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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

How a Trunk or Treat Outreach can Build Excitement

Yesterday, a pastor texted me after purchasing the Gospel Trunk or Treat Planning System. Here's what he said:


screenshot of a text message from a pastor "thanks for the new excitement we are experiencing"

This got me thinking...


There's something about outreach that brings new life, new determination, new energy.

New Excitement.​


I really covet that for every pastor!


Pastoring can sometimes be discouraging.

I have such profound respect for the small church pastors on my list... guys who are tirelessly guiding smaller congregations through their walk with Jesus. I understand the challenges you face:

  • the moments of isolation

  • the weight of outreach efforts that often seem to fall solely on your shoulders

  • the feeling that you're the "only one of your species."

I want to encourage you NOT to give in to that discouragement, lay back, pick up your feet, and let the current take you along.


But what can you do to inspire some momentum?

When your church has no momentum...

The first time we did our Gospel Trunk or Treat (10 years ago!), we didn't have any momentum on it yet. It wasn't even my idea.

I had to be convinced to do it.


I wasn't really a fan of Trunk or Treat outreaches. They always seemed to me like chances to load up kids with tons of sugar, then send them home to detox. But my children's pastor convinced me that this was a different kind of Trunk or Treat outreach, and I should give it a chance.


I thought, "Ok, we'll get a chance to share the Gospel. Even if only 50 kids show up, that's a win." I hate to admit it, but I was not seeing the energy and excitement.

Leading a Trunk or Treat Outreach Changed ME

But my "slowness to believe" faded away as I saw twice the crowd we expected (after NO advertising!), coming through and hearing the Gospel at our Trunk or Treat.


I share the Gospel, I greeted people, I invited them to church, I prayed with families at the Cross station...


Sure, I was tired, and my voice was nearly gone... BUT...


I felt energized. I felt excited. I felt like there were possibilities. Did I feel like doing it again? Are you kidding? I would have run through a brick wall to do it again! When I got that text from my pastor friend, it reminded me of that feeling.


So let me ask you:


What if there was a way to unite your congregation, spark excitement, and breathe new life into your church's vision? There is.


Intentional, risky, outreach -- getting in front of people.


Outreach is Good Leadership

The truth is that pushing yourself to do outreach, to risk something, is GOOD LEADERSHIP.​

Leadership in Action

Leadership is about inspiring and mobilizing others toward a shared purpose... and that means you're going to need to model, and call people to, a purpose worth sharing! Alignment. That's what we're talking about. That's what good leadership creates.


Getting volunteers together to work hard and accomplish something is not optional, it's a necessity! Any outreach can do it, but I'd like to suggest that leading a Gospel Trunk or Treat can become a catalyst for renewed vision.


At the core, a Trunk or Treat Outreach event aligns perfectly with the heart of the Gospel. It's about showing genuine love and care, meeting people right where they are, in the middle of what they're already doing -- and sharing the life-transforming Good News of Jesus Christ. It's a tangible way to embody the message we preach and demonstrate that the church is not just a building. It's an living and active body of believers!

Taking the First Steps

Ok, so what steps can you take to get started on some kind of outreach momentum?


1. Say "Yes, and" instead of "yes, but."

You know there are only two kinds of people... those two. :) Pick a side! At the beginning, you can't be mostly motivated by avoiding trunk or treat mistakes. You've got to be willing to make them! Remember, "Failure isn't an option -- it is essential!"


2. Get a plan.

If you're going to say YES, you're going to need a trunk or treat plan. You can get tips at that blog post, or you can purchase the Gospel Trunk or Treat planning system here:



3. Remember leadership is about starting conversations.

It isn't that complex. Think of someone at your church who MIGHT be on the same page, send them the link www.gospeltrunkortreat.com and ask them to give you thoughts.


4. Don't delay long.

Delay at the wrong moment is just as good as saying, "no."

If you're wondering if you have enough time to execute a trunk or treat plan before Halloween, you might remember that the Planning system above actually contains a lot of helps and examples of simple Trunk or Treat Trunks.

Let's get going and do some outreach!

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