This is the time of year when the lines are drawn between whether or not Christians, particularly
within Children's Ministries, should or shouldn't celebrate Halloween. Many churches opt to have a Fall Festival instead, yet there are those who think even that
shouldn't happen because it is just a "Halloween replacement."
Many, many years ago, I was involved in a College Ministry at a prominent downtown church. One year, if you can believe it, we actually created a "Haunted House"! It was more funny than scary. We did it with good intentions, to draw in the unsaved to hear a Gospel message afterwards. Today, there is more awareness of the connection with satanic influence, so I would definitely not advise doing this as a "way to witness" to others.
However, I believe there are two good reasons to have fall festivals for your children's ministry:
1) It's a Biblical idea. God commanded the people of Israel to celebrate the harvest during the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast reminded God's people how He cared and provided for them while they wandered in the desert, living in temporary shelters, traveling to the land God promised them. It also helped them remember God's current faithfulness in providing the final harvest of the season. (Learn more about all of God's special feasts.)
2) A Halloween alternative, that is Biblically-based, is not only a safe and healthy way to provide for the children of your church, it is also an effective outreach to your community of un-churched kids. By providing games, treats, puppet shows, etc., which emphasize thanksgiving for God's provisions, you will also have the opportunity to tell them about Jesus and can invite them and their parents to other activities at your church.
It's also important for Christians to welcome Trick or Treaters to the doors of our homes. But be sure to include Gospel tracts with the candy you hand out. And even if you have teenagers knocking for the freebies, take the opportunity to show them kindness and witness to them as well! (Download our Fall Gospel tracts.)
I'd love to hear from you. What do you think? Does your church have a Fall Festival? Share your ideas here!
Serving Christ together,
Sarah Keith <><
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