A friend of mine, Jeremy Roberts, who is the Lead Pastor of Church of the Highlands, recently posted an article entitled, “5 Reasons Why Our Church Doesn’t Do a Fall Festival.” You should check it out. He makes some valid points that are worth considering. After talking with him, we agreed that it would be beneficial for our readers to read why some churches, such as mine, do choose to have a Fall Festival.
Please note that this is not a debate of who’s right and who’s wrong. Rather, it is a way for you to see the thought processes behind two different decisions relating to the same topic. Churches are different, and what might be a good idea for one church might be an unwise idea for another. Each church must give thought and prayer to what it is that God wants them to do. It is also good for people to see that two pastors can come to different conclusions regarding a certain topic but still remain friends and be supportive of each other.
With that being said, here are 5 reasons why our church does have a fall festival.
1- It capitalizes on what most people view as their favorite time of the year.
Most people I know love this time of year. They enjoy the cooler weather and are constantly looking for reasons to get out and take advantage of the beauty of the season. A Fall Festival gives families a reason to do just that. In doing so, churches may make contact with new people in the community.
2- It sets the stage for Christmas outreach.
Our Fall Festival is a time to meet new people in the community. The timing is good because people are not yet burdened down by the stress of the holiday season. We then follow-up with these people by personally inviting them to our outreach-focused Christmas eve service. Rather than just trying to generate new contacts in December, we use the contacts that we generated in October. Since these people have already come to our Fall Festival, they are more likely to attend our Christmas Eve service.
3- It provides a great time of fellowship for those already in our church.
There are a ton of kids in our church. A Fall Festival provides a great opportunity for fellowship for those people. Certainly, we want to reach out into the community, but we also grow closer to each other by serving side-by-side.
4- It is a great way to promote our Fall programs.
Typically, our children and teen programs have been underway for only 5-6 weeks when we have our Fall Festival. Who normally comes to Fall Festivals? Families with young children. We deliberately give each family information about our Fall ministry programs, follow-up with a mailer, and then re-invite them in the Spring. Our Fall Festival helps us get this information out into the community.
5- It gives families who do not want to celebrate Halloween an enjoyable alternative.
Some families have concerns about celebrating Halloween, as do I. A Fall Festival provides a wonderful alternative for such families. The kids can have a good time in a safe environment, while also allowing their parents to meet others in the same stage of life.
Should your church have a Fall Festival? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
If you decide to have one, know why you’re doing it. Know what purpose it is serving. Have a strategy. Don’t just do it to do it.
And if you find that a Fall Festival is not the best idea for your church. That’s great, too. But determine what it is you can do that will further your ministry for the glory of God.