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Trunk or Treat Planning Guide

Trunk or Treat planning guide for 2017

If your church is having a trunk or treat, this trunk or treat planning guide provides valuable information on promoting, planning and other tips that can make it successful.

trunk or treat planning guide

Step one – define your goals.  This may sound simple but it is an important step most people don’t think about.  Are you hosting the trunk-or-treat only for children at your church, plus any friends that they may invite or are you opening it up to the community and making it an outreach event?  What is your budget and how will it be allocated?  If you are trying to keep it small, only for the children who go to your church the planning becomes much easier.  You know about how many kids to expect, depending on the weather and you don’t have to worry about any outreach activities.  I’m going to provide my insights and suggestions assuming that your church is going to use this as an outreach and invite the community, which can be a much bigger task.

One of the biggest unknowns is how many kids will show up.  The weather is a big factor and you don’t know until the last week or maybe even later.  That is why I recommend creating two plans.  The first one is for the number of kids you expect to show up and the other plan is what happens if there are twice as many kids. Last year in North Carolina the weather was amazing on Sunday evening.  All the churches I know of had double or even triple the number of kids they planned for.  That can create a bad experience for everyone as you can quickly run out of candy and food.

Our church collected candy and treats beforehand and also asked adults who were participating to bring candy.  That gave us a backup supply, which we totally used up and still had to send people out to the store to buy more.  We were expecting a couple hundred kids and because of the weather, we had almost 1,000.  We did run out of candy and food but it was towards the end of the event.  Overall people enjoyed themselves but unfortunately, that was not true for all the trunk or treats in our area.  Not planning for a record number of people can leave a bad taste in visitors minds.

Step two of our trunk or treat planning guide – promoting your trunk or treat.  I’ve written several articles about how to promote an event so I’m just going to go over the basics and link to the other articles if you want more details.  The first is internal promotions such as announcements in the church bulletin and the newsletter.  If you have a pre-school or after school make sure they receive an invitation.  Create a ticket to the event and give a couple to each child in church, preschool and after school.

External promotions – There are a number of external promotions available.  I’ll list a few of my favorite ones here.

  • Facebook – 90% of the people who live around your church are on Facebook and log in every day.   If your church has a Facebook Page creating an ad is simple, cost effective and efficient.  You’ll need a picture of kids dressed up.  Don’t put any copy on the picture.  Facebook does not like any words on the pictures and will reject your ad if there are more than 25% words.  If you have a video or can create one, even better because Facebook likes videos and you’ll reach more people at less cost.  Click here to go to Facebook’s Ad platform.  Create an ad promoting an event and choose the people you want to reach.  There are a lot of options but pick people who have kids in the age group you want to invite who live within a couple miles of your church.  Keep the copy simple:  Invitation to the event and the details.  You can send them to your page to RSVP which will help with planning.   Here is a link to a previous article on using Facebook that has more details.
  • Post event on Craig’s List.  It is easy, free and a lot of people still visit Craig’s List.
  • Posters up around local establishments.  They won’t get the views that Facebook will but you’ll still reach people
  • If you created a ticket look into handing them out at school functions or other community activities
  • Local newspaper and radio.  They may promote your community event for free.  I don’t recommend running an ad though.
  • For more ideas on getting the word out click here.

Why are you holding a trunk or treat?

There can be lots of reasons you want to hold a trunk or treat: fun, safe event for kids, community outreach, etc., but in my opinion, there is only one primary reason and that is to bring children and adults into a relationship with Jesus.  How does a trunk or treat accomplish that?  It can be a door opener.  If you are able to funnel everyone through a couple openings before they enter your trunk or treat you can provide a sign-up sheet where the parents can get more information about what is going on at the church.  A sign and an email sign-up list (optional) can be a great way to start connecting.   Plan to pass out information on other activities going on at the church.

If you don’t have one central place where people go through to get into your trunk or treat you can give one car information to pass out about what is going on at the church and a couple more can be sign up stations to collect email addresses.

Hand out Gospel Tracts and other reminders that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.

Only a small portion of kids and parents will decide to join the church and hopefully, come into a relationship with Jesus.  Gospel tracts are a way to put God’s Word into every child that visits your Trunk or Treat.  Memory Cross has several that you might want to consider.  They are, creative, fun and effective at presenting the Gospel.  If you would like to order a free sample, click here.

 

What activities to include for trunk or treat

Here are a few things that have been popular at other trunk or treats.  The list depends on your budget, space, and resources of your members.  These would be in addition to decorating the trunk of a car, SUV or pickup.

