On March 14, Willow Creek Community Church hosts Pineapple Mayhem. Through Elevate, the church’s ministry for middle school students, Pineapple Mayhem is one of the largest church-sponsored events for middle-school age students in the country. In 2013, the event drew more than 2,500 students.
“Pineapple Mayhem is our biggest outreach event of the year,” says Scott Rubin, director of Elevate, “and it’s largely a student-driven night. The fun is magnetic, and the kids bring their friends in droves.”
More than 1,000 of the students who attended last year’s Mayhem had never been to Willow Creek before. “The event is a great front door to help kids be comfortable coming back to Elevate on a weekend,” Scott says. “I meet kids all year who tell me, ‘I came back to Elevate because of Pineapple Mayhem.’”
Air-Bots, Eurobungy, and…toilet racers?
The Elevate staff understands what works for these students: activities with weird names like Air-Bots, Eurobungy, and toilet racers, plus annual favorites like laser tag, dodge ball, karaoke, photo booths—and “a gazillion inflatables,” says Scott. “The Bucket Boys are back by popular demand, along with great video stories of our Elevate kids.”
Add pizza, pop, and free time—and the event a win. The Elevate team strategically times Pineapple Mayhem at the end of winter, to give kids a chance to burn off their cabin-fever energy. “For the price of a couple of movie tickets, kids get a night of outrageous play with friends—and a chance to increase their curiosity about God,” Scott says. Registration covers all the activities.