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Memory Cross has a new Halloween Gospel tract for children that makes evangelism simple.
Halloween is the only day of the year when children knock on your door and ask for a treat. With this new Halloween Gospel Tract for children you’ll not only give them something that is really “cool” but let them know that God loves them. Kids love candy, but candy won’t change anyone’s life, at least not for the better, but Jesus can. Here are some interesting statistics:
- Eighty two percent of people would consider visiting a church if asked.
- Ninety two percent (92%) of church members never invite one person in a given year.
- Two thirds of people are willing to receive information about a local church.
- Most people come to church because of a personal invitation.
Memory Cross’ new Halloween tract is a creative way to share the Good News with children while inviting the parents to visit your church. The copy on each panel is shown below.
As you can see this evangelism tract for Halloween lets children know that God loves them, has a plan for their life and wants them to live a full and abundant life. On the last panel there is a space for to write in the name and address of your church and a link in case children or adults want to know more about following Jesus.
As Christians Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. The first step is telling people about Jesus. In America 92% of people do not share the Gospel nor invite even one person to church. At Halloween if you have 25 kids knock on your door, you can let 25 children know that Jesus loves them and invite them to church.
Does handing out a Halloween tract make a difference? We are called to sow the seed. God is the one that makes it grow but every year we receive stories of children who have asked Jesus into their hearts and adults who decided to start visiting a church. You never know how God is working in someone’s life. The video below is one person’s story of how an act of kindness and tract changed her life, the life of her husband and those of their friends.
The evangelism tract for children can be used for trick or treat or trunk or treat. Either way it is a simple way to share the Gospel that children will appreciate receiving.
This is one of several Halloween Gospel tracts Memory Cross has created to share God’s love with children. They can be ordered below or by visiting our website where you’ll find our other Halloween Gospel tracts and order a free sample pack. You’ll pay $3.00 to help cover the cost of shipping.
Halloween is a tremendous opportunity to reach children with the Gospel and bring new families into your church. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19.
I just finished reading an article in the Layman titled “Presbyterian Evangelism? Maybe $50 bills in every bulletin would work.” The article can be summed up by Emily Williams who is a young adult advisory delegate. She said “we’re not suppose to preach outside the church. Our resources are better spent on deeds not words. If we’re worried about filling pews, just put a $50 bill en every bulletin.” The full article can be read here.
I’m not downing Emily. I don’t personally know her but the feelings she expressed are echoed by Christians in every major denomination, who are all seeing declines in their membership. I don’t want to make the article about membership. We have a tendency to get caught up in membership and growth instead of disciples and relationships. Jesus did not call us to grow large churches but he did call us to go into all the world and make disciples. It is hard to accomplish that goal if we’re not presenting the Gospel and inviting people to church.
Here are some interesting statistics from back to church:
- “Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.” –Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
- “Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.” –Dr Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
- “A study including more than 15,000 adults revealed that about two-thirds are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member and 56 percent from a friend or neighbor. The message is clear that the unchurched are open to conversations about church.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
- “Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
- “Clearly we can encourage Christians to pray that the unchurched would sense God calling them back, but God works through His people.” “The survey showed that many would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance (41 percent), their children (25 percent) or an adult family member (25 percent).” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
- “The issue of affinity also surfaced in the responses. Thirty–five percent indicated that they would be inspired to attend church ‘if I knew there were people like me there.’” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
- “Much to the surprise of the ‘Chicken Little’ crowd, people are still going to church. And more people would attend if given one simple thing—an invitation.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
Clearly people in America are still open to attending church and there are more evangelism resources available than ever before. Here are a few you should check out:
- Back to church Sunday September 18th is the largest organized outreach event. Could your church get involved?
- Outreach.com. They have everything a church could ever want to reach out to the community: direct mail postcards to existing and people who have recently moved to the area, banners, signs, door hangers. The list goes on and their pricing is very reasonable. Could your church order a few door hangers and pass them out in the neighborhood? They have a newsletter that gives all kids of ideas for your church to reach their community. Could you sign up for it? (at the bottom of their home page). If you are on Facebook, like their page and visit it on a regular basis.
- Evangelism Coach offers personal and church resources to help share your faith.
- Church Marketing Sucks – One of my favorite names because it is so true at least in America. They have marketing articles, ebooks, podcasts all designed to help churches do a better job of making disciples.
- Memory Cross – Provides effective Gospel tracts for children and adults. Tracts that people actually are thankful to receive, will keep and read. Our message really is GOOD NEWS! Why not share it in a engaging way? You can order a free sample pack by clicking here. Enter the code “new” and receive the shipping free also. No obligation, simply the best way to share the Gospel using print.
There so many ways to help your friends move into a relationship with Jesus. If you are on Facebook, what’s wrong with sharing a Scripture that means something to you once a week or posting what your church is doing or sending a personal message inviting them to church? As the video shows one small act can have life a life changing impact.
Christians have never had so many resources available to share their faith, yet in America evangelism and outreach is on the decline. Why?
I’ve thought about that for years and here is the unfortunate reality, in my opinion. We are SO busy we don’t allow the Holy Spirit time to transform our lives. We are like the seed that fell among the thorns in Matthew 13. We hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
In Revelation 3:16 Jesus says: “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
In America to many Christians have become lukewarm. We attend church but don’t allow the power of God to overwhelm out lives. We don’t experience God’s amazing love in our lives. We don’t experience joy, peace, patience, kindness.