  • Provide food and drink either no charge or at cost.  If you have an outdoor shelter or can set up picnic tables and have the equipment to cook hamburgers, hot dogs or pizza, providing food can be a great addition.
  • Live entertainment – have a praise band or other musical talent at the church?  Check into having them perform at your trunk or treat.
  • Is your event going on at sundown?  Consider adding a movie.  I’ve seen mixed results because many parents want to get their kids home and ready for school, but if your event is being held on Friday or Saturday I’ve seen the movie be very successful.
  • Games and blow-ups.  Kids love those giant blow-ups and adding some will continue to engage children after they have gone through the trunk or treat.  If cost is an issue see if a local business would be willing to sponsor one of the blow-ups.  Add their name to the ticket and maybe even some information on the back.
  • Hayride – you need the right equipment and probably be in a country setting but a hayride can be something that draws children to your trunk or treat.
  • Pumpkin drawing – Jack Be Little pumpkins or Baby Boo pumpkins are usually available for $1.00 or less and make a great craft activity for children.  A free option would be to allow children to color a Bible Halloween page such as this one from Ministry to Children.

Following up

Your event was a smashing success, congratulations!  One more thing you don’t want to forget.  If you collected email addresses enter them into your email account.  (I use Mailchimp).  Send them out an email thanking them for coming and letting them know about programs going on at the church for children and adults.  You should send out emails once a week with what is happing, at least for the first month.  It takes time to get people into the habit of visiting your church so don’t give up.  It can be a life-changing experience as you can see by watching the video.  Don’t give up,  Keep the outreach going.  God will use you to touch others.

I’ve tried to make this a fairly complete Trunk or Treat planning guide but if you have anything to suggest, write down your comments.

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Halloween Gospel Tracts for Children

Halloween Gospel Tracts for children offer a unique opportunity to let children know that God loves them. Imagine neighborhood children hearing the Gospel, many for the first time. The opportunity happens during Halloween. That’s the day 41 million kids dress up and take to the streets looking for a treat or come to a Trunk or Treat.

Halloween Gospel Tracts for children

They’ll come home with lots of candy and a few small toys, but what if they came home with the Gospel? What if The Message became planted in their heart and brought them into a relationship with Jesus? What if their life was forever changed and they received eternal life?

When we meet Jesus, it is life changing and we want others to know Him. God wants to use us in His work of scattering the seeds of the gospel. We are not responsible for changing hearts, only God can do that, but we are called to scatter His message.

Do Halloween Gospel Tracts for children really change lives?

Are lives really changed from one simple Gospel tract? Peter said in John 6:68 “you have the words of eternal life.” God’s Word does change lives even today but those 41 million children won’t hear God’s Word unless someone decides to hand them a Halloween Gospel tract along with their candy.

At Memory Cross, we make some of the most creative Gospel tracts for Halloween. Creative enough that kids will read and keep them, and since most parents inspect what their children bring home they’ll also read God’s Word.

You are planting seeds, seeds of eternal life.   Galatians 6:9 says: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.”

If you would like to learn more about reaching children with the Gospel at Halloween visit Memory Cross. If you decide to order a free sample use the code “children” and we’ll even pick up the shipping costs.

May this Halloween millions of kids receive the Gospel.

 

 

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Jesus Feeds 5000: Crafts and Activities

Resources for Jesus Feeds 5,000

The story in the New Testament about Jesus feeding the 5,000 is one of the many popular Bible stories in Sunday School. This story shows one of the many miracles that Jesus did during His earthly ministry.

There are so many lessons that we can impart to children when teaching the story of the feeding of the 5,000. One of these is God’s power to work miracles. Nothing is ever impossible with God. He used 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish from a little boy to feed 5,000 men plus women and children.  This story helps children understand that God can use them when they give what they have to God.

Jesus Feeds the 5,000
Via school-portal.co.uk

The story about Jesus feeding the five thousand can be taught in so many interesting ways depending on what lessons you want to highlight and teach to your kids or students.

Below is a sample lesson plan that you can use in teaching the story about the feeding of the five thousand. You may use this in Sunday School, a good news or outreach class, VBS or even your own children during bed time or bible story time at home.

Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Memory Cross – Jesus feeds 5,000 craft for kids

Memory Cross craft card is a creative way to help children learn the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  Each card is made up of 4 panels which make an endless loop.  It is something that children will enjoy decorating and playing with which they can take home as a reminder of how God can work through their lives to change the lives of others.  The video below shows how it works.

