While Halloween used to be seen as a problematic holiday within the church, times have changed. If you are seeking fun ways to engage your congregation for Halloween, we've got you covered. Rather than shunning the holiday altogether, you can provide a safe environment for the children and families of the community to play while also boosting your membership. If this sounds like your goals for the Halloween season, keep reading.
Halloween Movie Night
No, this is not a suggestion that you should show scary movies at your church on Halloween night. Rather, you can family-friendly movies that may have an element of Halloween in them. For instance, Mean Girls, the Scooby-Doo movies, and even Diary of a Wimpy Kid are all examples of movies that involve Halloween but are not necessarily scary movies. Either way, before or after the film, be sure to discuss the evil aspects of Halloween and explain to all of the children and families how to stay true to their religion while still enjoying holidays such as Halloween.
Making Candy Apples/ Bobbing for Apples
Another way to embrace the Halloween season is by making candy apples. Given that candy apples are essentially synonymous with the Halloween season, this is a fun way to celebrate without fully embracing the dark aspects of Halloween. Also, there are plenty of recipes you can try, in order to provide your attendees with a wide variety of choices.
On another note, while bobbing for apples may be a tad outdated, it doesn't have to be. For health reasons, many people do not want to literally dip their faces in the same bucket of water as others. However, there are new age ideas to recreate this game. For instance, you can tie the apple up by the stem and hand them from a clothesline.
Trick or Treating
Rather than going out and trick-or-treating on the streets, you can set up a trick-or-treating experience at your church (or a location of your choice). In fact, you could even try the new “trunk-or-treat” trend, in which parents park their cars in a safe location and the kids go from trunk to trunk collecting goodies. You can have church clergy and other members dress up in fun costumes and allow the kids to walk around and collect candy, cookies, toys, books, and anything else you can think of. This is a great way to embrace the wonder of Halloween without delving into the negative aspects of the holiday.
Another fun holiday idea for churches is to have a scavenger hunt. You can create clues that are church-friendly and hide toys, prizes, candy, bibles, and other books of your choice. Be sure to invite enough adults to supervise the kids, and you can do this at a park, in the church, or any combination of places you have deemed safe.
Another fun Halloween activity is pumpkin carving. This activity is fun for all ages and allows people to be creative while also celebrating Halloween in their own way. However, rather than making scary faces, encourage the attendees to make happy faces, biblical characters, and other positive things you can think of.
Have a Party
Invite the neighborhood for a night of food, drinks, and church-friendly music by having a Halloween party. However, rather than allowing scary costumes, encourage everyone who attends to dress up as a biblical character, and animal, or other positive costumes they can create. Additionally, rather than calling it a Halloween party you can call it a blessings party or a fall harvest party. For an added bonus, you can even have a costume party and give the winner a small prize.
Another fun Halloween event is the haunted hayride. However, obviously, you will not want to create anything that is spooky or haunted. Rather, you can simply have an event in which hayrides are offered and instead of having frightening characters jump out and scare the attendees, you can simply sing your favorite church songs, play music, blow bubbles, play with flashlights and glow sticks, and anything else you can think of. By holding this event after dark, this will allow the members to have fun while others are out trick-or-treating. Also, you should encourage people to dress up in church-friendly costumes and tell their favorite bible stories.
Overall, there are plenty of ways to safely celebrate Halloween without forsaking your belief in God. Rather than simply ignoring or condemning the holiday altogether, having your own Halloween event is a great way to commune with your congregation, and let them know that the church is a safe place for everyone. Moreover, this is also a great way to boost membership as you can advertise the party and request that members bring friends and family members. From there, you would simply invite them to the next event or even Sunday service, to get them more involved in the church. Either way, the goal is to create a fun event that allows members of your church to have fun without being involved in anything that is innately sinister or evil.