It may seem that no matter what, we cannot escape the festivities around 31 October. In 2023, many Christians are embracing alternatives to Halloween and participating in festivities that incorporate their Christian beliefs. Church Growth Trust has gathered a selection of ideas and resources to help resource your chosen events and festivities.
Some churches hold special events around this time of year. There might be a ‘light party’ with fun activities for children and young people – these events are a lovely way to focus on all that’s life-giving and positive around All Hallows. Scripture Union has created a comprehensive guide to holding your own alternative celebration – Light Parties | Scripture Union.
Acts of kindness and charity
Rather than participating in traditional Halloween festivities, some may choose to engage in acts of kindness and charity. They may visit nursing homes, hospitals, or shelters to distribute gifts, cards, or treats to those in need. This places emphasis on compassion, love, and service to others, reflecting the teachings of Jesus.
‘Trunk or Treat’ events
“Trunk or Treat” events have gained popularity among Christian communities as an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. Church members decorate their car boots or ‘trunks’ in a festive way and park them in a designated area. Children then go from car to car, collecting sweets and participating in games. This allows for a safe and monitored Halloween experience while fostering community togetherness. Type ‘trunk or treat’ into your search engine to find lots of ideas to inspire you!
An evangelistic opportunity
The occasion provides us with a unique evangelistic opportunity to reach out to our local communities outside of church. Visit the Faith in Kids Halloween Blog for ideas for equipping ourselves to think Biblically about Halloween. Scripture Union has created ‘Jesus is the light’ children’s session to help incorporate the message into your events. The team at Speak Life has also created an evangelistic video for Halloween, that although a couple of years old, remains relevant.
Give out a taste of the Gospel alongside sweet treats
When trick or treaters come calling, why not give out sweet treats and some form of age-appropriate gospel or scripture-based tract, booklet, or gift? Adding Bible verses to bags of sweets (minus the scary wrapping) could be a great alternative.
Prayer and reflection gatherings
For some, dedicating the evening of Halloween to prayer, reflection, and contemplation is a meaningful alternative. Families or communities can gather for prayer services, scripture reading, and discussions about faith. This time can be used for spiritual growth and strengthening connections with God.
It can be tricky to support younger children to engage with Jesus and respond to him, especially amongst the distractions of typical Halloween festivities. By sharing the ‘Faith in Kids’ video ‘Why can’t we be like everyone else?’ you can help parents navigate the difficult aspects, such as knowing how to respond to party invitations or knocks at the door.