Visit our store for more information or to request a free sample.  When requesting a sample be sure to ask for the story: Jesus Feeds the 5,000.  You’ll receive a sample of Jesus feeds the 5,000 plus Scripture memory cards and Gospel tracts that people actually love to receive with positive and inspiring messages.  Click here to order our free sample pack.

Bible Story Activities: Jesus Feeds 5,000

Bible Passage: Matthew 14:13-21

Song Suggestion: Loaves and Fishes (Sermon4kids)

Song Lyrics and music: http://www.sermons4kids.com/Loaves_and_Fishes.pdf

Memory Verse: John 6:11
“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”

Learning Objectives: After the lesson, the children will demonstrate knowledge of the people and events in the bible story and be able to retell the story and enjoy the lesson-related activities with their classmates and friends.

Story time: Telling the story to the kids in a fun but accurate way that the kids will not lose their interest from the beginning to the end of the story is the most challenging part in teaching the bible story but with God’s wisdom, we will be able to deliver the story to the kids properly. Thankfully, our friends in DLTK’s Growing Together know this and they want to help us deliver our story to the little ones in the most simple and interesting way. Visit their website for a story time suggestion in teaching the kids about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

Activity Suggestions:

1. Skit: After the lesson, you can test the children’s knowledge to the story by having them perform the story via a skit. The ministry to children has a printer ready script you may easily print to use for this activity.

2. Coloring Pages. Download these printer friendly coloring pages from sermon4kids about “feeding the 5,000” and “Jesus can feed a crowd” for your younger ones. The coloring page is perfect for toddlers and beginners since it’s a very simple drawing the kids will surely love and enjoy coloring them.

3. Name tags are perfect for the little ones before the start of the bible story. Have them ready before the start of the lesson and make sure to give each child his/her name tag before everything starts.

4. Bible Games and puzzles. There are many indoor games and puzzles you can choose from as an activity for your kids as well. DLTK bible has anagrams, crossword puzzle, cryptogram, word search, maze, and word mining games for older (elementary) kids to use during their activity time.

5. Cooking Recipes. Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!

Home Made Bread
Use your favorite recipe to make home made bread with the children.

Fishes and Loaves…kind of
In advance, make tuna salad (or have the children help you to make it!). Let the children spread the tuna salad onto crackers for snack.

Crackers and Fish
Provide cream cheese (or other cheese spread), crackers and goldfish crackers.

The children spread the cheese and then count out 2 goldfish, and place the gold fish on top of their cheese spread.

6. Painting (of some sort).

Coffee Filter Fish
In advance, cut coffee filters into fish shapes. Provide washable markers and spray bottles with water at your easel. The children color the fish and when they spray them with water, the colors blend. BEAUTIFUL effect!

7. Pinterest Craft ideas. Pinterest has a lot of craft ideas in store for use to use for in teaching this story to the kids as well. You may want to use these crafts in one of your future bible lesson activities with the children.

A. Feeding The 5,000

Jesus Feeds 5000
Via Pinterest

Instructions:
Print the template.
Color and cut out each piece.
Glue the fish and loves behind the basket in a random order.
Glue the whole thing onto a piece of construction paper or cardstock.
Cut out the whole figure.
Your kids can write the memory verse on the back.

B. 5 Bread and 2 fish snacks

Jesus Feeds 5000
Via Pinterest

Instructions:
Have each child 5 small bread or crackers and 2 fish biscuits during snack time or while they are doing their coloring activity.

C. Bread and fish in the basket

Jesus Feeds 5000
Via Pinterest

Materials:
1.5 Paper plates per child
Brown construction paper
Orange construction paper
Scissors
Marker
Crayons
Hole Puncher
Yarn
Instructions:
Begin by drawing 5 circles or loaf-shapes on the brown paper. Cut out loaves and number.
Use this fish template to trace two fish. Cut out fish and number them.
Cut a paper plate in half and lay it over another paper plate.
Hole punch both plates at the same time, lining up the holes to form a type of basket.
Lace some yarn through the holes in order to secure the plates together.
Place the 5 loaves and 2 fishes inside and write the Bible passage on the outside of the half plate, as shown.

Have other resources?  Share them in the comments section.

Finally here is one of my favorite videos of how God is using children.

 

 

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How Facebook can help churches reach their community

This article will show you how Facebook can help your church reach more people at a very reasonable cost.  There are three ways that Facebook can help you reach your community this Easter:

  • Posts that you make on your Fanpage.
  • Promoted posts on your page.
  • Facebook ads

Posts to your Fanpage.

How Facebook can help churches reach their communities

Unfortunately, the reach of most posts from Fanpages are not as effective as they once were, but churches are in a unique position to increase the reach of their posts.  I say this because most people who belong to your Facebook Fanpage are more connected to your page than any other Facebook page.  Many attend church on a regular basis and are active in the church.

