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The 4 Most Common Ways Churches Handle Halloween

Holidays / Parenting //

We are only a few days away from the most widely debated holiday of the year. (At least it’s widely debated in churches.) For kids, they just want tons of free candy. For schools, they’re glad the candy eating is happening on a weekend this year. For parents, we want our kids to have fun without celebrating something evil. For churches…well…that’s where it gets messy. 

Having spent six years as a youth pastor in the 90’s – and the last two decades visiting hundreds of churches around the country – I have seen lots of different ways churches handle Halloween.

Here are the four most common ways. I am NOT going to give commentary on what I think is best. I’m simply trying to share what I have heard from other pastors, kidmin leaders, youth pastors, and church members.

I truly want to hear both your thoughts and how your church (and family for that matter) handles Halloween.

Take a read and chime in down below.

“Halloween. What’s that?” 

Many churches choose to deal with Halloween by not dealing with it. Let’s not talk about it, address it, or do anything. After all, it’s not “our” holiday.

“Let’s embrace it. After all, it’s just for fun.” 

Some churches feel Halloween has been so centered around costumes and candy, the “evil” element of the holiday simply flies over the heads of kids. So why not join the party?

“Let’s transform something evil into something good.” 

Satan has already lost the battle. If that’s true, why let him “own” something as big as an entire holiday? We’ll take something he meant for evil, and use it for good. Change the name. (How about Autumn Costume Carnival or Fall Festival?) Make sure kids wear appropriate costumes. Play games. Hand out candy. It’s all good.

“We’ll be a safe place on a dangerous night.” 

Finally, there are churches who don’t want to celebrate Halloween, but want a place for kids to get out of the dark (literally) and off the street. This is similar to the third one, but really focuses on keeping kids safe. No costumes, but we’ll play games and have some dessert. Maybe a family movie night or concert.

Question: These are the four most common ways I have seen churches handle Halloween. How does YOUR church handle it?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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About the Author

Keith Ferrin is an author, speaker, blogger, and storyteller who is passionate about helping people read, study, engage, and enjoy the Bible. He was a youth pastor for six years before writing and speaking fulltime. He is the author of three books, including Like Ice Cream: The Scoop on Helping the Next Generation Fall in Love with God’s Word. He and his wife, Kari, have three kids who are the source of both his big smile and gray hair. They live just outside of Seattle. Keith also holds to the belief that coffee and ice cream are proof of a benevolent God.