3 takeaways: Partnering with our community for Halloween

By Josh Duerr, executive director, Valley Life Tramonto –

When we started Valley Life Church, we wanted to make disciples and plant churches that impact the communities around them. We wanted to learn what the needs of our community are and let them know that there is a church in their community that cares for them.

One of the relationships we have made is with the local magazine called Tramonto Connects. They share a similar mission in wanting to bring the local community together. Earlier this summer, they asked us if we would be willing to help host a trunk or treat event, and we were excited to have the opportunity to help. Here are our three major takeaways.

It was not nearly as difficult to put on as we had anticipated in our early years of church planting.

An amazing volunteer spearheaded the event on our end. She involved our community groups and worked with the owners of the local magazine in organizing the details of the event. Of the 27 trunks that participated, 12 were from community groups within Valley Life, and the other 15 were from local businesses that wanted to participate. A grant funded by the giving of Arizona Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program enabled us to spread the word about the event and provide awesome activities that made the event really fun.

This brought our church so much joy because they were able to be on mission.

In order to do this event well, we knew we had to empower the people in our church to get involved. Not only did we have 70% of our community groups participate by donating candy, operating a game booth, or decorating trunks, we also had people who do not attend a community group volunteer to help out. Our people were on mission and excited to be able to serve the community.

We want to do this again.

Not only did our church have a lot of fun doing this, but the event showed us this is something our community wants. More than 260 kids who do not come to Valley Life Church came to the event, which is almost three times the number of kids that we have in our Kids Ministry each weekend. Our church planter Mike Lee with Valley Life North Mountain and his core team also participated and decided to reproduce it for their own community when they launch next year.

We are grateful for the giving of Arizona Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program, which helped us put on this event. Because of this support, we were able to let our community know there is a church here that cares for them. In addition, we were able to build a stronger relationship withTramonto Connectsand the local businesses around us. These relationships will allow us to continue to serve our com

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