Growing up, my church always had the Fall Family Festival on Halloween night. And it was awesome! They made this their biggest outreach event of the year, complete with a full carnival of rides, games, and concessions. Looking back on it, I have no idea how much money was spent because it was HUGE!
This has now become pretty common. Many other churches hold Trunk or Treats. And then some just flat out tell you not to participate at all. What do I think OneLifers should do?
I think we should take a cue from two Bible passages. First, Luke 5:27-32 talks about when Matthew – a tax collector, aka scumbag – started a relationship with Jesus. As soon as he did, he invited all of his other pagan, scumbag friends to a big ole PARTY! What was the purpose? To simply introduce people to Jesus. And of course, it really ticked off the religious leaders who couldn’t BELIEVE Jesus would hang around such secular people and secular practices.
Then there are Jesus’ parting words in what we call the Great Commission. The best way to translate those words are “As you are going…make disciples.” We live in a culture that LOVES Halloween. It is second only to Christmas in terms of retail potential! So as we are going through our lives next week, everyone around us is gearing up for this big night. Why don’t we use it – like Matthew did – to reach people for Jesus? Sure, some religious people might give you a hard time for being secular or participating with the pagans. But that didn’t seem to bother Jesus any!
So my encouragement to you is this: dress your kids up, carve a pumpkin, and eat lots of candy. But don’t stop there! Turn the porch light on. Invite people into your home. As you go door-to-door, start relationships with your neighbors. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give you opportunities to share your faith and the story of Jesus, or at least plant the seeds of a relationship that will lead to that.
Let’s use this big day to our advantage, and watch Jesus use it to redeem many who need to discover Him and how their one life can make a difference!