Here is how Facebook can help churches reach their community.  Ask members to like or repost what is put up on your church’s Facebook page.  This is important because when they repost something then all of their friends could see it, which exponentially increases the reach.  Put something in the bulletin, make an announcement, post it on Facebook.  Here is the basic message.


We want to increase our outreach and we need your help.  Through Facebook we can reach a lot of people but here is what we need you to do.

  1. Share posts about events for by reposting or liking the post.

If you do this Facebook will increase the exposure of our posts and help us reach more people, plus when you share a post with your friends, many of them will see it.  If your members do this you will see the number of people reached through your church’s Fanpage go up dramatically.

Promote posts on your church Facebook page.

Facebook Ad

This is going to cost money but you’ll be surprised at how little you will need to spend.  Here are the steps:

Write a post.   You will see a little box that says boost post in the bottom right corner.  (You need to be an administrator on the Fanpage for this the work.)  Click it and you will get a little pop-up box.  The first choice is who to target.  Select the people you want to reach and the city.  You will have an option to select a radius.  Your next option is to select age, gender, and interests.  While you can do some really interesting things with these options I would select the age and leave the rest blank.

Set your budget and click the more button to select how long you want the ad to run.  If you don’t select anything Facebook will run the ad until they spend your money.

What to post

Videos will get the most engagement.  They don’t have to be professionally done, long or complex.  It is better to post 2-4 short videos each month than spend a lot of effort on one.  Possible videos include information on children’s ministry, message for the week, youth activities, adult Bible studies.  Animoto is what we use to create videos.  It is super easy and you can create a really nice video in a few minutes.  Click here for more information.

Creating a Facebook Ad

The promoted posts will show up in people’s news feeds while the ad will show up both in the news feeds and on the right-hand side of Facebook.  You have more options on targeting with Facebook ads.  Here are the steps:

  1. Start by clicking on this link.  You will be taken to their advertising page.
  2. Click on the button to get started, probably located in the top right-hand corner.  You’ll be given several options:  page post engagement (promoting an existing post), Facebook likes, clicks to website, website conversions and a couple more than are probably not applicable.
  3. Next, you will be taken to your Facebook Fanpages.  Note:  You have to be an administrator on the page.  If no pages are showing up you need to pass this site onto the person who is an administrator or have yourself added as an administrator.  Now you have a series of options.  The first is to upload images.  Think about this step carefully.  The images are the number one reason people will click your link.   The most effective images are going to be people enjoying whatever it is you are promoting.  If it is your Easter services, then a picture of people worshiping, members of your church, not stock photography.  If you are promoting an Easter Egg hunt, pictures of kids from last year’s hunt would be awesome.  A picture of your church with people around it might also be effective.  The pixel size should be 600 x 225 and you can upload multiple images which help keep the ad fresh.
  4. After the images, you can write you headline (which is the second most important element) and then the copy.  You can then choose where you want to send people.  Options will vary depending on the type of ad you selected.
  5. Select the city and radius you want to target.  There are a number of other demographics available.  For maximum reach, I recommend leaving those blank unless you are targeting a specific group (Spanish speaking, particular college, age group, etc).  For an Easter promotion you are trying to reach as many people around your church as possible.
  6. Facebook will tell you how many people you can potentially reach.  I selected High Point, North Carolina ages 13 and no max, no interest and have 98,000 potential people that the ad will be shown to.  When I selected kids ages 13 – 17 I ended up with 5,200.
  7. You are just about done.  Select how much you want to spend per day and when you want the ad to stop running (very important.  If you don’t select an end date Facebook will be happy to spend your budget forever).  Now click the submit button and wait for Facebook to approve your ad, which normally takes a couple hours.

A couple closing points.  You should run your ad for a couple weeks max and then change it up.  You will notice engagement starts high and then goes down as people start ignoring the ad.  By changing copy or photos you will re-engage with your audience.  Second thing just like with any traditional media consistency will pay off.   The more people see what is going on at your church the more will be likely to check it out so don’t stop when Easter is over.  The good thing about Facebook is you can see exactly how many people engaged with your ad which is something you never know using traditional media.  The cost is reasonable and you can set your own budget.  Only have $25 a month to advertise?  Facebook can use that to reach people.

If you would like help, click the chat button.  If you know of other effective ways to use Facebook to reach your community, post it below.

Finally, I wanted to mention that Memory Cross has a lot of really cool cards that help children understand how much God cares for them.  I put a video below so you can see how it works.  Visit our store for more information.