Jesus wants passionate followers. If your life has been transformed from one of sin and self centeredness, of one of anger and frustration, or no hope into a relationship with Jesus where you experience his love and power, then you’ll want to tell other people. God’s relationship becomes one of not good news but Great News and something you can’t help but sharing with others.
As your life changes it will have an effect on the people around you. Your friends and family will see a difference. You should have excitement in your life. Paul, who was one of the early apostles was beat, whipped and thrown in jail for talking about Jesus, yet in jail he sang songs of praise to his God.
That is the kind of life God wants you to experience. If you want to know more check out Frances Chan’s book, Crazy Love.
Romanian Gospel tracts for children now available
Memory Cross has a new Romanian Gospel tract for children that is written in Romanian and English. It is based on verses from the book of Romans and is designed to walk kids through God’s plan of salvation. The card is written in English and Romanian to create a way for people going on a mission trip to communicate the Gospel with the children of Romania.
The image shows what each panel looks like.
The Romanian Memory Cross card consists of four panels that make a never ending loop. The unique design encourages children to keep the card and continue to read it after the mission trip is over, helping to instill Gods message into their hearts and minds.
The Romanian Gospel tracts pack easily in a suite case and can be used as a craft activity. The video below shows how the card folds.
Memory Cross also makes Gospel tracts in the following languages: Spanish, French, Haitian Creole and a wordless version. There is an option to to translate any existing tract, Bible story card or Scripture memory card into any language.
Memory Cross makes a variety of cards using this same unique design. They teach children Bible stories, help them memorize Scripture and share the Gospel and have been used domestically and taken all over the world on mission trips.
Organizations such as The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Child Evangelism Fellowship, and LifeWay have used this design to cards that engage children and adults.
In a previous article I wrote about how videos can help your church reach the local community and bring in new members. If you missed it here is the link. If you have created videos and they are up on YouTube this article will teach you how to get them to rank locally and maybe even around the world.
How to get your church videos to rank on YouTube
- Determine what the video is about and what keywords you want it to rank for. If you have a Google Adwords account there is a keyword planner tool that can help you determine the amount of traffic for each keyword and suggest alternative keywords. (If you don’t the account is free to set up.) For this example I assumed the video was about Vacation Bible School. Keywords included: Vacation Bible School, VBS, Summer Bible School, VBS including your denomination, (Some people look for Catholic, Baptist or Methodist) and vacation Bible camp. You’ll also want to expand out your terms to include related searches. In this example having the video show up for Christian summer activities for children, Bible sports camps, and even things to do with children for the summer near me could be beneficial.
- Write a relevant title and enter keywords. Google does not do a very good job yet of taking the words out of a video so you’ll need to help them. When you edit your video you’ll notice a section at the bottom for keywords. Enter your keywords there. Include the cities or community in the keywords. Now you will want to write the title which should include your primary keyword, so for our VBS example we might use “What kids say about Vacation Bible School at name of church and city”. When people search for Vacation Bible School and your city we want the video to show up either in the videos tab or on Google itself.
- Write a description: The first line should be what you have in the title and the second the link to the page you want to send people to. In this example we would send them to our VBS registration page. Next couple sentences will describe the video. For our VBS example you would write about your VBS program for this year. You can encourage people to leave a comment and then include a link back to your church website or another link that they might be interested in.
- Add cards to your video. Now you can add a card to the video that links to your VBS sign up page.
- Put the date and city and state of the video. Under the advanced section put the date and where the video was created. The location will help it show up locally.
- Add Subtitles. Finally you can enter the wording on the video by clicking the Subtitles and CC button.
Now you are ready to get some views to the video. The first thing to do is to post a link from the YouTube video to your church’s Facebook page and encourage people to share it. If your church has an email list, send an email with the link. You want as many views as you can get in the first week.
Embed it in your VBS page on your website which will not only increase views but give visitors a better idea of what is going on during VBS (or whatever event you are promoting).
Here are some optional items that will increase the number of people who watch the video:
- Run a video advertising campaign. You’ll need an Adwords account but video ads are pretty inexpensive.
- Advertise the VBS sign up page on Facebook. You can get very targeted about who you want to reach. We’ve created a article which will help guide you through creating a Facebook ad.
- If your church or members are using other social media encourage them to share the video and VBS page.
One final comment, you can share the video more than once on email and social media which will increase your views and shares. Not everyone sees your posts on Facebook or has time to open your email, or watch your video but if you send it several times you’ll see your views continue to increase.
You may want to modify the video and upload it as a new video. For example you could create one video that is focused on what children think of VBS and another that is more focused on the benefits kids receive by attending VBS. Much of the video can be the same but it will reach a different audience.
For example Memory Cross makes a variety of cards that help children learn the 10 Commandments and we’ve created videos that target each. We found that people were searching for Foldable 10 Commandments cards for kids so we created the video below.
If you have any comments or other suggestions post them in the comments box below.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
Gospel Tract Reviews: Do you use Gospel tracts? Why? Which ones do you like best?
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”
- 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.
- 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.
- Crossway – They are a large publishing house and purchase American Tract Society a few years ago.
- 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.
- Tract Planet – They produce tracts both custom and standard
- 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?
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.
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.
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.
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