Across the UK, around one in three people will be celebrating Halloween this year, spending an estimated £687 million on decorations, food and costumes. Hours of ghost stories will be told and horror movies watched. Children and adults alike will be celebrating. So how can we use this opportunity to share an alternative narrative and spread the good news of the gospel for all ages?

Halloween is a time of year when some of our neighbours, friends and colleagues become more aware of the thin line between this world and a spiritual realm, a topic the Bible has much to say about. So, we can speak bravely, knowing that we contend with real spiritual forces (Ephesians 3:16). Yet, hand in hand with this, we can shine out with the kind and wonderful love of Jesus in good deeds, showing kindness and generosity to our neighbours (Matthew 5:16).

An opportunity for the church to shine

There are so many things we can do in this season to remember and celebrate the Light, and share it with those around you. Here’s just eight ideas to get you started:

1. Give hot drinks to chilly parents. Be kind to parents and guardians who bring their children round to trick or treat. You could even go all out with hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows. As Christians, we want to show kindness and start good conversations with neighbours. It might end up being the perfect window to invite them to your church carol service.

2. Host a children’s Light Party. Play games, try light-themed craft activities, give out sweet treats, and share a simple gospel message. It can be such a fun and positive alternative and shows goodwill to local parents and children. Plus, it can help young disciples in your church and family not feel left out of what their friends at school are doing. Check out Scripture Union’s light party pack here.

3. Be sensitive and respond to people’s needs this Halloween. What are their Halloween plans and why – are they looking for thrill, a sense of connection, or participation? How can you point to Jesus as the one who meets the particular need that they are feeling? For example, at this time, some people take an interest in séance and psychic events in the community. Maybe they are longing for connection and are wondering where their late loved ones have gone after death.

May we make an effort to prove that the deepest and most precious connection, comfort and hope can be found in Jesus and in His family, the church. Why not create a warm space to welcome members of your community this winter – take a look at the Warm Welcome campaign so you can help people to stay warm and connected both physically and spiritually. Maybe some feel they want a sense of participation and belonging – why not ask them round for a cup of tea or dinner?

At Halloween, some of our neighbours are more aware of the thin line between this world and a spiritual realm, a topic the Bible has much to say about.

4. Prepare for tricky conversations. When chat turns to horror films, demons, ghosts or other potentially tricky topics, how will we respond? Are we ready to share the reason for the hope” we have (1 Peter 3:15)? Let’s remember that the spiritual darkness represented by the spooky decorations is real, powerful and not something to take lightly, but that the Light is much greater. Why not have a read of Ephesians 2:1 – 10 and pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you and to your non-Christian friends and family members as we approach Halloween.

5. Paint a gospel verse mural, or light-themed decorations on your home. Buy temporary window paints and paint a gospel verse mural on your front window. A bright and colourful mural can be a great conversation starter. Or, as my friend suggests, decorate the front of your home with light or crosses and make a welcome sign which invites trick or treaters to try your house if they want to be where the light is and to enjoy a sweet treat. Don’t forget to remind them Jesus loves them!

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6. Open up the Bible with young disciples in your family or church. I asked my friend, a children’s ministry leader, how she approaches Halloween with young disciples. She noticed her children can feel scared by Halloween activities and imagery, yet also left out of a big fun night. She shares a few key principles with them; that they are children of God so they don’t celebrate anything that glorifies evil or makes a joke out of hurting people, and that some families don’t find Halloween funny because it may bring painful memories or trauma. We look at what the Bible says about light and darkness, good and evil and we remind ourselves why we want to stay on the side of light,” she shares, but we join a light shine party if we can, so they don’t feel left out.”

7. 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. Or, as my friend suggested, get some sweets (without scary wrapping) and add some Bible verses to them in a bag. The Good Book Company has some options. UCB also make the Bag of Hope’, a giveaway bag with a Bible story colouring book, which you can add sweets into.

8. Share inspirational Christian testimonies. 1 November is traditionally a day to remember Christian martyrs. Why not use the opportunity of All Saints Day to share an inspirational Christian testimony on social media.

Let’s shine bright with truth and kindness this Halloween, because the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Consider what your friends’ Halloween plans are, and why – are they looking for a thrill, connection, or participation? How can you point to Jesus as the one who meets the need that they’re feeling?

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Have you made a great Halloween resource you'd like to share?

Are you an organisation with a great mission or evangelism resource for Halloween? If you’re a member, submit your resource(s) online to the Halloween section of our Great Commission resource hub, by filling in the form here (you’ll need to have your organisation’s details ready).