Have friends that are pastors or work in a church?  Consider passing this onto to them.  This strategy will work for more than Easter.  You can use this every week to start engaging with more people in your community.  Actually, I recommend that you use this strategy on a regular basis.  For a couple hundred dollars a month you’ll be able to reach a lot of your community.

Easter Crafts that share the Gospel Story with children

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Why Gospel Tracts by Memory Cross are still effective

If you’ve wondered if Gospel tracts are an effective way to share God’s Word, I’ll answer that in this post.  The majority of Christians believe that they are called to share the Good News, yet most never do.  That is why Memory Cross Gospel tracts are an effective way to start a conversation about your faith.

Sometimes there is no opportunity for a conversation.  Since Americans eat out a lot one opportunity is with our servers.  In some restaurants, I know our server while in others it is the first time I’m eating there and they are really busy, so there is little interaction.

Isaiah 55:11 says: “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  Handing out Gospel tracts is like planting seeds; you won’t see immediate results, but that does not mean they are not effective.

The tracts we create at Memory Cross Gospel present the positive message that Jesus loves them in a creative package that they’ll not only enjoy receiving but will share with their friends.  The video below is one of the tracts we’ve designed especially for servers.

Are Gospel Tracts still effective?

Is God’s Word still effective?  Isaiah 55:11 says: “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” NLT.  Most Gospel tracts contain Scripture so I’d say yes, they are still effective, although some are more effective than others and some are targeted toward reaching a specific group of people.

Here at Memory Cross, we try our best with each tract to let people know that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.  Since smart phones are so prevalent now we also include a QR code or website for people who want to know more about a relationship with Him.

The video below is the true story of a couple whose lives were changed from receiving a simple Gospel tract.

I received this email from Kathy Yanchick: “Another praise 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! – Kathy Yanchick

 

Visit our store for to see the other tracts that are available.

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Trunk or treat ideas for church

Trunk or Treat Ideas for Church

If your church is having a trunk or treat this year here are some trunk or treat ideas for church.  I’ve updated the list for 2017 and put them into categories for quick reference.Trunk or Treat ideas for church

Trunk or Treat Ideas for Church #1: Get the Word Out – Marketing 101 for Churches.  These are all common sense ideas but I wanted to make a check off list.  Without a list sometimes we will miss things that can make a big difference.

  1. Get the word out through your church, preschool and after-school programs.  A separate flyer works better than a bulletin announcement and send it out several times if possible.  Even though you have created a beautiful flyer with all the important information people will miss it so if you can get it out 2-3 times that will greatly help improve attendance.
  2. Contact your local elementary school to see if you can send a flyer out.  Also if the PTA sends email newsletters contact them.  Often you can pay a few dollars and they’ll include your info in their newsletter.
  3. Put up flyers around local businesses.  Many restaurants and grocery stores have a public service bulletin board.
  4. Facebook.  Don’t overlook the potential reach of Facebook and other online social media sites.  If your church has a Facebook page start there and ask members to re-post the announcement.   Post it multiple times in order for more members to see the post
  5. Craig’s list and other local online sites.  Each community has a number of local community sites online.  Make sure you post them there.  Most are free
  6. Newspaper.  Even though circulation has declined in recent years the newspaper can still be a good place to reach children and their parents
  7. TV and Public Service announcements
  8. Direct mail.  Okay most churches do not go this far to get the word out but Every Door Direct mail by the USPS is an excellent way to get the word out about any event going on at your church.
  9. Encourage children in church to invite their friends.

Trunk or Treat Ideas for Church #2: Things to include

  1. Add more than just cars and candy.  Make it something the whole family will enjoy and provide things that will encourage them to stay longer.
  2. Music – If your church has a praise band, set them up in the parking lot and provide some seating for the adults.  Music is a great outreach and it encourages them to hang around
  3. Add blow up bounce rides.  Kids love playing on those giant blow up games and it will encourage them to hang around.  If budgets are tight consider asking a couple businesses to sponsor the rides.  Give them a sign and a place for their literature and both parties will be happy.
  4. Food is a great way to encourage families to stay longer.  Hot dogs and hamburgers are usually enough.  If you have picnic tables make sure they are set up.  Food encourages people to socialize and you are trying to create a welcoming community where visitors will want to come back.
  5. Haunted trail.  It can be inside or outside of the church.

Trunk or Treat Ideas for Church #3: Evangelism – This should be the ultimate purpose of the event.  Jesus said go and make disciples and it starts by getting people involved in the church.  Here are a few ideas share the Gospel and invite children and their families back to your church.

