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Pumpkin Outreach

With the change in seasons, comes a change in how we approach to display the love of Christ to our community in practical ways. The season of fall always brings excitement and there are plenty of specifically seasonal outreaches you can do during Autumn. Here are 3 outreaches that you should consider doing during the fall season:

1. Free Coffee at Starbucks

The crispness of Autumn weather draws coffee lovers to Starbucks like nothing else. One the best outreaches to do is to send a team to Starbucks or a local coffee/donut shop, buy a gift card with usually around $200 on it, and give it to the employee at the cash register so when people order, they can tell them that their coffee has been payed for. Have your team either sit at a visible table inside or the tables right outside the door. Have them ask the employees to simply point to the team’s table and say, “The people at the table over there paid for your coffee today.” Excited customers instinctively come over to thank the team and ask why they are paying for everyone’s coffee. This is a great time to give them your outreach card and tell them that you are displaying the free love of Jesus in a practical way today by buying coffee for everyone. 

Over time, the employees of Starbucks will really get excited when you do this outreach. In fact some employees even ask our teams if they can tell customers why they are buying everyone’s coffee, give out the outreach cards, and tell them what church the team is with! We love to let them do this so they can experience the life changing power of advancing God’s kingdom through tangible, practical kindness.

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2. Leaf Raking

I love the fall, but the thing i hate the most about the season, is having to rake my lawn. Leaf raking can be very burdensome when you are doing it all alone. When outreach teams do it as a group and do it for other people it becomes a blast. Kids, teenagers, and adults can all work together at this outreach. Simply grab some rakes, gloves, and trashbags and go to a neighborhood with a lot of leaves. Tell the homeowners you are raking the leaves of the entire neighborhood, just to show God’s love in a practical way! Make sure you mention it is free and you are not taking donations. Spend time talking to the homeowner and after you are done ask to pray a quick 10 second prayer for them!

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3. Nursing home Pumpkin Giveaway

For this outreach send your team to nursing homes with small pumpkins to decorate and write kind/encouraging words on the pumpkins with the residents. From time to time teams will even bring a friendly dog or two. Many times the churches doing this outreach will get a letter back from the family members thanking the church for the pumpkin with a simple decoration and an encouraging sentence on it. They mention that it not only touched the family member living in the nursing home, but the entire family.

There is something moving and touching about serving those who could never attend your church gathering. When we serve with no expectations or no strings attached, we are projecting the light and life of Christ on those we are serving in a pure way. To serve in a way Jesus did always moves, and deeply touches those we are serving, families of those we are serving, and those of us that are serving God by serving others. Anytime teams do something at local nursing homes, they always come back humbled and encouraged.

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During the fall everyone loves pumpkins. Due to this fact, we thought it would be a blast and very effective to serve our community by doing a big Free pumpkin giveaway. We bought 350 pumpkins in bulk (200 small, 150 big), and started brainstorming on different ways would could give all of these pumpkins out to show God’s love in a practical way with no strings attached. Here are the 3 outreaches we came up with that can easily be replicated:

1. Roadside Pumpkin Giveaway

For this outreach we brought 100 of our small pumpkins and 50 of our big pumpkins to give out at a busy traffic light. We had our outreach cards and signs that said “Free Pumpkins” and others that read, “No Donations Accepted.” As cars would pull up to the red light a few servers on our team would approach their window and say, “Would you like a free Big Pumpkin, or a free small pumpkin?”

People were amazed, stunned, and astonished that we were doing this. They would usually get a really big smile on their face and tell us which one they wanted. Many times they had kids in the back of the car that were singing about and celebrating the free pumpkins. One man had 4 kids in the back of his car. He asked, “Why are you doing this for free?”, we were able to tell him that we were displaying the free love of Jesus in a practical way by giving out free pumpkins. He asked if he could have a small pumpkin for each one of his kids. After we gave him his pumpkins the man was deeply moved, asked what church we were with, received an outreach card from us, and then the light turned green. I believe God used us profoundly to draw this man closer to Christ. 

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2. Door to Door Pumpkin Giveaway 

For this outreach we brought 100 of our big pumpkins door to door in 3 different neighborhoods. We simply told homeowners that we were showing God’s love in a practical way by giving away free pumpkins to everyone in the neighborhood. After making connections, we had our teams ask if we could say a quick 10 second prayer for the person/family we were serving. After praying for them we would give them our outreach card that says ” Just for You, Just Because…We hope this small gift brightens your day, there are no strings attached. We just want you to know God loves you.” (on the back its got our church info). If no one was home we would leave the pumpkin with our outreach card on their front porch.

