Halloween can be a tricky holiday for many Christians. I personally grew up in a more strict Christian home and we did not celebrate Halloween. There were no costumes, trick-or-treating, Jack-o-Lanterns, or Dollar Store spider webs decorating our home. As an adult and parent of four kids, my husband and I have taken a more moderate approach to the holiday. We try to skip anything scary or evil that can be associated with the holiday, but allow our kids to dress up and enjoy trick-or-treating with friends. As a person who has observed the holiday and spent my childhood skipping it, I don’t think there is anything wrong with either approach. Each parent has to follow their convictions when it comes to what they feel is an appropriate response to this sometimes divisive celebration.
Most of the Christian community approaches Halloween differently. Some of us see its origins as a day where people dressed up in an effort to scare off ghosts as a reason to avoid the holiday altogether. Others enjoy the festivities and chance to make family memories without putting emphasis on the scary, more evil parts of Halloween. Many churches are even using the Halloween traditions, like dressing up and collecting candy, as a chance to plan festivals and other outreach events for the community. These events are created with the hope that they might help connect the broader community with the local church as they venture out to grab some delicious goodies.
At times Christians even use the day as a chance to personally share their faith. They hand out candy and a tract that shares the Gospel on the holiday. This is a way to share their faith with their neighbors. If you feel inclined to share Jesus this way, here are 6 ideas on how to do this in a fun and loving way:
1. Hand Out Tracts with a Treat
If you feel led to hand out tracts that share the Gospel, don’t forego handing out the treat! Those kids are on one mission on Halloween night...which is to procure as much candy as possible (and believe me they usually are very successful at this). If they stop at your house and receive paper and nothing yummy to take with them, there is a good chance your tract will not make it home with them. Take the time to show your guests some love by offering them the treat they are looking for while handing them some additional information to consider once they get home and dump out those overflowing buckets of candy.
2. Ask Permission Before Handing Out the Tract
When tracts are handed out without the recipients knowledge or permission they are not a very effective witnessing tool. Pausing to ask your trick-or-treaters if they would like a tract along with their treat is a good way to show that you are not trying to bamboozle them. Asking permission shows respect to the child’s parents too. Not every parent will feel comfortable with you handing their child information they haven’t had the chance to review on their own first. Pausing to ask if they would like the tract shows care for the families that are coming by your home.
3. Take a Moments to Engage in a Conversation about Faith
Tracts are most effective when handed out with the recipient's knowledge and when they are paired with a conversation. When you ask guests that come by your house if they are interested in a tract, this gives you a chance to also engage in a conversation with them about faith. If they say ‘yes’ you then can invite them to return to talk more if they have any questions about the information you are giving them. This opens the door to a potential relationship, which is the best way to help others come to Christ and continue to grow in their faith.
4. Invest in Quality Tracts
Tracts can be an ineffective way to share the Gospel if they are unclear, cheap, or don’t engage the reader. Do some research and find a quality tract that you feel conveys the truth of the Gospel in a clear and effective way. Christianbooks.com has several Halloween specific options for you to look through. Buying a few samples to read through before investing in a larger number of these tracts is a good way to ensure you are handing out something useful to the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood.
5. Pray Over the Recipients of these Tracts
God honors our faithfulness to share his good news with others. Even if the tract doesn’t get opened, God promises that he hears our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). Use this as a chance to lift up each person who comes by your home in prayer. Praying for them to find salvation, find peace, and that they will know that they are so loved by a good God. This extra step of beginning to pray for your neighborhood and community may be even more effective than handing out information about who God is.
6. Get Involved in Serving Your Neighbors
If you have a heart to see your neighbors come to know the Lord, taking some extra steps to find more ways to serve and hopefully rub shoulders with the people in your community is a great way to start being a light in their lives! Halloween is a fun holiday for neighborhoods because people you may have never met are out mingling and available to get to know. Finding more ways to build a relationship with your neighbors is so important in advancing the Gospel. If you have an HOA, get involved with events, take walks around your neighborhood and travel a little more slowly so you have time to pause and chat when you see others outside, or plan a block party for your neighbors to attend. These are great ways to share the love of Jesus with your neighbors everyday of the year.
Our job as believers is to do our best to share God’s love with the world around us. Being mindful of how we approach others in a world swirling with competing ideas is important. Taking time to engage in conversation, serve others with love, and build relationships with our neighbors is the best way to point them to God. However you choose to celebrate Halloween, striving to show love to others on this holiday is central to what it means to be a Christ follower.
Photo credit: Getty Images/jenifoto
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.