Many Christians have a difficult time with Halloween because of the many cultural associations with Satan and other scary things that are not of Christ. You always have the option to avoid and “sit out” the holiday. You could also go to an event at your church instead of handing out candy at your home. But have you ever considered participating in the holiday and then using that as an opportunity to amplify the love of Jesus to your neighbors?
Here a list of ways to do outreach from your home on Halloween:
Demonstrate positivity, kindness, and love
Have you heard the quote, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words?” This applies here. Don’t feel the need to preach the words of Jesus to a bunch of kids who just want to stop by, get some candy, and then go onto the next house. Act excited when they come to the door, ask them about their costumes and if you feel the need, maybe say things like, “I’m praying God keeps you all safe tonight! Have a great time!” as they leave.
People rarely remember the words you say, but they always remember how you made them feel.
There’s nothing worse to a young person (and to their parents) than getting year-old candy that is questionably wrapped and a trac with Bible verses in it. Even if your intentions are good, this communicates that you don’t care about their experience and makes many people feel judged.
The verses and the candy will likely get tossed. If you feel the need to write something, hand out invites to an upcoming church function. If your budget allows, give out something other than the cheapest candy at the store. Parents will likely remember who gave their kids what (as they will be watching for safety reasons) and they will remember your kindness.
Be a good neighbor
Consider doing any one of the following things to care for your neighbors:
- Go door to door before Halloween and offer reflective tape that can be attached to any costume. Another option would be to lend out reflective vests or even glow sticks.
- To 99% of people out there, believers or not, Halloween is not about Satan, but about having fun. Kids and adults alike get very excited about planning their costumes and put a lot of effort into them. Think about ways that you can do to increase fun, especially for children.
- Offer something warm for parents to drink or offer a “warming station” for cold trick-or-treaters.
- Consider helping the elderly or sick by purchasing candy for them or offering to help them answer the door so that they can participate.
Whether or not you choose to participate in Halloween in the same way that many of your neighbors may, there are plenty of ways to shine a light of love and hope to those you encounter.