The History Channel gives a great overview of the history of Halloween, so I won’t go into it here, but it’s not uncommon for Christians to struggle with whether or not to celebrate this spooky holiday. Some see it as a dark day full of evil influence while others deem it a harmless time for fun costumes and candy.
So how do you handle Halloween as a children’s pastor?
The answer to this question will be different for every leader because it’s all about your context. How you handle Halloween in your children’s ministry should be more about the families you serve than your personal convictions. For me, if I hosted an event on Halloween, no one would come because they’d all be out trick-or-treating. I can condemn them for that, or I can equip them to use that time as a way to connect with the gospel. I know other churches that host Trunk-or-Treats every year on Halloween as a way to provide their families with a time of fellowship and outreach to the community. And other churches ignore the holiday completely.
No matter your views on this day, when talking about Halloween with kids, touch on these 3 ideas:
- There is a spiritual world. (Ephesians 6:12)
- Jesus has power over the darkness in our world. (1 John 4:4)
- With God, we don’t have to be afraid. (2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 41:10)
So what are your thoughts? Are you the church where the pastor shows up in a costume, the church that hosts a fall festival instead, or the church that ignores the holiday completely? Share in the comments below, but please remember to be respectful of all beliefs and convictions. This is a topic that we aren’t all going to agree on, and that’s OK as long as we can still speak with love.
We don’t celebrate “Halloween” per se, but we usually do some type of large Harvest Carnival. Ours was this past Sunday and it was a great turnout! We use the opportunity to share the gospel with our community as well as bless them and our own kids with games, candy, prizes, food, etc. I’m not on board with anything Halloween, but I will always take advantage of the opportunity to draw our community in, bless them, and give them Jesus!
Our church does a Fall Family Fun Day the first Saturday in October free for the community. We have activities like a rock climbing wall, petting zoo, children’s carnival games with prizes, free food and a dessert bar, a community chili cook-off contest, music from our worship team, a welcome table with information and free tickets to win raffle baskets. We are located across from an elementary and middle school, so it has helped us to connect with the school and families.
We have started an after school program with activities and homework help. I believe as you show you care and build relationships that it naturally flows into sharing the Gospel.
Different years, different main leadership and different locations all influenced how this has looked over the years. We have done everything from avoiding the whole holiday (the last few years), movie night this year, to a full on “Scary house.”
The year we did the “scary house” we hosted a normal fall festival type event for small children outside but turned our largest building into a walk through the bible. We had the first room set up as creation. You started in the dark as the narrator read from Genesis. You went through rooms where Jesus was being whipped and hung on the cross, onto what represented Jesus going to Hell, than at the end there was two people on judgment day. The first would have Jesus stand in for her the second would be ripped away by demons after God would say depart I never knew you.
I’m sure there were other rooms but I was part of the fall festival so I can’t remember.
[…] beginning of October means candy infiltrates the thoughts, minds, and dreams of kids as Halloween draws near. As candy fills the shelves and kids’ stomachs, I started thinking… what if […]
We do a big trunk or treat the week before Halloween. This year it was the 21st, well before anyone else and we had 1500 people show up. Normally 500 is a big crowd. We just show love to our community in a fun way. This year my pastor asked me to also have a movie night for any families who dont trick or treat because it is Wednesday. Dont think anyone will show but doing it and we will see.