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How to Organize a Reformation Day Event at Home or Church

How to Organize a Reformation Day Event at Home or Church

Reformation Day is coming! Below, I would like to break down how our church hosts a Reformation Day event successfully while inviting the community to learn Church History and hear the Gospel preached. We would love for other churches to benefit from this information and reach their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

First and foremost, I want to reiterate that when the Gospel is preached, it is only the Holy Spirit who brings the harvest. Our success in this endeavor is not due to any special skills we have. The Lord has answered our prayers, and we are utterly grateful to him for his faithfulness. 

I am going to assume if you are reading this article, that you are familiar with what Reformation Day is and why one would prefer to celebrate Reformation Day instead of Halloween on October 31st. If you aren’t familiar with these topics, I am going to refer you to our article on The 4 Things Halloween Teaches Our Children.

We had the honor of planting a church in our community over two years ago. You can find us at Legacy Reformed Baptist Church. For years, we had been inviting our Bible Study group into our home each Reformation Day for Church-History lessons, treats, and activities. When we started the church with the same group, it only felt natural to continue with our tradition, only now we saw the opportunity to use it to share the Gospel with our community.

These ideas for celebrating Reformation Day below could easily be adapted to a home environment or even a neighborhood context. We hope this inspires you to think outside the box. Don’t forget to check out the Reformation Day resources that we have provided you in our Reformed Faith and Family Educational Store to aid you as you organize your own event. You can find those here.

Passport to the Reformation

When we began organizing our first big community event, I went scouring the web for all the Reformation Day ideas I could find. None of these ideas are original to us. I cannot take credit for any of these activities, but I did see them repeated in many places so to whoever first conceived these clever sparks of genius, I am forever grateful.

We decided to name our event Passport to the Reformation. It is held in our church parking lot which is in a prime location to catch families trick-or-treating since it is in the middle of a neighborhood.

As each family or individual child arrives, they receive a passport to begin their journey at the first table. We set up booths, or stations, where children must go in order to complete their travels and collect all the stamps for their passport, as well as the prizes available. It is an endless flow of new faces throughout the night so we just repeat our parts over and over again for each new family or group of kids that arrives. In all, a family can be in and out of the event within 20 minutes, so it is the perfect length to pop in and out of when they have other destinations they want to enjoy while trick-or-treating. 

The following is the journey through church history on which the children are taken:

Passport to the Reformation: An Adventure through Time
Welcome Signage
Passport to the Reformation
Passport to the Reformation
Johann Tetzel Table
Meet Johann Tetzel Booth

Booth #1: Welcome Booth

As the first table they come to when entering the event, here each child receives a passport to begin their journey. Someone friendly and charismatic is placed there to explain to them what their travel schedule will look like, playing the part of a travel agent. Each child receives a coin to begin their travels.

Booth #2: Johann Tetzel

A child’s first stop on their travels through the Middle Ages is to Johann Tetzel. The man imitating this historical villain tells his story of how Tetzel would promise salvation to those who purchased papal indulgences, either for them personally or a family member they believed to be in purgatory. The child is asked if he wants to give up his coin in exchange for a papal indulgence, but of course the child keeps his coin.

Booth #3: Martin Luther

After meeting Johann Tetzel the child progresses to the next booth where he is introduced to Martin Luther. Martin Luther shares the story of his early life briefly and focuses on his nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the Castle Church Door, both the event itself and what it meant. At this booth one of the main decorations is a door which we have stapled 95 Reese’s cups to and have a sign that says “It’s 95 THESES, not 95 REESES” after the popular meme. We let the kids hit the door with a fake toy hammer for fun, and then the child receives a Resee’s cup candy.

Booth #4: Diet of Worms

From the Martin Luther booth, each child moves on to learn about the Diet of Worms. Here the children learn about the events that transpired at the Diet of Worms where Martin Luther was asked to recant and he said very famously, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” The mom that has taken over this booth for the last two years made a really fun “puppet” style show out of it. She drew the characters and little quote bubbles for them and attached them to sticks so she could utilize them as puppets. She does the show with one of her kids which makes it extra cute. I can’t encourage you enough to take advantage of the skill sets and creative genius in your own congregations. After the kids have learned about the Diet of Worms, they receive a rubbery toy worm. You could also do a pack of gummy worms.

95 These not 95 Reeses
Martin Luther's 95 Theses
Diet of Worms Booth
The Diet of Worms
Luther Rose Seal Stamp
Luther Rose Seal Stamp

Booth #5: The Invention of the Printing Press

At the fifth table the children get to engage with the story of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the Gutenberg Printing Press in 1455. God used this invention to aid Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible into the hands of the common people. At this booth, we attempt to mimic the idea of a printing press by having the kids create their own big stamp of a Bible verse on a piece of paper to take home. We stamp their passport here with a Luther Rose stamp that we made ourselves using a Cricut machine. They receive an actual Bible here that they can take home to read.

Booth #6: The Five Solas

This booth is the final flourish of the night, where we present the Gospel to the kids and their families. They are told what each of the Five Solas means, and as each sola is defined the Gospel is worked into the presentation. Here the kids receive a Sola Scriptura Candy. You will find the directions for how to make these in The Five Solas: Signs to Follow on the Narrow Path Family Bible Study.

5 Solas Table
The Five Solas Table
The Five Solas Signs to Follow on the Narrow Path Family Bible Study

The Five Solas: Signs to Follow on the Narrow Path

This unique 7 day family Bible Study contains more than 50 pages of structured history and Bible-based lessons, fun activities, and corresponding educational crafts that teach the Gospel using The 5 Solas, the slogans popularized by the Reformers during the Reformation of the Church.

 

Final Booth #7: Coffee and Treats

At the final table, we offer coffee for the parents and have options for hot tea and hot cocoa available. We provide home baked treats as well. This is a great place to have your church’s information available for anyone who wants to know more about your church.

Organizing and Advertising the Reformation Day Event

You will need to first determine how many people you have to work your event. This piece of information will help you determine how many stations you should have. There are so many ways that you could expand on what we did here. Our own group has discussed ways that we can change it up year to year in order to keep things fresh and exciting for our community. There are many Reformer “characters” to play and stories from the Protestant Reformation era to share that would make for harrowing tales of faith and courage. If you come up with a different idea than we did and would love to share, please use our contact form or send us an email at contact@reformedfaithandfamily.com.

For purposes of advertising your event, we recommend starting a Facebook event page and running ads for it, contacting your local Christian radio station, and getting invitations printed that you can post around town and hand out to your family, friends, and neighbors. Because this is an educational event, homeschool networks are a great place to advertise if they allow it. You will also need signage set up around town to alert people to your event. We post signs, like one would garage sale signs, on the corners of major intersections and in the location of where your event will be held during the week prior.

Passport to the Reformation

Host Your Own Passport to the Reformation Event

If you are interested in hosting your own Passport to the Reformation Event we want to invite you to consider buying our Passport to the Reformation: A Journey Through Time Printable. 

The Passport to the Reformation covers these people and topics:

  • Johann Tetzel
  • Martin Luther
  • The Diet of Worms
  • The Invention of the Printing Press
  • The Five Solas
  • Why Do We Celebrate Reformation Day?

We hope that this is a blessing to you and your community!

Reformation Day Swag

Who doesn't like wearing some conversation-starting swag? Check out our line of clothing, coffee mugs, and stickers at the Reformed Faith and Family Swag Shop. Click below to browse the options available, and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on when we add more to our inventory.

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