ARTESIA (BNM) - Each year on Halloween, Catalyst Church, Artesia, hosts a Trunk-or-Treat outreach event in their parking lot. The event is supported, in part, by funds from the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering.
Catalyst’s pastor and lead church planter, Nolan Frederick, planted the church in his hometown in October 2015. The church publicly launched the following January. A few months later, the church began hosting an annual Trunk-or-Treat event in October 2016.
According to Frederick, Mission New Mexico Offering funds partially support the event. A portion of the Mission New Mexico Offering is designated to help New Mexico church plants, including Catalyst.
Frederick estimated that between 600-700 people attend the event each year. The event enables Catalyst’s members to “minister to [guests] and share the love of Jesus Christ with them for a few minutes each night and have some good conversation and get to know our neighbors.”
While they are still early in the planning process for this 2020’s Trunk-or-Treat, Frederick said this year would look different from previous years, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of an open parking lot, Frederick said the church is considering hosting a drive-thru event and handing out candy in individual bags. Frederick hopes the revamped model will allow the church to improve follow up with attendees. “It will be a little bit different in that we won’t have the time to visit with people. We’ll have to be moving quicker. But, we should get to at least see everyone and make an initial contact with them,” Frederick said.
Catalyst is currently in a capital campaign for a new building in a different part of Artesia. Frederick said he is excited about Trunk-or-Treat’s possibilities in a new location, including a larger parking lot and closer proximity to city parks and athletic fields.
The Baptist New Mexican asked Fredrick how the Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering has impacted Catalyst Church. He said church plants often fail for one of three reasons: “lack of vision, lack of calling or lack of funding.” “If you don’t have the funding to be able to do things, eventually you’re going to be limited,” Frederick said. He added, “God’s grace would have obviously sustained us. But, I think part of God’s grace in sustaining [us] was that he used those offerings to help us out. So, we’ve benefited tremendously. And, I would say [that] we wouldn’t be where we are now without that help. It’s been a real shot in the arm to be able to say, ‘Hey, we don’t have to choose if we are going to pay our staff or try to do an outreach event. We get to do both.’ That’s been a huge blessing to us....”
The 2020 Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering goal is $395,000, with $150,000 designated to support New Mexico church plants. To learn more about the offering, visit www.gobnm.com/missionnewmexico.