When the Apostle Paul went to Athens it says he was “very distressed” (Acts 17:16) at the pagan idols he found in the city. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that a few days later he is asked to speak before their council and when he does, here is how the Bible describes it:
Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. (Acts 17:21-23)
Instead of berating them for what he knew was evil, he took their interest in what they didn’t know, an “Unknown God,” and used it as a bridge to tell them about Jesus.
I think we can use Halloween in the same way.
Yes, there is much that is terrible and evil about it and it seems to get darker and darker in how people are celebrating it yet, think about it—it is also a time when people are obsessed with the afterlife, death, the spirit world and all sorts of related things.
As Christians, we know the one person in all of human history who died and who came back from death. He didn’t do it to scare us or demonstrate evil powers, Jesus did it to secure the salvation he freely offers us.
For years I’ve used Halloween as a primary evangelism time in several ways. On my own, I like to go to the Halloween Superstores and spread gospel tracts around in various places (the pumpkins work well). They are also great to give out along with Halloween treats.
Through my ministry of Effective Church Communications, I’ve created additional challenges and resources
Some of what follows will not make some people happy as it is a bit confrontational in some parts. Or maybe offensive if you don’t think we should even talk about Halloween as Christians.
I do sincerely apologize for upsetting anyone, but if any of what follows will help one person consider the ONE who conquered death this Halloween and who will never have to fear death again, it will be more than worth it.
Here are some links on the Effective Church Communications website about Halloween along with free resources you can use to motivate your congregations and to share the gospel message. Just click the link after the title to go to them.