Of the various days of observance kept around the world, Halloween is definitely a mixed bag. Across many centuries and cultures this is a festival to honor the dead, often with many false beliefs and wicked practices that are not honoring to the God who gives life. Of all that could be said negatively about Halloween, at least one positive aspect is that on this night people visit houses in the neighborhood and households expect people to stop by. In fact, because of the great opportunities we have to share the gospel at this time, our friends at Living Waters refer to Halloween as “National Evangelism Day.” What can you do to advance the gospel of life and light through Jesus Christ this Halloween?
Halloween is a day when our neighbors come to us, knock on our front doors, and ask us for some treats. What could you give? Most children are hoping to receive candy like chocolate bars, chewing gum, lollipops, and so on. (Parents would be happy to receive a water bottle!) They might also be happy to receive nonedible items like pencils, stickers, and bookmarks. Be mindful of the different ages of children that might come, and try to give a gift suitable to the age of the child. Be generous!
Give them a treat for the time, but also give them a treat for eternity—the gospel of life.
Give them a treat for the time, but also give them a treat for eternity—the gospel of life. Children coming to your home are hoping for a quick visit in order to move on to the next house, so don’t expect to have a long conversation with them. But do give them some gospel-saturated literature that they and their families will find when they get home. Our online store has popular million dollar tracts and other witnessing tools. You might consider giving out the small booklet A Biblical and Historical Look at Halloween (available in packs of 100), or give them a printed link to AnswersInGenesis.org/go/halloween/ to read this Halloween booklet for free online. Our friends at Living Waters also have several Halloween-themed resources that would be great to give out. Be sure to include an invitation to your church by means of a custom flyer or simply a sticker on your gift.
An alternate to staying at home might be to go trick-or-treating in reverse. As you walk through your neighborhood, give out these evangelistic tracts and other material to the people you visit along the way. You can also stop by homes and give them gifts instead of asking for stuff for yourself.
Check with your neighborhood or city to learn when children are expected to be out. Sometimes there is a community event on an evening other than October 31, and children who participate in this event might not be out again on Halloween night. So you will want to confirm what is happening in your area.
So much of Halloween decorations commemorate death, evil, and darkness. The Lord Jesus Christ has conquered death, and he brings life, goodness, and light to all who come to him in faith. Stand out in your community as a house that celebrates life, goodness, and light. For example, you could put up strings of white lights around your front door, or put luminarias (candles or electric lights in small paper bags) along your sidewalk. Instead of skeletons, spiders, and spooky stuff, perhaps you could feature a lighted Cross and an empty tomb. You could also have some pleasant music playing to add to the peace and hope our God offers.
In addition to going from house to house, many churches offer a special event variously called “Trunk or Treat,” fall festival, or harvest festival. At this time children and their families can go to a safe area to receive food and candy, play games, and do other fun activities. You could help staff an event, provide supplies and resources, invite your neighbors, and generally use this as an opportunity to share the gospel and the light of Jesus Christ in your community.
These are all just ideas to help you fulfill your task of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ.
These are all just ideas to help you fulfill your task of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ. While many of the practical ideas presented here are tied to Halloween festivities, the missionary mindset is one we should follow every day. Our Savior has left us in the world to point others to him. Stand as a lighthouse in your community.
God is a God of life, not death. Though much evil attends Halloween celebrations, we have no cause to fear this day, since Jesus is Lord over all. Let us have “salted speech,” saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5–6)