Children Are Coming to Your Door on October 31

42307388 - children in fancy costume dress going trick or treatingOne thing many people can count on every year on October 31 is children coming to their door for trick-or-treat. To some this is an annoyance while to others it is a time for dressing up like . . . (well, there’s quite a variety here). Christians often find themselves caught in the middle over this pagan holiday and for good reason.

What is standing out in my mind this year is the simple fact that children will be coming to my door on October 31.

My church has been declining in numbers as our congregation ages, and we have only one child and a couple of teenagers left in our congregation. We want to reach out into the community and bring in young families but we don’t know who they are or where to find them. Hello! They are coming to our doors Tuesday evening, October 31.

What can we do to make the most of this opportunity to reach out to young families?

Create and print up invitations to your church, and encourage all church members to give them out to their trick-or-treaters. Include a schedule of regular activities – especially activities for children, youth, and anything that might appeal to young parents. If the only thing you have to offer is a Sunday school class, recruit some volunteers and plan an upcoming event that might appeal to young families and give out the invitations.

This plan is still in its spawning stages for me, so I’m brainstorming for ideas for such an event. Here are a few starters. I hope some readers will share ideas in the comments below.

  • I want something uplifting spiritually as well as simple play time, so a short but strong devotion would definitely be a part of the plan. This would not be an extension of Halloween with spooks and goblins.
  • The Pray & Play Bible for Young Children by Group Publishing offers some great ideas for both activities for children and devotions to include the parents.
  • Some VBS programs are designed in a way that they can be used over a weekend. Or choose a particular day’s lesson out of a former VBS week and use it as a theme for your activities.
  • A Thanksgiving theme would be especially timely.
  • Hayride
  • Create “care packages” for shut-ins, homeless, or otherwise needy people.
  • . . . ? Hoping for more ideas in the comments . . .

Photo copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo

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Comments

Children Are Coming to Your Door on October 31 — 4 Comments

  1. What a wonderful idea, Janice, to invite children to your church! Each year, my husband and I prepare packets for the children who come to our door on Halloween. We use small plastic bags. Into each bag, we put some candy and a tract especially designed to present the Gospel to children. These are available at local Christian bookstores and from the Tract League. By the end of the night, most–if not all–packets are usually gone.

    I love the idea of including information about one’s church in the packet. I will add such information this year and present the idea to my pastor as well.

    Thank you for your inspiring post!

    Blessings,

    MaryAnn
    ______________________________________
    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Author & Writing Coach
    http://www.maryanndiorio.com

    • Thank you for your encouraging words. The idea struck me only a couple days ago after praying with our prayer group that God would show us ways we can reach out to people we don’t know, and especially families with children.

  2. Great ideas, Janice! Our church has a Fall Festival that focuses on fun and outreach. We have booths with carnival type games which are run by our church folks. We rent a bounce house hand out candy and little toys (Oriental Trading) for prizes. We also hand out flyers about our church. We try to really engage with the people who come and have meaningful conversations with them. The gal who organized this event moved away a few years ago and we didn’t have it for the past few years. Our pastor got calls from people in the neighborhood asking about it, so we knew it was effective. This year, I’m organizing it and praying it will bear much fruit!

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