Trunk Or Treat: A Review

Effingham Presbyterian hosted a Trunk or Treat this year. It was my first time participating in one, and I think it was a first for most of our folks.

I was nervous the week before that it wouldn't be a success. I realized I was nervous because I thought I was in control. Once I gave it to God, I knew that He would decide whether it would succeed or not. We had over 100 folks, which is good for a church of 126. The crowd was evenly split between kids/adults; church folks/guests. Thank you, Lord!

Here's a summary of my thoughts:

What worked:
  • Our elders planned the whole thing. Each took on a specific responsibility and made sure it happened. In doing it this way, no one person bore too much burden.
  • Our members propelled the whole thing...actually, some non-members did too, which was pretty cool. A trunk or treat doesn't work without trunks or treats. We had 13 cars, and about 30 volunteers who took care of their own trunks and candy. We didn't need any hierarchy to make it happen-- folks took their own initiative.

  • Having it outdoors in front of the church helped. It was chilly, but every time a car drove by, we knew that they could see our church "in action" rather than just wondering what happens behind our doors and stained glass windows.

  • Holding it a full week before 10/31. We didn't compete with the umpteen festivals that are going on "in town" next weekend.
What didn't
  • Every time we have an event, no one knows how to find restrooms or our Family Life Center. We need to get some signs up!

  • I should have ordered some coloring booklets, stickers, or anything that would have had a clear gospel message. It would have been natural to hand this out with the candy. I can't believe I overlooked this.

  • I chose our 4pm-7pm schedule based on something I read. This is too long for everybody. We had 6 people come in the 3rd hour, compared with 50+ in the first hour. 2 hours will cover it next year.
Not Sure
  • We did advertising in a low cost, grass-roots way typical of many churches our size: Banner out front, flyers handed to neighbors, and postings on local community news pages. In addition, I sent an invite to all of EPC's Facebook followers. We had a good turn-out, but we did not ask, "How did you hear about us?" So, I don't know if any one form of advertising is better than another. We had guests from Lake City, Timmonsville, Florence, Effingham, etc. Something worked.

  • No one complained about this being a "Halloween" event. We didn't call it a "Harvest Party" or anything like that, but I guess I still want to be sure we never give up our identity as servants of Christ. It's easy to go too far on Holidays.

  • We held it on a Sunday afternoon, and that helped with it not competing with people's Saturday schedules. I don't think there is any Sabbath violation in this, but it is something I'm continuing to ponder. If it had been a Christmas thing, would I wonder at all?
All in all, it was a worthwhile use of everyone's time and energy. It cost be $25 in tire repair, but that's another story. Everyone who came will receive a follow-up invitation to join us again on Sunday.


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