Archive

red box outreach

Halloween is one of those nights that sets up perfectly to reach your community due to the excitement, plethora of families, and openness of free kindness that exists. Whether you serve your community consistently or If you have been wanting to start Kindness Outreach in your church, Halloween night outreaches are a great way to make a splash, get your feet wet, and create a buzz in your community. Here are 5 great Halloween Outreaches:

 

1. Glow Necklace/Bracelet Giveaway

For this outreach you just need to find a neighborhood that is extremely popular for kids and families to go trick or treating in. About 30 minutes before sunset, Take about 6 people per team, Grab a few tables, a couple signs that say Free Glow Sticks, a ton of outreach cards, anywhere from 300-2,000 glow sticks, and get ready to be swamped. Kids and families will start flocking to your Free Glow Stick tables. We buy all of the same color glow sticks (bright yellow) and coach our teams to simply say to families, “Would you like a free glow bracelet or free glow necklace”. We have found out that it is cheaper to just buy all glow bracelets and if they want a necklace we just connect two bracelets together to make a glow necklace.

Parents have come up to our teams during the outreaches and thanked us because when it gets dark, the glow necklaces help them keep track of their kids. On other outreaches people have asked our teams if we are the “Free Glow Stick Church”. It can be very easy to reach 1000’s of people in just 2 hours through this outreach and it has become one of the favorites of many churches and a way to identify that your church is committed to serving others in simple, yet practical ways.

halloween3 photoHalloween1 HalloweenIMG_0236

2. Reverse Trick or Treat

A fun way to reach people that are giving out candy on halloween night is to do what we call a Reverse Trick or Treat. The idea is to go to a neighborhood that there are a lot of houses giving out halloween candy, knock on doors, and instead of receiving candy, give something away to the people in the home instead.

We used to go home to home giving out dum dum suckers as our reverse trick or treat; however, we quickly realized that it is better to go door to door with something different than candy since they have an abundance of that. So now we coach teams to go door to door giving away popcorn packets and free red box promo codes glue dotted on the pop corn packets so those that we are serving can get a free red box movie on us. (see pic below.) We coach our teams to thank them for giving out candy to the community and ask if we can say a quick 10 second pray for them. God has allowed our teams to say prayers about everything from lost dogs to cancer right at the door step of the homes of the people we are serving. This outreach is a refreshing twist to trick or treating and is a great way for parents to teach kids about giving rather than receiving.

halloween2IMG_0231

3. Business Reverse Trick or Treating

There is nothing worse than having to work on Halloween night because you miss out on all the free candy!!! This simple adaption of our reverse trick or treat is a simple and effective way to serve employees of businesses working on halloween night. For this outreach all you need to do is pack some small bags of various candy, insert an outreach card, and go to an area of the city where businesses are still open. We coach our teams to enter businesses and say something like “Hey guys we know it stinks to work on Halloween night, so we wanted to bring you some free candy to show you God’s love in a practical way.” Sometimes if the business is busy we will just go to one person, ask them to get a count of employees and leave that many free bags of candy with them.

Our teams have been able to give out around  a 1000 of these free candy packs very quickly.

IMG_0234

4. Halloweenie Outreach

In the buzz and excitement of getting kids out the door and trick or treating, many families forget to eat dinner. This is where we come in. Find someone at your church who lives in a highly trafficked trick or treated neighborhood and send a team to their home with a grill, a couple tables, a few Free hot dog signs, drinks, and a bunch of hot dogs and condiments. As families pass by just simply tell them you are cooking free high quality hot dogs (we get the pure beef Hebrew Nationals) and everyone is welcome to them.

During this outreach our teams often get the comments from moms who tell us they completely forgot about dinner or that they are glad their kids are getting some protein to counteract the sugar coma that is surely to come later that night. Many times people that we are serving stick around so we can connect with them on a deeper level. They almost always ask, “who are you guys!!!”

dayhd3 nighthd1

5. Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin Outreach

This outreach is as simple as going and buying a huge pumpkin, setting it on a table, with a sign that says, Guess The Weight Of The Pumpkin. When kids come up to the table, we give them 3 guesses, tell them higher or lower each time, and if they are within 5 pounds they receive a prize (its a good idea to let every kid win in the end). in the past we gave out free gift cards to everyone that one which can be pretty expensive so just pick a prize that works for both your church and those that you are trying to reach.

This outreach is designed to reach families with kids. Strangely enough, one church that did this now has a family that is in their 60’s without kids that is now connected with the church because of this outreach. They saw what the outreach team was doing, were touched by it, and came to be a part of the church family because of the kindness they were showing others. God’s kindness is contagious and while we serve others it permeates even those standing by and observing. 

IMG_0233 IMG_0232

As we reach out on halloween night remember to keep things simple, fun, and creative. Whether you try one of these outreaches or all five, God’s kindness will move through you to reach those you are serving.

With the changing of the seasons you have to be willing to adapt your kindness outreaches. It would be silly of course to continue to do your summer outreaches in the winter. Can you imagine a free car wash in 30 degree weather? The warmth of Spring and Summer allows many creative outreaches to be done; however the chill of fall and winter bring opportunities to reach out to people in different ways as well. Here are 5 great cold weather outreaches:

#1 Free Leaf Raking

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!

leaf raking outreach 3 leaf raking outreachleaf raking.jpg1leaf raking outreach 4leaf raking outreach 1leaf raking outreach 2

# 2 Winter Survival Kit Giveaway

I remember never being prepared for winter. When my lips became chapped, i developed a cough, and my nose was running like a raging river, i was left to fend for myself or use whatever i had laying around the house (wiping your nose over and over again with paper towels hurt!) This outreach gives people tools to be prepared for the cold! It also shows that you, as a Christian, truly care for the people you are serving in a simple and practical way. 

