Church Blog

Discontinuing Our Harvest Party

September 23 2012 at 10:44 am 3 Comments

For a number of years now, we have been talking with church families to discern if Covenant Life’s annual Harvest Party is an effective tool for outreach to our community. It is a massive event that takes many volunteer and staff hours to accomplish. This last spring we sent out a survey to Covenant Life families with young kids and asked how they were using the Harvest Party as a mechanism for outreach. It was encouraging to see that some families were inviting unbelievers out to the Harvest Party! Thanks for doing that! However, in considering the feedback from the hundreds of families who responded, and the many factors at work in pulling off an event of this magnitude, we have decided to stop hosting a Harvest Party at Covenant Life in the month of October.

I know there are many different views and convictions on what a Christian should do on the night of October 31, and discontinuing the Harvest Party may force Covenant Life families to look around for ideas. There are many good options, but we did want to let you know that The Church of the Redeemer has a big Harvest Party every year from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Maryland Soccer Plex. They have communicated to us that they would welcome Covenant Life families at their event. Visit their website for more information.

—Dave Brewer
Youth Pastor


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Josh, what families received this survey??  Can you please explain the reasons why?  Where their theological concerns?  If so, what were they.  Was there just no one to lead it?  If that’s the case, I didn’t hear an announcement for a plea for help.  Who exactly made the decision?

By Mike Krolick on 09/23/2012

Mike,

I’ve been the one overseeing the HP for the last 10 years, and I’m the one who brought this recommendation to the pastoral team for decision.

I sent out a survey to all families with kids below 12 on May 17th. I received over 300 responses, so I believe the data sample was pretty good. The main point I was after was simply wondering if the HP is a successful outreach event, as that has been the purpose for the event all along. Although some families did use the HP as an opportunity for outreach, the survey results showed that the overwhelming majority did not. So it simply became an issue of time, energy and money, as compared to the potential evangelistic impact of the event. Additionally, the survey results showed that the majority of younger families are now gravitating towards their neighborhood communities to participate in local trick or treating, in an effort to spend the evening with the families they are living life with in their neighborhoods and trying to reach with the gospel. So even the number of church families that were utilizing the HP was dwindling rapidly.

There were no “theological concerns” for this decision. The decision to cancel was recommended by me, made by the pastoral team, and was based on the survey results from the families of CLC.

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

Dave

By Dave Brewer on 09/24/2012

dave,

Perhaps the problem is making the only or prime purpose of the Harvest Party be for outreach.  What about just serving the needs of the church itself for the purpose of building up the church to do all the work—- which includes raising the next generation?
What are some church parents apt to do on the night of Oct 31st instead?  Perhaps the answer lies in substituting the Harvest Party with a drama show (e.g Lazurus or similar Christian production) that provides families (to include those outside the church) with an alternative to Halloween?

By Darrell Mordente on 10/09/2012
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