We had a bunch of kids on this outreach and they absolutely took over. They were actually fighting over who got to go to the door and give away the pumpkins next. This is something that can not be overlooked. Anytime you can design an outreach that kids thrive in, it is worth doing over, and over again. We seek to develop an outwardly focused DNA in our kids, and we have found that doing stuff like this yields dividends for their personal evangelism at school or wherever they may be spending their time. For more on this, click on this link.

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3. Nursing home Pumpkin Giveaway

For this outreach we sent our team to nursing homes with 100 small pumpkins to decorate and write kind/encouraging words on the pumpkins. We even brought a friendly dog with us to meet the people living at the nursing homes. The leader who thought of this outreach mentioned that if someone would have brought her mom a pumpkin with a simple decoration and an encouraging sentence on it, that would have deeply touched not just her mom, but the entire family.

There is something moving and touching about serving those who could never attend your church gathering. When we serve with no expectations or no strings attached, we are projecting the light and life of Christ on those we are serving in a pure way. To serve in a way Jesus did always moves, and deeply touches those we are serving, families of those we are serving, and those of us that are serving God by serving others. Anytime we send teams to do something at our local nursing homes, they always come back humbled and encouraged.

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We had so much fun during the pumpkin giveaway that we have decided that as a church, this will be something we do every year to display the love of Christ in a fun and creative way to our community. In fact it was so much fun, throughout the fall we will feature some of these outreaches, like the roadside pumpkin giveaway, on a consistent basis. Its not too late for you or your church to get in on the pumpkin fun. Whether you do it this year or plan on doing it next year, the pumpkin giveaway is a great and simp way to reach your community for Christ.

With the change in seasons, comes a change in how we approach to display the love of Christ to our community in practical ways. The season of fall always brings excitement and there are plenty of specifically seasonal outreaches you can do during Autumn. Here are 3 outreaches that you should consider doing during the fall season:

1. Free Coffee at Starbucks

The crispness of Autumn weather draws coffee lovers to Starbucks like nothing else. One of our favorite outreaches to do is to send a team to Starbucks or a local coffee shop, buy a gift card with usually around $200 on it, and give it to the employee at the cash register so when people order, they can tell them that their coffee has been payed for. We usually either sit at a visible table inside or the tables right outside the door. We ask the employees to simply point to our table and say, “The people at the table over there paid for your coffee today.” Excited customers instinctively come over to thank us and ask why we are paying for everyone’s coffee. This is a great time to give them your outreach card and tell them that you are displaying the free love of Jesus in a practical way today by buying coffee for everyone. 

We have noticed over time, the employees of Starbucks really get excited when we do this outreach. In fact some employees even ask us if they can tell customers why we are buying everyone’s coffee, give out our outreach cards, and tell them what church we are with! We love to let them do this so they can experience the life changing power of advancing God’s kingdom through tangible, practical kindness.

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2. Leaf Raking

I love the fall, but the thing i hate the most about the season, is having to rake my lawn. Leaf raking can be very burdensome when you are doing it all alone. When we do it as a group and do it for other people it becomes a blast. Kids, teenagers, and adults can all work together at this outreach. Simply grab some rakes, gloves, and trashbags and go to a neighborhood with a lot of leaves. Tell the homeowners you are raking the leaves of the entire neighborhood, just to show God’s love in a practical way! Make sure you mention it is free and you are not taking donations. Spend time talking to the homeowner and after you are done ask to pray a quick 10 second prayer for them!

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3. Free Pumpkin Giveaway

Whether they like to put them up as decoration, or season and roast their seeds to eat, everyone loves a pumpkin during the fall season. This is why free pumpkin giveaways can be very effective in reaching and serving others. Simply find an apartment complex, or neighborhood that the homes or close together, and go door to door telling people that you are giving away pumpkins for free to show God’s love in a practical way. With outreaches like this we usually like to pick a low income area of our community that has families with a bunch of kids.

Pumpkins can be expensive; however, if you can work it out with a distributer, usually you can get them in bulk for pretty cheap. You can also buy 40 or 50 medium sized pumpkins for around $200 from any Wal-Mart.

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