  1. Create a welcome table that is the first stop before entering the trunk or treat.
  2. Include information on all the things going on for children at your church
  3. Get every email address you can.  Make a simple sign up form that is handed out to each parent that asks for their email address.  It should say something like: At name of church we have lots of fun and exciting things going on for children.  If you would like to know about them put your name and email address below.  We have written several posts about how to use email to connect with your community.  Here is a link to find out more.
  4. Present the Gospel.  There are many Halloween tracts available that you can give to children.  Memory Cross has created a number but there are others as well.  Here is the link to our Halloween tract page.
  5. Station people around the event that are clearly identified as church members.  Encourage them to talk to non-church members.

I’m sure there are many other great Trunk or Treat ideas for church and if you have one that you would like to share post it in the comments box below.  I want to close this post by letting you know about a simple inexpensive way to invite thousands of children to your church during Halloween.  If your church is interested in reaching out to children in your community you need to look at this post:  How to use Halloween to invite 1,000s of children to your church.

If you have stumbled across this post and have never seen how our Memory Cross cards fold I’ve included a video below.  If you would like to receive a free sample just fill out the form to the side.

 

 

 

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Halloween offers a tremendous opportunity for evangelism

Halloween, a day of mixed feelings for many Christians, offers a tremendous opportunity for evangelism.  What other day do so many children come in contact with followers of Jesus Christ? Trunk-or-treats put on by churches are packed with kids and their parents from the neighborhood and 41 million children still trick or treat, knocking on the doors of Christians.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if each of those kids received a Gospel tract or an invitation to visit a local church?

There is an increasing number of creative Halloween Gospel tracts that let children know God loves them available.  I’ve included some at the bottom of this post.  One of the questions I’m asked is do tracts still work or am I just wasting my money?  Isaiah 55:11 says: “It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” NLV.    Because Memory Cross produces so many Halloween Gospel tracts we receive emails from those who have read and responded to the Gospel through our tracts and besides do you ask that question about the candy you buy trick-or-treat?  Which has more potential for good in a child’s life?

The video below is the story of a couple whose lives were changed as a result of receiving a simple Gospel tract.  If you doubt that God’s Word can change lives I hope you’ll take a few minutes and watch the video.

Halloween offers a tremendous opportunity for evangelism

Could 41 million children really be touched by God’s Word at Halloween?  Based on the information I could find there are about 116,000 churches that hold a trunk or treat each year with an average attendance of just under 200.  If those numbers are correct then there are 23 million children and parents who could be given a Gospel tract this Halloween!  That’s a big number and handing out a Halloween Gospel tract at a trunk-or-treat is really simple.  Along with a piece of candy hand out the tract or a flier with information inviting them to visit your church.

Trunk or Treat tracts

Handing out Halloween Gospel tracts for Trick-or-Treat

The other opportunity for Christians is to distribute tracts for trick-or-treating.  Neighborhood kids knock on your door and along with candy hand out a Halloween Gospel tract.  Kids actually prefer the tracts because they are something different.  If the kids are younger, parents will usually go through the candy and see the tract.  That’s it, nothing hard or scary and you’ve just given a child and their parents the Word of God.  It’s now in God’s hands.  I do encourage you to pray silently for each child you come in contact with.

Halloween Gospel Tracts to consider

There are a lot of options available, from traditional Halloween Gospel tracts found at your local Christian bookstore to the more creative.  One of the things that attracted me to Memory Cross when Pastor Andy Lambert showed me the design was how creative it was so I’ve included our Halloween tracts for this year and also one from Let the Little Children Come.  They also share our passion for presenting the Gospel to kids in fun, creative ways.

How Do Memory Cross cards work?  Watch the video and find out

Halloween Gospel Tract – Take the Quiz

 

 

What could be better than free candy?

 

 

Super Hero Halloween Gospel Tract

 

Halloween Bible Tract that kids can color

 

Halloween Gospel Tract for kids

 

Each of these tracts has space to write a personal note or put the name of your church.  For orders of 500 or more, the name of your church can be printed on the card.  For more information visit our website.

Pumpkin candy holder for Halloween

Pumpkin Halloween Tract

This creative Halloween Gospel tract shares God’s love for children while holding their candy.  For more information visit their site.

Do you have a favorite Halloween tract?  Be sure to share it in the comments box.

 

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Child Evangelism Tracts In English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole

Memory Cross has a number of child evangelism tracts in English and Spanish.  Each Gospel tract features a unique four-panel fold that makes a never ending loop.  The video below shows how every Memory Cross tract folds.

