“This is our gift to our community,” I said as our neighbors looked around at all that our church was offering. The list of possibilities was long:
Free food that included hot dogs, brats, grilled corn on a stick, BBQ sandwiches, popcorn, cotton candy, lemonade, mini-muffins in ice cream cones and, to top it all off, funnel cake.
Along with the food outside, there were a row of inflatables that ranged from obstacle courses, jousting, basketball long shots and a giant slide in the shape of the shoe home in the nursery rhyme.
Inside there were games all over the gym and two more inflatables, including one that was two stories, stretching toward the roof. All of these games paid off with candy, whether you win or lose.
And all of it was free to our guests.
A few years ago, we charged money for the food (which was much smaller) and the Fall Family Fun Festival (as it had come to be known) was a big event for us. It became the biggest single emphasis in our church when we decided to expand the food and make it all free. After that, the inflatables, games and everything else grew as well.
Attendance blew up with all that we were offering, coupled with our relationship with the community through our partnership with Skelly Elementary nearby.
And it all happens because we determined to give and not trade. We give to Skelly Elementary, and now to Skelly Primary. After several years, we have begun to receive trust and dependence. When they have a need, they call us and we have the honor of helping the families of our community at our local school.
We give to the neighborhood, free food, games and a safe place for a family. In return, we get trust, appreciation and an open door to share the Gospel.
This year our follow up will be a packet of information about our church sent to everyone that registered followed by a phone call from one of our church members making sure they got the information and welcoming any questions.
What do you do?
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