Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Thoughts

When I was younger I looked forward to Halloween. Mom always made our costumes, although there were a few years when we bought costumes. I remember being a clown, a ghost, a hobo or even Batman. It was great to dress up. When I became a dad I remember taking my daughters out in their own costumes. They would dress up as princesses and cheerleaders. Like I did many years before, we would go door to door collecting candy from our neighbors. The neighbors got such a big kick out of seeing the girls in their costumes. Our closest neighbors gave them extra candy or a special gift purchased just for them.

As I am considering Halloween I am wondering if our Christian attempt to take over Halloween has done it a disservice. Churches open up their campuses on Halloween night to offer a safe alternative; some call it Harvest Festival or a Pumpkin Party. But consider for a moment if Halloween has ever really been unsafe.

How many news reports have we seen or read about tainted candy given to kids by some crazy? How many kids have become followers of Satan because of Halloween?

Now I have had many good times at Harvest Festivals and Pumpkin Parties at many churches. We open this night to the community to come and enjoy a safe night of Trick or Treat at church. We desire that this night would be an outreach event to a lost world. But I wonder if most of the people coming to our Harvest Festivals and Pumpkin Parties are not just other Christians. Have churches missed the mark?

Here is my thought, for what it is worth: cancel church sponsored Halloween. Instead, encourage the congregation to go door to door with their kids and meet their neighbors. Get excited to greet every kid that Trick or Treats at your door. Don’t give out tracks! Spend some money on candy and be generous! Think about it, your neighbors are coming to your door, it is a natural ice breaker. This is a night to build relationships.

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