal.  In the video below you’ll see how one very simple act changed the lives of many.  That is probably something we all can do.

Try saying a prayer something like this one:  Lord Jesus I know you want people who love you with all of their heart, soul and mind.  People who are willing to listen and follow you.  Help me to be one of those people.  Every morning let me wake up and live my life serving you.

Sunday School Resources on Moses

Back to our Sunday School class.  We’re spending four weeks studying Moses through various ways: art, music, Scripture and media.  This week is media so I’m going to use these videos to help our kids understand Moses, his faith and how God calls us to live a life of obedience to him.

Story of Moses.  This animated video does a good job telling about the history God’s people during the time of Moses.

 

How do you put faith in action?

 

Recommended books and resources

These resources are mix between helping you grow in your faith and helping children develop their faith.

  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan – God is love.  Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love.  Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it?  It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.
  • Awakening by Matt Brown -We keep hearing about weakening faith in our country, but God is alive and well in America. He is working right here and now in people of faith. This book will awaken your heart and soul to his presence and to the power of Christianity today, which will in turn ignite your faith and change your world.  Christians in America are inundated with negative stories and statistics about the decline of the faith. Awakening is a very encouraging counter balance of astounding stories of God at work all around the world, and it will inspire you to take part.
  • Teaching children about the birth of Moses – Craft card by Memory Cross
  • Moses and the burning bush – Craft card by Memory Cross that helps children remember this story.
  • Moses parting the Red Sea – craft card by Memory Cross
  • Sunday School lessons about Moses – Ministry to Children – free resources.

Final Resource

If you are on Facebook check out the page:  Faith and Action Today – Leaving ordinary behind.  On this page we continue the conversation about growing in our relationship with Christ through Scripture, inspirational videos and personal thoughts.

To download any of the videos, click on watch on YouTube and the put the letters “ss” in front of YouTube.  Example:  If the link was YouTube.com/abcdef… you would put ssYouTube.com/abcdef…  It works on most video sharing sites.

How to promote Trunk or Treat and Fall Festivals

If your church is having a Trunk or treat or a fall festival and want to invite the community we’ve put together some of the best ways to promote it in 2015.  Traditional methods have not changed much but the internet and Facebook in particular has changed a lot since 2014.  At the bottom I’ll provide links to articles we wrote in 2013 and 2014.  They are short and still have a lot of relevant information.Trunk or Treat

How to promote a Trunk or Treat or Fall Festival in 2015

Facebook is the most effective way for most churches to reach people for any event including Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treats.   Around 70% of the entire U.S. population is on Facebook and the percentage is higher among young families, which is the group you are most likely trying to reach.  Facebook has changed in the past year and posting an announcement without promoting it will no longer be effective but by paying to promote the announcement you can reach the exact people who are most likely to attend.  We’re already created a post on how to create a Facebook ad which you can find here.  The post was written to help churches reach new movers but the information is the same.  You just need to change the demographics which I’ve listed below.

Under  the section who do you want to reach, select the city or zip codes, age group and whether they have kids and the ages.  Facebook will show you how many people they have that match your demographics.  I made a screen shot as a visual reference.  Everything else in our post on advertising on Facebook will be the same.

How to promote a Fall Festival or trunk or treat

Plan to run your ad 10-15 days before the event and set it to expire the day of the event.  Set the amount you want to spend each day and you’ll see approximately how many people Facebook will show your ad to each day.  One of the nice things about online advertising is you get to set how much you want to pay each day.

I recommend that you create a Facebook post with a link to your website and promote the post.  Ask church members to like and share the post.  That will tell Facebook that this event is important and they will not only show it organically (for free!!) but will charge you less for clicks that you do receive.

Promote your trunk or treat on your website and blog

This is a good free way to let people know about your event.  List the date, time and address of the event with city and state along with details and pictures from last year’s event.  Link to it from your Facebook page post, the one you created above.  Now go to Pingler and ping the two pages.  To do that click on the announcement on your webpage and copy the URL at the top of your browser.  That is what you’ll copy into Pingler.  Make the keyword “Fall Festival city state” or “Trunk or treat city state”.  In the category select “news”.   Pingler will then send out your pages to a number of search engines, and news feeds that will help rank the page and make it more visible on the web.

