I was raised in a Baptist church. I still go to a Baptist church, of which I am not ashamed. But one thing anyone who grew up Baptist knows is that we don’t typically celebrate the “H” word.
What we did do growing up was go to “fall festivals” and all of the other names for events that happen to fall around October 31 that Baptist churches use to masquerade “the devil’s holiday.”
But I’m here to tell you, Halloween should be celebrated by the church! I’m not going to go crazy and tell you all about the origins of the holiday and give you a history lesson, but what I will do is tell you that if your church completely ignores this holiday, a big opportunity for outreach will have passed your church by!
Halloween is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays on the calendar each year. What’s not to love about dressing up as a popular superhero, a character from your favorite sitcom or some sort of fuzzy creature? The sky is the limit when it comes to Halloween costumes. Plus, what parent doesn’t love dressing their child up? The potential for cuteness is huge.
Who doesn’t love a holiday where a primary focus is treats? Whether you have a sweet tooth the size of Texas (guilty) or you prefer savory treats, Halloween is there for you! Popcorn balls are a popular Halloween treat, the perfect marriage of salty and sweet. The holiday falls right in the middle of fall, or as I like to call it, Crockpot season… hello cheese dips! And for the sweet tooth lovers, BRING ON THE CANDY.
Halloween is also a fun reason to have people over for a party. No matter what day of the year it falls, people everywhere stop what they usually do on a weeknight or weekend and dress up to stay in, or dress up to go trick-or-treating with family and friends.
Additionally, we can’t forget the “Trick” part of “Trick or treat.” Who in a Baptist church doesn’t like a good “trick” or prank? Some of the biggest pranksters I know are on church staff at any one of the Baptist churches in the great state of Oklahoma. This holiday could be the perfect way to end Pastor Appreciation Month by pulling one over on your favorite church leader! (I can say that, I’m a pastor’s wife)
If you look at all of the above mentioned reasons why people enjoy this holiday, and you compare the reasons why Baptists normally gather for functions, they are eerily similar! The holiday meets the three Baptist requirements for an event, which I like to call “the four Fs”: Food, fun, family and fellowship.
At my church, we have “Halloween House Parties.” Instead of hosting an event at the church, life groups are encouraged to host a party of their own and invite their neighbors. Life groups have the opportunity to check out bounce houses from the church, which means, in neighborhoods all over the city, there are several block parties thrown by members of our church. It’s a blast and a fun way to meet people in your neighborhood with whom you might not normally spend an evening.
Instead of being “stuffy church people” who refuse to celebrate a holiday, I say we take advantage of, for once, the world coming to our doorsteps, rather than us going to theirs. Halloween is a huge opportunity for outreach.
So I say, throw on a costume, put some cheese dip in the crock pot, some chili on the stove, open your door to the neighborhood and get out there and love on your neighbors!