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A New, Simple Idea for Family Outreach at Easter

 
Calista Doty | 15 Feb 2024

The Good Book Company is now offering a special evangelistic tool for churches and children’s ministries—Story Trails! These are an engaging way to get people in your area outside, active and reading all at once. More than that, Story Trails by The Good Book Company are a great way to share the Gospel with unchurched community members. 

What are Story Trails?

A Story Trail takes the pages of a children’s picture book and enlarges them, then posts them in consecutive order around a garden or walking trail for families to read and enjoy as they stroll. We currently offer several of our Easter books as Story Trails, ranging from 4 to 11-year-old reading levels, and all with stunning illustrations. Some churches have included a Story Trail around another Easter outreach event, such as an egg hunt or a kids’ fun fair, while others simply created a Story Trail as a weekend “open house” in their church grounds for community members to walk through at their leisure. 

Why have a Story Trail?

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:14, 17). God designed that people come to faith in him by words, spoken and written. What better way to introduce children (and their parents) to the Gospel than through an engaging, biblically faithful book? Many parents today want their children to enjoy reading, and The Good Book Company has produced several beautiful children’s books that facilitate such enjoyment, all while pointing the readers’ hearts to Jesus. 

As an added benefit, Story Trails invite families to be active outside, walking and talking together. Research shows that comprehension and memory are better when kids are physically active while reading or listening to a story. There is no better story for children to remember than the Gospel!

How to create a Story Trail

While your outreach event can be as elaborate as you’d like, the process for creating a Story Trail is simple. You will want to begin about a month in advance to be sure you have all the materials you need by the date of your event. 

  1. Order and download the hi-res images of the book you want from https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/story-trails/. Your order doubles as a licence to display the book images publicly so that you do not have to get special copyright permissions.

  2. Print the images
    • As large-scale posters from a photo printing shop
    • As signposts (some have even used estate agent signs/for-sale frames, available from many online printing services)
    • As laminated sheets to be hung on posts or a wall (you can even do this at home or in the church office)
  3. Set up your Trail area

Be creative! The Story Trail could wrap around another part of an event, circling a church breakfast or a craft fair. It could zig-zag through your church’s carpark, using traffic cones to guide the participants to an activity at the end. Or, if there isn’t enough space on your church’s land, perhaps you could host the event at a local park (just be sure to obtain permission as necessary), or a member’s back garden. And in the case of inclement weather, the hallway of your church building might be a good option. 

Another way to utilize Story Trail images is to create a permanent fixture in your church’s garden, featuring a new book every so often. Incorporate reading and engaging with God’s Word in the place your children play every week, and imagine the excitement when they discover a new story laid out for them to enjoy!

  1. Offer Follow-Up Resources

In the planning and preparation for your Story Trail, don’t forget the primary purpose: to share the Gospel with those who may not yet believe it, and to remind and encourage those who do. Be sure to have church members available at the Story Trail so that Gospel conversations can occur with visitors. You may want to consider giving free copies of the book, a related resource like a colouring book, or another evangelistic booklet, in a welcome gift bag to those who engage. 

The Good Book Company is happy to offer a special ministry giveaway discount for a bulk purchase of the book corresponding to the Story Trail you purchase or a related product such as a corresponding colouring book—just send us an email! We’d also be glad to create a special discount code for your event for participants to purchase a resource online later themselves.

If you’re looking for a new event to share the Gospel this Easter, a Story Trail is a great option. Bring the families of your church together and draw in unchurched community members around the greatest story ever told—Jesus’ death and resurrection! 

Calista Doty

Calista is one of the friendly customer service associates here at The Good Book Company. She enjoys reading, writing, and cooking, and has a minor obsession with houseplants. She resides in Charlotte, NC, with her husband and three children, and they are members of Oakhurst Baptist Church.

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