6 Ways to Be Missional on Halloween
By Michelle S. Lazurek, Crosswalk.com
Scripture says we are "to be in the world not of the world" (John 17:14-15). While this is true, Jesus considered the people in places around him to be his mission field. His main job while on the earth was to heal the sick, drive out demons and proclaim the glory of his Father. Yet, we miss out on opportunities to shine our light to the world. Matthew 5:14-16 says, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
1. Go with Your Convictions
Some Christians may feel giving out candy on Halloween is actively participating in worshipping the devil. If you're feeling convicted in this way, don't participate! However, if you are looking for ways to connect with your neighbors and show Christ to those who may never have heard of them. Here are six ways to be missional on Halloween:
2. Be a Designated Safe Home
You don't have to give out candy to be a safe home for the kids in the neighborhood. Halloween is a day that invites mischief. Kids need to know there is a safe home in the neighborhood they can go to if they're being harassed, bullied, or otherwise feel unsafe by those around them. Let the neighbor kids know that if they ever feel unsafe at any point in the night (other kids harassing them, getting lost, etc.), your house is designated as the "safe house." Reassure the kids that they can come to your house and stay there until you can contact their parents.
Let the surrounding neighbors know you will be doing this. Kids should know they have a home and adults they can lean on if the day is too much to handle or the costumes are too scary for them to continue trick-or-treating. Have refreshments ready in case kids visit. This is a great way to demonstrate hospitality and be a good neighbor to those around you.
3. Give Out Church Invitations
Although tracts may not be the most popular item among Christians to give away nowadays, Halloween is the perfect time to give away invitations to your church. Create a business card-sized invitation to your next church service. It doesn't have to be fancy but include your church name, address, telephone number, and website. Chances are it might be thrown away, but Halloween just may be the place where people go looking for candy and find the sweetest treat of all—Jesus. Wrap the invite card around a piece of candy and fasten it with a rubber band. Capitalize on the one evening when kids willingly accept an invitation to church without having to say a word.
4. Throw a Church Halloween Party
Who says Christians can't be fun on Halloween? While others choose to worship Satan on that day, we choose to turn the glory where it belongs – to Jesus. Create a fun spoof on a haunted house. Create different rooms where kids can go and explore. Instead of spider webs and ghosts, create different Bible rooms that explore characters from the Bible. Buy costumes that represent the characters from Old Testament and New Testament stories. Use old VBS curricula from past years if your church would like to participate but have a limited budget. Ask for volunteers to help build a set. Decorate the rooms, play the characters, and give out treats with an invitation to the church. The families that attend may never step in the door of your church, but at the very least, you can educate the kids on Bible stories and characters they are hearing for the first time.
5. Know the Word
Knowing what the Bible says about the paranormal can help educate your children on what's right and wrong about the dark side. Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Luke 24:39, and Romans 8:38 are great places to start. Instead of avoiding the conversation, allow them to ask questions, even if you don't know the answers. Being honest with them will help them not be drawn into dark forces that may seem intriguing to them.
6. Reach the Lost
If you decide to go trick or treating, be intentional about meeting neighbors along the way. Start a conversation as you wait for your children to ring the neighbor's bell. Meet some new neighbors. It may lead to deeper conversations about faith later. While Halloween is a very dark day, there's nothing that God's light can't penetrate. Halloween is the one day when neighbors open their homes to those within the surrounding neighborhoods. Use it as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors better. Scripture says we should love our neighbor as ourselves, yet we barely know our neighbors. Take an inventory of the neighbors' names and families' names you know. You may know your neighbors to the left and right, but do you know your neighbors three to four houses down? Our mission fields don't have to be in third-world countries—they start right out our front doors. Make it a point to introduce yourself to every neighbor who gives out candy. Let them know you attend church and extend hospitality to them. Let them know if there's anything they need to feel free to contact you, and you can let your church know. Your church doors might not be open on Halloween, but your neighbor's door might be. Use it as an opportunity to extend the love and hospitality Jesus had for those around him.
Redeem it, Don't Avoid It
If you have children, you know their schools don't hesitate to celebrate Halloween. They may also be taught about things like the Salem Witch trials, zombies, or any other concept associated with Halloween. Yet, we worship Jesus, who came back to life on Easter. Arm your children with the Word of God. It may be the only way to combat the garbage they're receiving at school.
Additionally, allow your children to bring friends over on Halloween. If you allow your children to go trick-or-treating, ask if they'd like to bring a friend. Allow your children and their friends to get into their costumes at your home before you leave. Use it as an opportunity to get to know your children's friends. You don't have to slam a Bible over someone's head to impact someone's life. If you give out candy, wrap a piece of paper to it with a Bible verse. "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8 is a great verse, as well as Proverbs 16:24 and Psalm 119:103. Give these treats out to your children's friends as well as the children who may stop by for candy.
We all know the world is a dark and dreary place without Christ. Halloween is a dreaded day for many Christians because we know it gives glory to Satan. Yet, it doesn't have to be this way. If Jesus permeated the darkest places, so can we. Halloween doesn't have to be a holiday we avoid but one we look forward to. It's the best way to show Jesus to a dying world because we can use it to show love and kindness and point people to a place where they can know Jesus better.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.