Bring together 900 pounds of meat and 620 men, and you’ll have an evening for the books. On October 8, Grace Community Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Fremont, Ohio (Kevin Pinkerton, lead pastor) hosted their fifth annual Beast Feast.
The Beast Feast is an evening-long event that usually takes place each fall with the specific purpose of welcoming new men to the church. Each year, it costs the church several thousand dollars, but the church does it with their minds set on the invaluable eternal reward.
Their efforts have not been in vain – each year the Beast Feast grows progressively larger. The first Beast Feast had only 200 attendees, and five years later that has been tripled, requiring around 900 pounds of meat, including an entire buffalo.
“We have a core group of leaders that help organize it each year. We start planning months in advance,” shares Tim Wisehart, associate pastor at Grace Community Church. “There were probably 50 men altogether that helped with this year’s event, from food prep to decorations.”
While these volunteers help make the evening a great opportunity for fellowship for the church’s men, that is not the ultimate goal.
“We have a desire to reach men in our area who may not normally want to walk into a church building,” says Wisehart. “We stress to the men of our congregation that this is a chance to invite men who they know might have an interest in an opportunity like this. From the moment they walk in, we want them to have a positive experience.”
The experience, from food to door prizes, is all done with the intention of creating an opportunity to invite attendees to return and join their friends at church.
“We specifically make an effort to encourage them to come to church the next morning, where we plan the service with a clear gospel message,” says Wisehart.
In the past three years, 90 people have responded to the Gospel at those services, indicating they are trusting in Christ. Leaders at the Beast Feast also gather information through the door prize registrations that allows them to contact the attendees and invite them back for other services.
“We are so thankful to be able to see God work!” Wisehart says. “We often hear that Beast Feast is the best game feed around, which is great, but we obviously pray that something much greater is accomplished and that ultimately men come to know Christ.”
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