These Winter Survival kits consist of 1 snack sized bag, several cough drops, facial tissue, chap stick, and a connection card (See Below). They cost around $1 to put together and are a great way to love your community in truly a practical way. Try passing them out at college apartments/dorms, downtown areas, businesses, and low income housing. We have had many people tell us they use the kits when they become sick! We met The family in the pic below on one of these outreaches and they started attending our church almost every week before they recently moved.

winter survival kitwintersurvival

#3 Free Laundry Day

On this kindness outreach you get to be out of the cold weather and inside a warm laundry mat! Have a team of about 5-8 people go to a local laundry mat with rolls of quarters and tell people as they walk in that you are showing them that Jesus loves them today by paying for everyone’s laundry that comes in! We usually bring coloring books for kids and donuts for everyone to make their laundry experience as enjoyable as we can! This outreach is great for making deep connections with people since you can sit and talk with them while their laundry is being washed. Many of times our teams are able to share the Gospel in depthly and organically with those they are serving.

laundry outreach 6 laundry outreach 5 hannah laundryLaundry 2014

#4 Free Coffee at Starbucks

The cold 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.

IMG_0282IMG_0298IMG_0283IMG_0284IMG_0285IMG_0286

# 5 Free Red Box Codes

For this outreach you will need popcorn packets, glue dots, connection cards, and free red box promo codes. You can purchase red box promo codes, which gives this you are serving one free night when they rent a movie from a red box, at redbox.com. We simply glue dot a connection card and a promo code on the front of a popcorn packet and give them out to businesses, college apartments/dorms, apartment complexes, community events, even at red box machines.

We usually use the cold temperature to our advantage by telling people “Hey we know its cold, so we wanted to provide you with a free movie night on us, to show you God’s love in a practical way.”

One man who recently came to know the Lord at our church told me that when he was in his “I hate God” stage of his life, receiving a free red box from someone that was serving him with no strings attached would have touched him deeply on a spiritual level and drawn him to closer to Christ. I think this highlights a truth that it does matter what specifically we give out, or how we practically serve people. What matters is to allow others to experience God’s tangible kindness through Christ followers that are sold out to advancing the kingdom by serving the community.

IMG_023110568842_10152286983914677_8633775471162926613_nd

There are a ton of outreaches you can do when it gets cold: pass out hot chocolate, serve a local nursing home, shovel snow off people’s drive and walk ways, take people’s trash out at apartments, etc. God always moves in people when they step out and serve others in His name. We have found when the weather is dicey and people do not expect us to be out serving, God uses the unexpected service to draw people to Jesus!

Ever since I started studying outreach ideas, specifically servant evangelism I have always thought a Red Box was an excellent place to reach people. The main problem with using a red box as an outreach point is that it is usually inside and owned by a company that will hesitate to allow you to do an outreach there. However I have learned that if God wants you to do it he will prepare and pave the way for you. He did just that. Me and one of my friends at the church were allowed to set up a small table right by an outside Red Box. At the booth we had free Diet and Regular Dr. Pepper, water, as well as popcorn. Who does not want a soda and some popcorn to go along with their movie?

As people walked up to order their movie we would ask them if they wanted diet or regular. They would usually say what is this for (thinking we were asking for donations) and we would reply ” We just are trying to show God’s love in a practical way” and that we will in no way accept donations. One lady opened her wallet and try to pay for some Dr. Pepper and we said no its fee and she said well do you take donations? After explaining that we were just their to serve people and to show God’s love in a practical way she said, ” Hmm how odd.” and walked off…I don’t even remember if she took a drink or any popcorn.

There were two stories that highlighted the evening: One man took a Dr. Pepper and our card that says why we do this and he got a little quiet and told us that he had been growing a lot closer to God in the past week due to his wife’s car wreck. I asked him what her name was and how she was doing and he told me her name and said that she is fine now, but it scared him. I asked him if I could pray for her and he looked a little shocked and simply told me that, that would be great if I would. I did not pray for him right there, maybe I should have, but he seemed to know that we would pray for him through out our week. He told me he needs to get back in church and I invited him to my home church, but assured him that we are not doing this to pull people away from their church, but we truly just want to serve people. He thanked us and got in his car with is wife and waved good-bye as he pulled out of the parking lot.

My partner at the booth got to serve a lady a Dr. Pepper and even got to have a really good conversation with her. This lady seemed very distraught and I do not know the contents of their conversation since it was between two women, but Eva (the girl working the booth with me) mentioned that she had gone through some divorces and had some tattoos that represented that. Eva talked with her and asked if she could pray for her and the lady agreed to let her do that. Like I said I am not sure what the full conversation was about, but I know that a simple Dr. Pepper led to Eva being able to pray for someone who needed it.

If you are planning to do this there are a few things to know. Some people were not willing to receive a free drink or popcorn because i think they still thought there was a catch…i forgot our no donations accepted sign and had no free drink sign so it was all us having to ask people if they wanted a free drink which sounds similar to what other people do when they want donations. Always bring a sign that says what you are giving away and always bring a no donations accepted sign. So that was a downside to this outreach, but for the many people that took a drink or a popcorn I am sure that they recieved a bit of God’s love at a Red Box…. showing God’s love at a Red Box, who would have ever thought that would be possible.