I know that many sincere Christians struggle with Halloween. They struggle with the increasingly dark tone some bring to the day, the release of horror movies around this time and all the rest of the worst aspects. i understand the need to be vigilant and wary of that which does not honor God or that which glorifies the ungodly.
Given. And if your convictions about that mean that you withdraw or only go to a alternative event, have at it.
But let me give you another perspective. Halloween is still an opportunity for a huge party for many people in our community– and in the neighborhoods where we live. And that party feel means that many people will come to our doors, trick-or-treating with their children.
Yes, this is the one night a year when our mostly spiritually lost neighbors will come to our homes. They won’t come to our alternative events, because (be honest), that’s mostly filled by our own people or other church folks simply escaping into something “safe”. They won’t be at church on Halloween morning this year, but they may show up at our doors Saturday night or Sunday night. People who are created by God, who are precious and loved by Him, who need Jesus and His gospel, who will be alive in either heaven or hell 100 years from today — will simply stroll up to your front door.
What do you do with that? You must recognize that this is a Great Commission moment. An opportunity to be on mission. To do mission. To build bridges between a lost soul and the love of God in Jesus. As George Robinson recently wrote:
Living with missional intentionality means that you approach life as a missionary in your context. I lived with my family in South Asia and we had to be creative and intentional in engaging our Muslim neighbors. We now live in the USA and we still need to be creative and intentional. That’s why for the past 2 years we have chosen to stay at home and celebrate the fact that Halloween gives us a unique opportunity to engage our neighbors.
What do you do?
+ leave the lights on — invite people to come near. (We are people of the light, after all– and His Light drives out darkness!)
+ Give good candy! (no veggies or tofu) And be generous.
+ Maybe take a chair and sit near the sidewalk where you can strike up conversations with parents and other adults who come by. What about offering cider or coffee to them? Get to know their names. Take the first step of building an authentic friendship through which you can share the grace of Jesus.
+ give a gospel booklet or some other age-appropriate gospel materials. Include your name and contact information, the church’s name and contact information, so that when they get home and empty out the candly there will be a reminder of Jesus there.
Your lost neighbors are coming to your door. Get ready. Have fun. Share Jesus.
( for an interesting historical perspective on Halloween traditions, go here)