At Westwood, we believe that part of our responsibility is to continue to identify people's barriers to the gospel and church and do our part in breaking down those barriers. For this reason, we throw really big parties. Seriously. One barrier is that people don't want to "go to" church. Even being on the property can spark, "I might get struck down" comments. This is why we try to host events at our church that are NON church related (i.e. we won't be preaching). We also try to use these events as opportunites to battle the stereotype that all churches are looking for your money and will get it any way possible. Hence.. .the Spring Fling.
On Saturday morning, the day before Easter we hosted our Spring Fling. As the Connections Coordinator it is my job to throw these events, which I ADORE. Event planning is so fun for me! Even though this week/month have been absolutely crazy for me, I do love being involved in this area. We had 4 inflatables slides and bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo, photos with live bunnies, a 5,000 egg hunt, cotton candy, popcorn, sno cones and more all for FREE!!!
I struggled with throwing it this week b/c I came down with a mighty cold (that has now turned into bronchitis. . yeah) and fought off a fever for all of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This made showing up at the church at 7 to decorate and run things a tad difficult. Thankfully, we had a GREAT team of volunteers who showed up unexpectedly to help with set up and many who stayed through tear down, which was good b/c by then I thought I was going to pass out! I ended up on the couch the rest of the day, throwing up. So while it was a fun event, I wish I had been more coherent to actually HAVE fun! haha I was so thankful that God helped me keep the sickness at bay long enough to finish the event and especially that he held back the vomitting until I got home!
We had gone back and forth about planning this the day before Easter and I'm really glad we did. Our prayer as a team before the event was that God would use this event and our service to offer hope to our community, that they would be here and would feel comfortable and want to come back. . .and maybe want to know Jesus. The Lord seemed to really bless us and over 1,500 people showed up!!!! AND, I overheard LOTS of conversations where people asked about our church and said they were coming soon. Better yet the church was PACKED on Sunday morning. I think the most we've had before (not sure of the final numbers!). I have no clue if any of this was due to our Spring Fling, but it sure was encouraging!!!
Due to my foggy head, I didn't bring my camera this time! So, here are the 2 pictures I have of our decor and the 2 that Whitney took of Jess and our kids at the photo booth. (the boys were busy in the bounce house so I had Gracie for about 10 minutes =)