This year Halloween falls on a Sunday.
It’s like a mash-up of good and evil, sure to stoke the anti-Halloween crowd into a pumpkin-smashing spree (unlike a few years ago when Christmas was on a Sunday, prompting an explosion of good cheer so intense churches had to cancel services).
It prompts the age-old question: How should your pastor dress up for Halloween?
Or that other age-old question: How should Christians respond to Halloween?
We’re here to remind you that how your church deals with Halloween is a marketing decision. Like everything else you do, it communicates something about your church.
- Are you deep and serious, not distracted by sweet distractions?
- Are you concerned with unveiling hidden evil, even if it means telling the kid down the street his Iron Man costume is evil?
- Do you want to have your cake and eat it too, hushing the holiday but passing out candy with a wink?
- Do you have your head stuck in the sand, pretending a standard culture practice doesn’t exist?
- Or do you join in the fun (and Team Jacob) and dress up as a pastor-turned-vampire slayer?
Consider the church that’s leery of zombies. Instead of a Halloween party, they have a harvest party with costumes and candy and smiling jack-o-lanterns. But it’s not Halloween—no sir! That’d be evil.
These churches are only fooling themselves. Everybody else knows it’s a Halloween party. You can’t decry something as evil but then co-opt it for your own message. That’d be like Mark Driscoll launching a yoga ministry. Instead you need to be sneakier and take over a pagan holiday, but that’s another story.
Instead of wringing our hands over Halloween and planning harvest festivals, maybe we should lighten up a little:
- We could encourage costumes on Sunday morning.
- We could fill the collection plate with candy and offer folks a trade.
- We could hit the local homeless shelter to pass out candy (and toothbrushes) to the kids.
Whatever you think about Halloween, just remember that whatever you do you’re sending a message. The only question is if it’s a message people will respond to or not.