Many Christians find themselves conflicted when Halloween comes around. Sure, it’s a globally-celebrated festival, but we all know it has pagan origins. The costumes aren’t always very inspiring, to say the least.
If you have children or children in your congregation, you can use this festival as an opportunity for outreach. Here is a helpful list of practical ideas on how to turn your Halloween festivities into Godly and uplifting outreach opportunities.
1. Organize Bible-Based Halloween parties
Costumes can be from Biblical stories, saints, even animals and monsters or creatures mentioned in the Bible. Don’t be limited to contemporary outfits and costumes. If you are throwing a Halloween party, state specifically that each person must come dressed as a character or creature found in the Bible. For example, how about a dinosaur, Leviathan, or one of the four horsemen of Revelations?
2. Focus on spirits who inspire
Kids love dressing up, but you don’t have to stick the usual scary ghosts and ghouls. For your Halloween outreach, think of inspiring spirits to imitate: saints from the past, the Holy Spirit, or famous historical characters. Inventors, scientists, and ancestors whose memories fill us with hope and peace can make good dress-up ideas.
3. “Fruits of the Spirit” Games
Many folks like to play “Bobbing for Apples” during Halloween parties, or have bake-offs and cooking activities. If you do one of these, it’s all in the theme you choose. Give the games original names: “Bobbing for Apples” Turns Into “Bobbing for Fruits of the Spirit,” etc.
4. Have a Harvest Theme
As Halloween falls around Autumn time, make it a chance to do your own Autumn community outreach. Throw an Autumn Fall Festival and invite both members and non-members to attend. You can still decorate with the usual suspects: scarecrows, pumpkins, and seasonal fruits—but you are focusing on the harvest theme rather than the Halloween factor. Make it a time to be grateful for the “harvest” and share blessings between your congregation. It could be a potluck where everyone brings something to offer or a time to share uplifting testimonies of the harvest of souls your church has had this year.
5. Trunk or Treat
Instead of the regular neighborhood candy hunt or door-to-door, a Trunk or Treat brings the sweets to the church parking lot. All the park cars are decorated in various themes, and the kids have to go around to each set of wheels. They collect their sweets, and can also collect other goodies from each car: a Bible Verse, an inspiring quote to help them in school, or even a free hug from church members. This is one way to have kids involved in a candy hunt while keeping their security and safety a priority.
6. Leaf-Raking Outreach
Choose one weekend day where families get together and help rake the lawns or gardens of the elderly in the neighborhood. One of the best ways to raise children to want to help and serve others is through example. If some have baked goods, these could also be brought around the homes and offered while the Autumn leaves are being raked up. Make it a united effort, so that the kids feel like they aren’t just doing another boring chore, but being a blessing.
7. Halloween Movie Night
For a twist on the usual activities, throw a movie night for the young people in your congregation. There can be a showing of spiritual-themed movies that have good lessons. Movies that deal with the afterlife and can lead to some in-depth conversations about Heaven are good to show. Other appropriate films include themes on Heaven, Angels, and Time Travel. There are some classics from decades ago that still warm the heart and soul. Here are some examples to get you started on a great Halloween Movie List:
· Ghost (Deni Moore, Patrick Swayze, 1990)
· What Dreams May Come (Robin Williams, 1998)
· Heaven Can Wait (Warren Beatty, 1978)
· All Dogs Go to Heaven (Animated Movie, 1996)
· It’s a Wonderful Life (James Stewart, 1946)
· Always (Richard Dreyfuss, 1989)
· Dragonfly (Kevin Costner, 2002)
Note: The above movies are just a suggestion. We recommend previewing them before showing younger audiences, and deciding whether any or all are appropriate for your church activity.
8. A Night of Miracles
Halloween may be a celebration of the dead for many—why not make it a celebration of life for your church and community? Throw an outreach event where folks can come to gather and share miracles. Whether great or small, life-changing miracles, or tiny ones. All are needed for the encouragement and inspiration they bring to our hearts. Let some of the members know in advance about your plans for a “Night of Miracles” Halloween fellowship. That way, they can think about their testimonies, plan, and prepare accordingly. Remember, even the simplest of activities can be so much more fun and inspiring with the right preparation.
Each outreach event is also an opportune time to encourage giving. Whether you set up a fundraiser before the event or during it, we have all the best digital resources to help you make it successful.