By Missy Smith and others!
Halloween is known as one of the darkest nights of the year and it does, indeed, have very dark origins. However, we are the church, the people of Jesus Christ! We know the LIGHT that is shown through Jesus, God’s son. The light that gives us hope, peace and joy. This is not a light that shines so brightly that it blinds you. No, it is a gentle light that illuminates an entire room with a subtle glow. The amazing thing about the light of Christ is that when we come to know him as our Lord and Savior we can also shine his light. The Bible says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). So we as believers have been given the LIGHT that conquers all darkness. So, we as First Baptist Church in Shelby have decided that on this Wednesday, October 31, we will not have activities on our church campus. Instead, we would like you to illuminate your homes and neighborhoods with the light of Christ’s love. Let’s take this night, when children look for places to receive candy, to SHINE for Jesus. Share His Incredible Love Everywhere! Let’s light up Shelby with the love of Jesus!
Here are some ideas for how you can S.H.I.N.E this Halloween:
- Put some love in your treats.
Whether you simply give out a small bag of chips to each child, pack small baggies of treats, or are planning for a big party, you can put “love” into your treats.
- Include an encouraging verse.
There’s no need to preach at people or “scare” them into the Kingdom. An encouraging verse, however, can provide some powerful hope on a potentially scary and dark night. That verse might be the only positive and spiritual guidance they receive all night! Make it count! An encouraging verse can provide some powerful hope on a potentially scary night. #ReclaimOct31
- Decorate with joy, not horror.
No matter the era, fear has always been a major part of Halloween. Don’t let your house or ministry location build on fear. Instead, decorate with joy! Remove the skull and add a fun pumpkin.
- Play some fun music, not “pee you pants” scary music.
I remember, as a kid, not wanting to go to certain homes. I’m convinced it had to do with the creepy music. Just like music has the ability to warmly welcome people into worship on Sunday morning, the right Christian music playing on Halloween can invite people to participate in a God-centered Halloween.
It can’t get much simpler than that. Pray for the safety of the children, teens and parents that are outside. Pray for each kid that knocks on your door. Pray for each parent that has to console a child who was legitimately scared because of a Halloween display that night. Prayer works, so do it!
Kids know when you’re grumpy. Christians have the fruit of the spirit growing in them – “grumpy” isn’t a fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control are – in case you didn’t know (Galatians 5:22). When you encounter someone this Halloween, give them a smile. It could go a long way!
- Make kids feel special.
Make kids feel special and you’ll make a positive impact on their parents as well! #ReclaimOct31 Squat down on kids level and point out something special or ask them questions. They might say, “I like your hat,” or “You have pretty eyes.” Or they may ask, “What’s your name,” or “What are you dressed up as?” If you make kids feel special, you’ll make a positive impact on their parents as well!
- Offer something for the family – like FREE Hot Chocolate!
It’s about the kids, I know, but what about stepping outside the box? In our area, it can be quite cold on October 31, so we offer free Hot Chocolate to the kids and parents. I think the parents might enjoy it more than the kids. Either way, it creates community and often some great conversation.
- Dress up.
Yes, that’s right – put on a costume. There’s nothing wrong with dressing up. I grew up watching Mr. Dress-up and loved every minute of it! Dress-up as something silly and fun (avoid clowns) and kids will remember you every year!
- SHINE October 31 for Jesus!
Share His Incredible News Everywhere! Post on social media how you are showing God’s love and reclaiming Halloween for Jesus. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SHINEforHIM
With thanks, in part, to www.andrewholm.com