Trick or Treat for Missions - Turn Your Home into the Place for Halloween Outreach

pumpkin painting at church fall festival

Where do you spend Halloween? Do you help out with the cakewalk at your church’s fall festival? Do you dress up a car for a trunk fest, or do you stay at home with your lights off, hoping no little goblins will disturb you? Spend this Halloween a different way. Get together with your faith community and use the day to reach out to people who you may never have the opportunity to cross paths with any other way.

Many believers use a church event to reach out to their surrounding community. Some will come, but others will never come near a church building. Take your group to them. Here’s how:

  1. Choose one or more neighborhoods where someone in your group lives and where there are people who may not be Christians or do not have a church home.
  2. Prepare Halloween goody bags. The bags may contain candy, small toiletries like lip balm, Scripture verses, and an invitation to visit your church. You may also want to include information about your church’s children’s program or an upcoming event. Preparing the bags can be a fun project to do over lunch or dinner with the women!
  3. On the night of the event, also set up something special like a popcorn machine, a cotton candy machine, or a hot chocolate and coffee bar. This will help your group engage the parents while the children are trick-or-treating. Visit with the families while you are serving them this special treat. Let them know who you are and what group and church you are with. Ask them questions about their children, jobs, where they live, etc.
  4. After your Halloween event, spend time in prayer for the families you met. Make notes. Write down any names and family facts you remember from the evening. Is there any follow-up that can be done? Were any of the children interested in upcoming children’s activities at your church? Did you learn of a need in your community? Discuss ways your group can continue to reach out to the families served.

What are the obstacles to hosting such a Halloween event? Some group members may have prior church commitments. However, this may not be the case as many churches plan their fall festivals on nights other than Halloween, particularly if it falls on a weekday. If there are church conflicts, let your group members decide where they would best be of service. You might also consider providing monetary and candy donations since your time will be spent elsewhere. This will allow you to help out with both functions.

Another obstacle may be that some of your group members have children or grandchildren they want to spend Halloween with. If so, encourage them to bring their children to your event. Let the children help distribute the goody bags. Children need to be taught the importance of giving to others. Group members may also rotate duties and be free at times to trick-or-treat in the neighborhood with their children. If you have many children involved, you might want to set up a few festival-type activities, such as bobbing for apples or pumpkin painting. If you have these activities, you could invite the neighborhood children to participate as well. They might get to know children from your group, which could encourage them to visit your church.

God reaches people in many ways. Let Halloween be one of them! Get together with your faith community and begin making plans today!


Laci Post writes from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and her sons, Avery and Eli.

 

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