This year I killed our Ester Egg hunt.
I’m not going to take all the credit for it, my team really didn’t want to do it either. However, it was me who had to sit in the directional team meeting and say, “Oh, we’re not doing the Egg Hunt this year.” The expressions I got were priceless. Silence. Then someone said, “what do you mean we’re not doing an Egg Hunt?”
Let me scoot back a little. Gateway has done an Egg Hunt every Easter for at least five years, maybe more. I was here for my interview last year right after Easter. My Early Childhood Director spent several minutes telling me how things fell apart. It jus wasn’t well planned or well staffed. Go figure, it was between our Easter services (our most volunteer intensive weekend of the year). It has been Gateway’s strategy to offer and egg hunt after the least attended services to motivate people to attend these services, making room for more people during optimal services. It’s not an outreach, but a strategy to manage seats.
Last year when I was planning the budget for 2009 I say $4000 budgeted for the Egg Hunt. Remembering that it wasn’t a great experience, I allocated that $4000 somewhere else. As we got closer to Easter I started thinking about what we could do that would still motivate people to attend the less attended services but wouldn’t involve egg hunts or spending $4000. My great idea was free family portraits. My staff loved the idea (they weren’t responsible for anything). The directional team wasn’t convinced, but the trusted me (a good feeling for sure).
So, Easter came and went. We had about 6-12 kids show up with Easter Egg baskets and I did get one “death stare” from a mom after she heard we weren’t doing a hunt. Other than that, no one said anything. No one. We took hundreds of family portraits and they loved them. Next year it will be even easier to not do an Egg Hunt. We’ll maximize our free portraits opportunity by getting more photographers and promoting better.
So how many volunteers did it take? Eight, if you include the photographers? How much money did it cost? $75 for the signs I had printed (Matt McKee tells me I could do it for a lot less if I had a wide format printer. So, in 2009 I killed our Egg Hunt and it was good.
Tomorrow I’ll give more details on how we did the portraits. It was easier than you’d think.
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…and there was much rejoicing in the land…
You should read about the Egg Hunt a church in Lubbock did this weekend…Not my church…
15,000 people showed up…and chaos ensued..
Ha! That’s funny! My favorite line: “I ain’t never seen nothing like this in my life. That helicopter was real neat.”
Gary Lamb did an Easter Egg hunt last year and I’d say the chaos he had rivaled the chaos there in Lubbock. You should look it up on his blog… so funny.
…And no one was harmed in the killing of this egg hunt….
Family portraits? What a great idea!
I LOVED the idea of the family portrait vs. an egg hunt. The last thing my kids need is a basket full of stale candy that will get thrown in the trash anyway. And we haven’t had a professional family portrait done in 3 years. So this was awesome! Thanks for the great idea!
Just chimin’ in to say I love the Family Portrait idea as well. I’ll be pushing for a certain West Texas childrens pastor I know to implement that idea next year….
Great idea to kill the egg hunt. If I had been at Gateway this year I was going to do the same. They are great when you are small to draw people in from the community, but when you get really large they become expensive and a lot of work. Last year we had almost 600 children there. If that’s not crazy then I don’t know what is. Hope your families got some great portraits and good luck in year two at Gateway.
Great insight and leadership. How often do we do things that really don’t fit our ministries or vision anymore. But too often we’re stuck doing them because of the “tradition” or “certain” people will raise a fuss, etc…
I remember reading somewhere that great leaders are willing to make the correct changes before things start going south, knowing in their hearts what’s right and then doing.
Continued success in your ministry!
Worlds of Wow
It is so much fun killing things isn’t it. Sacred cows make the best hamburgers. I love this idea and can’t wait for you to post the details. Is dressing up for Easter still a big thing in the bible belt? Not many folk do it here.
But having a free family photo taken is a fantastic idea. I will definitely be stealing that one.