Monday, October 27, 2008

Trunk Or Treat In Review

Well, folks, another Trunk or Treat has come and gone. This was our third annual, and there are a lot of great things to report. First, let's take a look at Trunk or Treat by the numbers:

We served approximately 300 kids (the number is approximate because only 260 registered--some families skipped the registration table and went straight for the first trunk, especially toward the end of the event). Of those who registered...

  • 121 unchurched kids
  • 124 churched kids (including 19 of our own)
  • 15 kids' registration cards were unmarked regarding church involvement

Those 260 kids come from...

  • 62 church-going households (including 10 PCC families)
  • 71 unchurched households
  • 9 undesignated households

Once again, we had fantastic support from our own people, although many came through (sometimes literally!) at the last minute, which made planning somewhat challenging. Altogether, we had 47 adult and teen workers, providing:

  • 14 Trunks
  • A Fun House in the church basement (first time we've done that)
  • Apple Bob in the Fellowship Hall
  • Refreshements (hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate)
  • A giant inflatable bounce house

Looking past the numbers, here are some of my thoughts and reflections:

  • This was our first year providing a Fun House in the basement. After collecting candy from the trunks in the church parking lot, the kids went down the back steps and weaved their way through the classrooms, which had covers over the windows to keep them dark. They were decorated with Halloween lights and glow-in-the-dark spider webs. Kids stuck their hands in various places (bowls of peeled grapes, cold spaghetti noodles, etc.), walked through wet yarn hanging from the ceiling, and (most importantly!) collected more candy. I heard lots of great comments about the Fun House and how much the kids enjoyed it.
  • Even though Trunk or Treat is an Outreach event and falls under the Outreach Core Team, the Fun House idea was developed and executed by the Community Core Team. I think this is a great example of our ministry teams working together, and it was really great to see such wonderful cooperation.
  • I got to look around at every part of the operation throughout the evening. It seemed everything was running very smoothly. About three trunks ran out of candy at one point in the night, but we were able to get reinforcements to them fairly quickly. Great Job, Pam O'Neil and the Outreach Core Team!! Great Job, Judy Wilkes and the Community Core Team!! Kudos to you!
  • In talking with several parents, they all were very pleased with the event. One mom I spoke with has five kids and told me that she needs to get connected to a church. She believes in God, but has been finding life difficult lately and feels something is missing. She was hoping to make it for the start of our new series next week.
  • We're going to be taking the 260 registration cards and entering the information into our PCC database. There is already a team of people put together who handles that. We use that information to follow up with the people who are unchurched to try to further develop the relationship that we've established with them. We'll especially be intentional about keeping them informed of other events and ministries their children might enjoy (Easter Egg Hunt, Soccer Camp, Awana, SPLASH).
  • Events like this are not a substitute for relationships. In fact, outreach is effective really only when it's relational. But events serve as an excellent forum both for establishing new relationships, as well as developing existing ones further. Some of the people who came were ones I recognized from Soccer Camp and SPLASH, earlier this summer. The more contact we can have with them, the more likely it is that they'll show up on a Sunday some week. In addition, Trunk or Treat and similar events provide an opportunity for us to invite our friends, family, and neighbors to come to something that's not intimidating, giving us an opportunity to develop the relationships God has already provided us. When we think outreach, we need to think relationships.

I think this event was a huge success, and I want to thank each person who was involved in making it so effective. Let's pray that God will keep using it to impact the lives of the people we saw last night, and draw them to him.

No comments: