As we look to October and the absence of Halloween Happenin’ this year, I would like to suggest a few ways that you can be the Good News in your neighborhood or sphere of influence. One of the main reasons Halloween Happenin’ occurred on our campus for 22 years was to “punch holes in the darkness” and shine the light of Christ. God calls us to do this even without Halloween Happenin’!
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Ephesians 5:8-13
It would be very easy for you and your family to scope out another Halloween alternative at another venue or church. Here’s my suggestion: Skip the Christian alternatives altogether and embrace Halloween for what it is. It’s a night when hundreds of families are out in our neighborhoods, smiling and enjoying one another, seeking and passing out candy. Think strategically: For those who are anti-Halloween I have this challenge. One night a year hundreds of families will come to our door and say hello. Are you going to greet them? Or are you going to turn off your light and pretend they don’t exist? Don’t be “that family” on your block. Also, don’t be that neighbor that hands out a tract and no candy. If you do hand out a tract, make sure there is a way to follow up, or “continue” the conversation. Embrace Halloween as an opportunity to be good news in your neighborhood.
- Sit on the front porch and talk to people as they come by. Resist the temptation to go inside between visitors. Make great small talk with parents. You will be surprised how your neighbors will do the same. You can even have great little conversations porch-to-porch between visitors.
- Make it a game. Set up a simple game in your front yard to give trick-or-treaters the opportunity to win the big candy bar. It could be as simple as a bean bag toss or throwing a football to knock something down.
- Host a warming station on your block. Set up a little tent in your driveway or front yard and serve coffee, hot cocoa, and apple cider. It’s a great break to the routine and easy to invite your small group or someone who doesn’t have trick-or-treaters to help with.
- Do something fun and not-so-scary. Rent a bounce house and play some music. Just because you don’t want to get into the whole ghosts/zombie thing doesn’t mean you can’t be creative to have some fun with the hundreds of kids who will come up your walk.
- Have a Halloween block party. Organize your neighbors so that everyone comes out to enjoy a potluck dinner such as a baked potato or chili bar with lots of toppings. Close off the street, and get to know your neighbors as others come through and trick-or-treat. This is a perfect opportunity for conversations!
Get together with some other friends and families from Trinity and brainstorm how you can punch holes in the darkness this Halloween!
Pastor of Children’s Ministries