As I drive around my neighborhood I’m starting to see skeletons hanging on people’s doors, pumpkins in their yard, weird inflatable lawn decorations that cost way too much money, and various other scenes of horror depicted in their front yards. This can only mean one thing – Halloween is here!
Because of the celebration of death and the occult that it is, many Christians feel the best thing to do is lock the door, turn all the lights off and hunker down in their basements with a Christian movie on. This was my experience of Halloween until I was about 10.
Then one year we were invited to a church “Harvest Festival” where we went and played games and heard a gospel message. The next year we moved within a block of our local assembly building and my parents decided to take the opportunity of Halloween to give out tracts, candy and invites to our Sunday School.
Later as I got more involved in door to door evangelism the thought occurred to me, “this is the one day of the year my neighbors expect me to knock on their door and talk to them.” Since then I have tried to be involved in evangelism on Halloween in one of these three ways:
Having a Church “Harvest Party”
Some believers at your assembly may be a little uneasy about this option, as they were at one assembly where I suggested this idea. But after reassuring them that we would have no death or horror stuff on display nor the name “Halloween” on anything, they gave the Harvest Party the green light. I have helped plan events like this at three assemblies, and afterwards all participants have praised it as a success. Some even said “this is the best outreach we ever had!”
What we did:
- Have well-lit entrances with people outside inviting trick or treaters to come in and enjoy hot cider, candy and games (this is a welcome break for many parents who are freezing as they follow their kids around).
- We had several games set up like throw the ball in the bucket and pop the balloon with a dart. At each game station we had someone who could give out a wordless book key chain or heart pin and explain the gospel to the kids.
- An area for their parents where they could have cider and doughnuts. We had people there to talk to the parents and hand out gospel CDs and tracts.
- We also set up a paint board and had short gospel messages.
Events like this are great for letting neighbors know who you are and what you’re about. One neighbor who stopped by a Harvest Party in Omaha Nebraska said “I didn’t even know this church was here.”
Handing Out Tracts and Candy at Your Door
This is another great way to witness to your neighbors. A few tips from my mom:
- Always keep your house well-lit, so people know you’re home
- Have good candy, kids will remember that
- Have something for the adults, so you can spark a conversation
Staying outside can be helpful, if the kids see someone with a bowl of candy at their front door, they will come. Having invites to Sunday school and kids club is important for potential follow up.
Backwards Trick or Treating
Some may feel that the above two options are too closely associated with Halloween. What I have done with believers who feel this way is go trick or treating with them, that is, going backwards trick or treating (AKA door to door). This is just classic door to door evangelism on a very strategic day of the year – the day almost everyone will open their door and talk to you. It can be handy to have a trick to show them. There are several optical illusions tracts that livingwaters.com offers I have found handy for this. Most of all, you just want to share the gospel and let people know that there are Christians in the neighborhood who care.
I hope that you take the advantage of shining the light of Christ on this dark holiday. Let us know of any other ways you have shared the gospel on Halloween.