ABC Plan of Salvation Evangelism Tracts for Children 

This Gospel tract for children is designed to walk kids through the ABCs of becoming a Christian and is available in English and Spanish. It presents the Gospel in a fun, creative and relevant way that children understand using an origami design that makes an endless loop.

The copy for child evangelism tracts:

Panel 1: Admit to God that you are a sinner. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and C – Choose to follow Jesus.

Panel 2: Uses John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not parish but have eternal life. It finishes with Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus can be saved.

Panel 3: Only you know if you are ready to become a Christian. When you are ready pray a prayer like the one on the next panel. Believe it with all of your heart and Jesus will never leave you. Everyone must choose for themselves.

Panel 4: Dear God thank you for loving me and sending your Son to die for my sins. I am sorry for my sins and receive Jesus Christ as my savor. Now as your child I turn my entire life over to you – Amen.

Child Evangelism Tracts Memory Cross All Four Panels

ABC Memory Cross Gospel Tract for Kids 

ABC Memory Cross animation
The ABC Memory Cross Gospel tract for children is a simple and creative way to help children understand about becoming a child of God. The image above shows how this tract folds. The design is very unique which captures the attention of children. We don’t think that there is another Gospel tract for children that so fascinates kids.

The copy for each panel of this child evangelism tract is as follows:

Panel 1: ABC Memory Cross – ABCs of Becoming a Christian. A – Admit. Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from sin. (Acts 3:19). B- Believe. Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin. (Romans 5:8). C- Confess Confess you faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9-10,13)

Panel 2: What Does the Bible Say About Becoming a Christian? God loves you (1 John 4:10). Sin separates you from God. Sin is choosing my way instead of God’s way. Sin separates people from God. (Romans 3:23) God sent Jesus so you would not have to die for your sins. Jesus died on a cross, He was buried and He rose from the dead (John 3:16)

Panel 3: Is it time for you to become a Christian? God’s Holy Spirit will help you know if you are ready to become a Christian. If it is that time, pray a prayer such as the following…

Panel 4: Dear God, I know I have sinned and that my sin separates me from You. I am sorry for my sin. I believe Jesus died on the cross for me so my sin can be forgiven. I believe Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. God, please forgive me. I ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. I will obey You and live for You the rest of my life. Thank You. Amen.

This child evangelism tracts is written in English and Spanish.  The information for the card is as follows:

Panel 1: The scene shows God having just created all things: the Earth, animals, man & woman. This illustration represents the perfect relationships that existed before Adam & Eve (the first man & woman) disobeyed God & sin entered the world. Before that terrible event, there was no sin (wrongdoing) to separate God & mankind.

SCRIPTURES:

  • “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27 (ANIV)
  • “I [Jesus Christ] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “ – John 10:10b (ANIV)

Panel 2:  The scene shows the man & woman (representative of us all) separated from the loving embrace & security of God by their sins (wrongdoing.) Sin always separates us from God, because He is perfect & can not look upon sin. In this illustration, sin is depicted as a vast fiery chasm, impossible to cross for the man & woman. They need help! God knows that, & sent His only Son (Jesus Christ) to die & pay (atone for) all of our sins. In so doing, Jesus created a “bridge” across which we can once again be reunited with the Lord God.

SCRIPTURES:

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23 (ANIV)
  • “For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23 (ANIV)
  • “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27 (ANIV)

Panel 3:  The scene shows the man & woman (representative of us all) crossing the great wooden cross. Only by coming to the cross of Jesus Christ can our sins be dealt with once & for all. Only once that has happened, can we be reunited with the Lord God.

SCRIPTURES:

  • “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”  – 1 Peter 3:18 (ANIV)
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  – Romans 5:8 (ANIV)

Panel 4: The scene shows the man & woman (representative of us all) reunited with the Lord God. We know from the Bible that it was the terrible cost of the Cross, which Jesus paid on our behalf, for our sins, which allows our sins to be dealt with, & which allow us free access back into the wonderful presence of the Lord.

SCRIPTURES:

  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17 (ANIV)
  • “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”  – John 5:24 (ANIV)

Click here to see all four panels.

This child evangelism tract is available in English and Spanish and English and Haitian.  Designed in black and white so that kids can color it while learning God’s plan of salvation.  They are generally used on mission trips to Spanish speaking countries or Haiti but can be just as effective in reaching children in the United States.

God’s Plan of Salvation for Children tells the story of Adam and Eve who were once best friends with God but decided to disobey God’s commandments and became separated from Him.  There is good news because that’s not the end of the story.  Even though we sinned and became separated from God, He loves us and sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with Him again.