Promote Church Pingler

Craig’s List and other local event listing sites that can be used to promote your Trunk or Treat

Craig’s list allows you to post your event for free and you’ll be amazed at how many people visit this site looking for things to do.  Craig’s list is not one site but hundreds so Google Craig’s list or go to www.craigslist.org and you should arrive at your local Craig’s List.  Click posts to classified and then event/class (last one on the list) and then I’m advertising an event other than the above (last one).  You’ll then be taken to a listing page where you can put the information about the event.    I believe that you can list a link to your blog post or site that has more information (http://www.your-church.com).  There are also a number of other free listings available in your area but since each city has different ones Google “free places to list events, city state” or “places to list events, city, state” if you don’t mind paying a small fee.

Promoting Trunk or Treat or fall festivals using videos

The internet is moving toward video and you can take advantage of this by creating a video about your Fall Festival/Trunk or Treat and posting it on YouTube, Facebook and GodTube.  For Facebook upload the video and write a description, in this case about your Fall Festival.  Encourage members to like and share the video.  You can also spend more to promote it.  The cost to promote it is low and you can put a link for more information at the end of the video.  The video will get more views if you keep it around 3 minutes.

For YouTube and GodTube follow these instructions when uploading.  They will vary some so I wrote the instructions for YouTube since it gets much more traffic.  You can use the same video.

  •  When you upload the video keep it unlisted until you are have the information that follows completed.
  • First your church should have a YouTube channel.  If you don’t check out this video.
  • Next you’ll want to put the following information in the description:  Title of video (in this case Trunk or Tread, name of church city and state).  Right underneath that put the link to the page on your website that has more information.  Now put a brief description of the event and include the city, state, and date of the event.  Encourage people to leave a comment by posting: leave your comment below.  Then you can post a link to another video or encourage them to subscribe to your channel and finally put the link to your church website.  Now put keywords in the tags section.  (fall festival, trunk or treat, Halloween, etc.)
  • You now want to click on the button that says “cards”.  That will allow you to create a link that goes to your website.
  • You are ready to make it public and here is where you need the help from your church because the video needs to have some views to rank, especially in the first 24 hours.  It is a great idea if you have a group of people who agree to help with church outreach by watching videos that are put up.  If you have an email program create a list and add everyone who agrees to that list.  Then email them the link once the video is up and live.  If you don’t yet have this list post the video on Your churches Facebook page and ask people to watch the video.
  • Hopefully it will start ranking now only in YouTube but also on Google.
  • You can also advertise the video on YouTube.  You’ll need a Adwords account but the link will walk you through that.  If you want to know more about how to get views on YouTube take a look at the video below.  I have taken several of James Wedmore’s courses and he gives practical information that has value.

 

 Advertise on Google

Finally you can advertise on Google.  It is the reverse of Facebook advertising.  Using Facebook you find people who match your demographic and then show ads to them.  With Google you put your ad in front of people who are searching for specific keywords.  I’m not going into a lot of details here because I think there are better ways to reach people for Fall Festivals and Trunk or Treats but if you have the budget (you get to set it) and want to try advertising here is a quick guideline.

  • Find the keywords that people are looking for.  You’ll need an Adwords account and when you log in click Keyword planner tool on the top right hand side.  You can then search for keywords and see how many searches are done nationally.  Keywords that you’ll probably want to target will be: Alternative Halloween, Halloween events, Trick or Treat events, Trunk or Treat, What’s happening in city.  Make sure when you create an ad that you tell it to only show up in your area.  You don’t want to pay for ads that are showing up thousands of miles away.

Other articles you might want to check out

If you have ideas or suggestions, write a comment.  We’d like to know what other churches are doing to reach others with the Gospel during the Fall and check out some of the amazing tracts that are available from Memory Cross.

Memory Cross has a number of Gospel Tracts for Halloween available.  Check out the video, visit our site or if you prefer you can buy on Amazon.