Halloween: Off-Limits or Opportunity?
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Just the mention of the word “Halloween” can polarize a room full of Christians. There is no shortage of opinions about it. Some participate, others host or attend Fall Festivals as an alternative, and still others avoid it all-together.
I understand the concerns many have about the holiday and believe that Christians should seek the Lord and follow their conscience as to if and how they participate.
However, our mission is to share the gospel every day of the year, including October 31. Regardless of your convictions, God is not asking you to retreat into a shell or the fortress of your home that day. We are called to be the light of the world every day of the year.
That said, here are a few thoughts:
1. Pray and consider (or reconsider) how you might participate. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year in the United States and one of the few nights when neighbors intermingle. It is a significant opportunity to cultivate relationships and share the gospel.
While I understand the concern some have, Jesus makes it clear that it is not what is outside of us that can defile us, but what is on the inside, meaning our hearts and motives. () Leaving your lights on, warmly greeting guests, giving out candy, and engaging in conversation are not inherently evil nor are they an endorsement of pagan religion.
Think about it. Which is more apt to bring someone closer to Christ a dark house or warm hospitality?
2. Make an impact. Consider these options that may make their visit to your house memorable:
- Smile and warmly greet those who come to your home. While it may be tempting to be task-oriented in giving out candy, take your time to make eye contact and verbally connect with all who visit.
- Give out regular-sized candy bars if funds allow. You want people thinking, “That’s the house where they give out the good stuff.”
- Offer the adults snacks, bottled water, or hot chocolate. Adults are often forgotten.
- Set up a Fall display as a photo booth/spot where they can take their pictures with their phones.
- Provide an allergen-free candy as an alternative treat. The gesture will be appreciated.
3. If you hand out tracts, do it properly. Nothing beats sharing the gospel face to face. However, sometimes time does not permit that to happen. If you want to hand out tracts, please consider these guidelines:
- Don’t ever, EVER, substitute tracts for candy. You don’t want to be known as “that” house.
- Couple tracts with QUALITY candy. For example, consider investing in the full-size Snickers bar if funds allow.
- Do not use tracts that rail against Halloween. The best tracts focus on one big idea, not several. Make sure the big takeaway from the tract is the gospel in clear and simple terms that a child can understand.
- Tape something cool to the tract. For example, if the big idea of the tract is that Jesus is the light of the world, couple it with a glow in the dark wristband (about 10 cents from the dollar store).
4. Remember the goal. If the traffic flow of trick or treaters at your house is heavy, you may not have many opportunities to share the gospel. However, you will have an opportunity to show each person who comes to your house the love of Christ through your kindness, hospitality, and love. The goal is to use October 31 to form and deepen relationships with people with the intention of moving them one step closer to Jesus. In so doing you can take one of the most popular days of the year and use it to impact a person’s eternal destiny.
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