This is a simple tract, written so that younger children will understand.  It is designed to start a conversation and give kids the basics.

 

The Roman Road child evangelism tracts are available in NIV, English and Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Romanian and English.  To see all four panels, click this link.

The Roman Road Tract: Pathway to Life coloring card is a children’s Gospel tract that combines a craft project (coloring) while presenting the Gospel. This Gospel tract helps children understand God’s plan of salvation using verses from Romans. Scriptures from the book of Romans have been used for centuries to help people understand God’s plan of salvation. We have taken those verses and designed a tract that children can understand.

God’s Love Never Ends Child Evangelism Tracts

This simple child evangelism tract is designed to help children know that God loves them and that his love never ends.  The wording on the panels are:

  • Panel 1:  God’s love never ends! – Psalm 136:1
  • Panel 2:  And He wants to be your friend – John 15:15
  • Panel 3:  So when you feel all alone
  • Panel 4:  Remember you are not on your own because … and then it flips back to panel 1

The card is available in English and Spanish.

Gods Love Child Evangelism Tracts for children

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Trunk or Treat Ideas for 2017

Trunk or Treat Ideas for 2017

Trunk or treat has grown in popularity as churches have found it a very effective way to reach out to the community.Trunk or Treat Ideas 2016  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 are 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 Littlekids-decorating-pumpkins 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

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New Halloween Gospel Tract for Children

After researching available Halloween Gospel tracts for children we decided to create one more.  Our goal was to create something that both kids and adults found fun and that shared a little of God’s Word.  We also left space on the last panel for a personal note or room to write in the name of a church.

New Halloween Gospel Tract for Kids

The Halloween Gospel tract has four panels.  The first panel challenges them to take a quiz.  When found in a bag full of candy who is not going to open it to at least look at the next panel.


Halloween Gospel Tract trunk or treat

On panel two we came up with five questions.  The first three are about Halloween.  Q1 – When did kids start trick-or-treating? 1975, 1900, 1600.  Q2 – How many miles of Candy Corn are sold? 10,000, 50,000 or 100,000 miles?  Q3 – How many pounds of candy are bought at Halloween? 10 million, 100 million or 600 million pounds.  The next two questions start a transition to the Scriptures:  Q4 – How many hairs are on your head 5,000, 50,000 or 100,000?  Q5 – How much DNA is in your body?  1 mile, 1 million miles or 10 billion miles?

Halloween Gospel Tract for Kids Panel 2

Panel 3 provides the answers:  Q1 – Kids first started trick or treating around 1600.  Q2 – 105,000 miles of Candy Corn are sold each year.  Enough to go around the world 4.25 times.  Q3 – 600 million pounds of candy are bought each year during Halloween.  That is a crazy number!  We need a movement to hand out healthy snacks, but I digress.  Q4 – The average person has between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on their head.  The number depends on the color of your hair.  Q5 – You have 10 billion miles of DNA in your body, over 1 trillion cells.  If it was stretched out there would be enough to go to the sun and back 61 times.  That is a crazy number and I did find several different numbers but the most reliable websites used this number or something very close.

You started from two cells, one from your dad and one from your mom with half your dad’s DNA and half your moms.  The two cells joined together and started to follow the unique DNA code that is you.  They multiplied, created cells that make your hands, eyes, ears, hair…  Finally creating 1 trillion cells.  To me, that is a miracle made by God,

Halloween Gospel Tract for Children panel 3

The card ends on panel 4, before folding back to panel 1 to start again.  Panel 4 of this Christian Halloween tract says: You are a miracle and loved by God and then goes onto share two verses:   John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” and Psalm 139:15 “thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.”

There is space to write a personal note or put in the name of your church.  Finally, there is a link to our site if they would like to know more about developing a relationship with Jesus.  On that page, we share a couple videos and link to a site created by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Halloween Gospel Tract for Children panel 4

 

This Halloween Gospel Tract for children is available in packs of 24.  More information can be found by clicking on this link.  If ordered before September 25th it can also be customized with your church’s name or message with a minimum order of 500 pieces.  Click here for more information.

Halloween is really a unique time.  Kids come knocking on your door or visit a trunk or treat, looking for something sweet.  Along with the candy give them something that could possibly change their lives forever.  You never know how God’s Word is going to impact someone’s life.  The video below shows how one small act of giving a Gospel tract changed this couples lives and the lives of those they knew.

Memory Cross also makes a number of other Halloween tracts for kids that can be found on our website.  Love to hear your comments about this new Halloween Gospel Tract.

 

 

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