It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s nothing quite like Halloween. Going from door to door dressed as your favorite fictional character or spooky creature and asking your neighbors to hand over their candy is exhilarating.
But is it compatible with Christian living?
Churches are often tasked with staying relevant to the culture while not compromising biblical truth. Engaging the world is something Jesus exhibited in his earthly ministry; it’s an example the church should follow even though it can be difficult.
If your local church wants to use Halloween as a way to reach out to your community and build relationships that could one day lead to confessions of faith in Christ, read below to discover 3 unique ways you can take advantage of the holiday.
A very popular alternative to trick-or-treating is a Trunk or Treat event. Children visit different vehicles—taking the place of houses—that are decorated to mimic biblical stories or events while collecting candy. Children are encouraged to dress up as their favorite biblical character.
Trunk or Treat allows children to dress up with friends and receive candy in a safe, family-friendly environment. The entire event occurs on a single property and is usually over before it gets too dark. It’s every bit as good as Halloween and it takes a lot less time.
One of the most successful—at least in regard to attendance—Halloween events is Liberty University’s Scaremare, a haunted house used to depict the consequences of sin and punishment. Although a Hell House requires many resources, plenty of megachurches have found great success with these types of events.
Groups are guided through a building that contains numerous rooms or floors depicting scenes such as abortions, suicides, domestic abuse, and drug addiction among other things. Once groups exit the house, they are presented with the Gospel.
Some churches decide to keep things more generic and organize a Fall Festival. Typically, it will occur on the weekend before Halloween and is meant to be an addition to the holiday rather than a replacement.
Depending on the available budget, a church’s Fall Festival can have bounce houses, carnival games, and face painting along with food and candy. Oftentimes, a simple biblical message or theatrical performance can be given to introduce newcomers to the Gospel.
Of course, no one is suggesting that the local church must participate in an alternative Halloween event. It’s quite possible that your church’s personal conviction is to not draw any additional attention to the spooky holiday, and that is perfectly and biblically permissible.
You might decide to walk with your children around the neighborhood the old-fashioned way and allow them to collect candy dressed as a cowboy or a princess. You surely have the Christian liberty to do so.
However, it’s important that you don’t ignore your personal convictions or allow your children to dress up in a way that could negatively affect the name of Christ. Use discernment in how you and your family celebrate Halloween.