How Does Your Ministry Approach Halloween?

Halloween fell on a Sunday. It was my first year in youth ministry and many years since I had last gone Trick or Treating, so I had no clue what that meant.

For our middle school students it meant that it didn’t matter the size of the party or what I promised they were going around the neighborhood. I ignored all the signs and warnings, I planned a huge party with tons of candy and a bonfire. I told them, their parents and only one teen showed up. He had an awesome time, but it was a lot of work for little result.

Over the years I’ve done several different things with Halloween when it comes to youth ministry. I’ve ignored it, embraced it and gone halfway between. What you do depends on your church, and your community. But, what I do think reigns true is that you:

Can’t Ignore The Culture Around You

If Halloween is a big deal in your community then you are going to have to embrace it. That could mean having teens dress up for your night of ministry, passing out candy or canceling so that you can be in the community.

Before you make plans of what you would like to do, know what’s going on in your town. Use that as a way of adapting and doing something a little different.

Can Use It To Leverage Your Ministry

Halloween is a great opportunity for outreach and evangelization. You can use it talk about martyrs in the church, death in our culture or what happens when we over indulge. You can do this as you are leading up to Halloween or as a response after the holiday. Just know that there are a lot of different themes you can pull from.

Can Build A Tradition But It Takes Time

If you want to make Halloween a memorable moment in your church then you have to know it’s going to take time to build. This is especially true if the community around you has it’s own traditions. If you want to leverage the holiday to deepen people’s faith look for a few early adopters who are going to get on board with your plan and help you promote it. Start out small and build on it each year.

Even if you don’t like to dress up or if you are unsure about the mixed messages Halloween can bring, know that it’s a part of our communities. Learn what others do, use it as a way of connecting with others and if anything make sure you floss after all that candy.

How does your ministry approach Halloween? Are you “ALL IN” or do you ignore it?


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