Halloween. It’s like Easter and Christmas – it comes around like clockwork once a year on October 31st. Yet it’s not like Easter and Christmas because (in Australia at least) it is an ‘unofficial’ thing that seems to have crept in by stealth due to the relentless American influence on teenagers in particular. And it’s not going to go away. My take is that ‘Halloween night’ will become more and more popular in the years ahead. The common reaction by Australian Christians to Halloween is to fear it, avoid it, or do some tut-tutting. However, I want us to see Halloween as a superb gospel opportunity presented to us every year (just like Easter and Christmas). Let me share my excitement!
It seems to me that Halloween is the one day (well, evening) of the year that ‘doorknocking’ is socially acceptable.
It seems to me that Halloween is the one day (well, evening) of the year that ‘doorknocking’ is socially acceptable. When October 31st comes around this year, and there’s a knock at the door, people will usually answer it. They will all be expecting kids dressed as ghouls saying “Trick or treat?!”
I think it is time for Christians to make the most of this opportunity to go doorknocking on the evening of October 31 every year. Imagine … the door-bell rings and the family inside opens the door to find a group of people who say “Treat!” and offer them a bag containing some lollies and other ‘treats’, a pamphlet about their church and the activities they run, an invitation to an upcoming outreach event or course like Christianity Explored, a business card from the Pastor, a gospel pamphlet, and a copy of the New Testament or one of the gospels. A few words from one of the group like…
“Hi! We’re from the church that meets down the road on Sunday mornings. We’re here to give you a treat—here’s a showbag full of lollies—and we’d like to invite you to church sometime, so there’s also some info in there about what we do. You can eat the lollies or give them away! Thanks… See ya!”
… and off they go to the next house.
- It provides a way into the neighbourhood in a non-threatening, fun way.
- People don’t even have to ‘talk about Jesus’ (which will put most Christians at ease!) because it’s essentially ‘advertising’ for the church.
- It keeps evangelism on the agenda of the church.
- It puts evangelism on the agenda of families.
- It provides an easy ‘first contact’ with people from the local church. Non-Christians actually get to physically see a Christian who goes to the church.
- It’s a great opportunity to get people involved in doorknocking on a night when it will ‘work’ marvellously.
- This year it’s on a Saturday night – which is even better for families and the church to do something together. Plus, people might turn up at church on Sunday morning!
I suggest starting with everyone gathering together, perhaps stuffing the showbags, praying together, and then heading out in family groups and/or pairs. Finish the evening off with a church Sausage Sizzle, share stories, and pray again.
While the Halloween phenomena hasn’t taken off in Australia in a massive way yet, there’s enough of it around to suggest that this idea will have legs. My vision is so big that I would love it to take off in such a way that in the years ahead, when there’s a knock the door on the evening of October 31st, Australian householders will never quite be sure if it is going to be a bunch of kids with vampire fangs wanting some lollies, or a bunch of local Christians giving them something!
What an opportunity! To me it’s a no-brainer (another Americanism?)! I can’t believe no one has thought of it earlier.
Knock, knock. “Who’s there?”