Halloween is a popular holiday in America, both in terms of celebration and economic gain. According to Statista Research Department, around 65% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year. Despite the ongoing pandemic, families and individuals will continue to celebrate the day that emphasizes trick-or-treating and general spookiness. While some Christians choose not to celebrate Halloween because of its pagan roots, there are Christians who enjoy the festivities and family-oriented Halloween activities.
Regardless of one’s position on Halloween, believers can still use the holiday to evangelize to others and spread the light of Jesus on a day when the world is obsessed with darkness (John 1:5). From traditional to creative ways of sharing the gospel, the following list contains four evangelism ideas for Halloween.
1. Pass out Gospel Tracts with Grace
One traditional way to evangelize on Halloween is to pass out gospel tracts with candy to children who are trick-or-treating. For many years, Christians have used the opportunity of children and families coming to their door to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
However, tracts are only effective when done with proper preparation. Key considerations must be kept in mind when deciding what type of tract to use since there are many different tract options available.
First, Christians need to avoid “scare tactic” tracts that depict scary images of Satan and hell. While Satan and hell are real, the gospel is not about fear. Instead, Jesus lovingly came to die for the sins of all mankind and be raised in victory over death (2 Corinthians 5:15).
By believing in Jesus, people can be set free from bondage to sin and fear of death. As Hebrews 2:14-15 states, Jesus “shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (NIV).
Believers should refrain from using fear as a motivator for children to trust in Christ because Jesus’ death and resurrection should be the focus of all gospel presentations.
Secondly, believers would be wise to read the tract before passing them out on Halloween. Many different questions can be asked to ensure the gospel tract is suitable and clearly conveys the good news. One should ask if the material in the tract explains the message of salvation simply, in a way a child can understand.
Ambiguous ideas such as “accepting Jesus into my heart” are too vague for concrete-thinking children. Also, biblical terms should be explained using simple terms, such as when addressing sin and faith.
One may even need to consider using a tract that covers the entire story of redemption, beginning with creation and the Fall of Man to provide needed background (Genesis 1:1; 3:1-19). Another important question is whether the tract includes all components of the gospel message, including Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Finally, when using gospel tracts, one must also remember to pass out candy. While it may be tempting to only pass out the tracts, one must remember that children are expecting candy on Halloween. Also, passing out poor-quality candy can diminish the effectiveness of the gospel message. Thus, pass out good quality candy with the gospel tracts.
2. Use Candy to Share the Gospel
Candy is one of the main reasons children love Halloween. They enjoy getting a wide variety of treats, especially their favorite ones. An often-overlooked evangelism tactic for Halloween is the use of candy. Using a prepared and creative method, Christians can use candy to share the gospel with children on Halloween.
While there are brands of candy, which print Scripture on candies and individual popcorn bags that can be used on Halloween, individuals can also use a common children’s ministry method to share the gospel using specific colors of candy wrappers.
Sunday school teachers and children’s ministry workers are typically acquainted with the Wordless Book, which has colored pages and movable cut-out pictures. Each color in the book stands for a different aspect of the gospel message.
By exchanging the pages for the wrappings of candy, Christians can easily put together a treat bag of candy with a notecard explaining the meaning of each specific color of candy.
Although there are a few variations of the Wordless Book, many have five colors: Gold, black, red, white, and green. Using this basic layout of colors, one could build a treat bag with a piece of candy for each color. The gold piece of candy would refer to heaven, which is where people want to go to be with God.
Using a dark-colored wrapped candy, children would learn that this color refers to the sin that separates all people from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:23). Next, a red piece of candy would symbolize Jesus’ death on the cross for the sins of all people (Romans 3:24).
Through the white wrapped candy, children would then be pointed to the opportunity to be saved by placing faith in Jesus, since their sins are covered by Jesus’ death and resurrection (Isaiah 1:18; Romans 10:9-11; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Finally, the green color refers to growth in the Christian life (2 Peter 3:18). By including a small note or card with an explanation of the colors, children would have the opportunity to hear about the gospel through their Halloween candy.
3. Capitalize on Halloween’s Focus on Death
Another evangelism idea is to capitalize on Halloween’s focus on death. Decorations, costumes, and movies usually include themes of death, including tombstones, skeletons, and ghosts. Many secular people view Halloween celebrations as a way to make fun of death. However, Christians can use the focus of death on Halloween as a starting point to talk about the gospel.
In talking to friends and neighbors before or on Halloween, believers could ask them questions based on decorations or common Halloween themes. For instance, one could ask a neighbor: “What do you believe about the afterlife?”
Another question could be, “What do you believe happens after humans die?” Unlike the predominant secularism of modern society, Christianity provides clear answers to questions about death and the afterlife.
Scripture teaches that humans were originally created to live forever, but Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought death into the world (Genesis 3:19). Because of the Fall of Mankind, all people experience death (1 Corinthians 15:21). Contrary to the secular worldview, death is not natural.
Instead, the Bible clearly teaches that one day death will be destroyed (Revelation 20:14). All people can have the gift of eternal life if they place their trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection (John 11:25-26).
While the world may think they are making a mockery of death on Halloween, believers know that Jesus is the only One who can give victory over death and save anyone from the fate of eternal death in hell (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
4. Provide an Alternative Celebration
A final evangelism idea for Halloween is to provide an alternative celebration for families and neighbors. Some people enjoy autumn festivities, pumpkins, and candy, but do not appreciate frightening Halloween celebrations.
Churches or individual Bible study groups could throw an autumn party for children and families that include pumpkins, festive lights, and sweets, without scary or gory decorations and costumes.
Christians could invite their neighbors and friends to such a gathering with the intention of building relationships that could lead to opportunities to share Christ. Through the informal setting of a party or gathering, individuals who are not accustomed to a church setting would feel more comfortable and open to making new connections with people.
Thus, believers would be deliberately acting as ambassadors for Christ by providing an alternate option of celebration for those who want to avoid the frightening components of Halloween (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Bringing Light into Darkness
Christians can incorporate evangelism during Halloween celebrations. Even if some believers choose not to observe the holiday themselves, they could still use some of the evangelism ideas to share the gospel on Halloween.
With proper planning, Christians and churches can reach children, youth, and adults through common Halloween festivities, such as trick-or-treating, decorations, or through an alternative party that has all the fun elements without the scariness.
On a night that emphasizes death and the afterlife, believers can shine as beacons of light offering the hope of eternal life through Christ (Matthew 5:16).
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Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry, she is passionate about the Bible and her faith in Jesus. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening.