Lights Out? Or Will You Be the Light at Halloween?


It’s October which brings out spooky things related to Halloween. And it brings out varying views from church folks. What do you do with it? Will you turn out the lights? Or will you be the light at Halloween? Here’s one person’s experience.


Our family has done everything at Halloween—leave town, stay home with the lights out and cringe at every doorbell ring, give candy to kids with scary masks, go to/throw fall festivals, not carve pumpkins/carve pumpkins. Back in the day when we were a “leave town or turn off the lights” family, I felt like Halloween was evil and we just needed to avoid it.

Then I read an essay by a Christian man who talked about being a light in the darkness. His approach was that he didn’t want to be the one house in the community—on a night that children came to his door—that wouldn’t receive them. And I remembered those curmudgeons from my childhood. Whatever their reasons for not opening their doors to us, I wasn’t sure of. But they weren’t people who conveyed love and acceptance for us trick-or-treaters.

So, now I take a more moderate approach. We don’t decorate, but we do have a giant bowl of candy that has way too much left over at the end of the night—even though we give handfuls to kids no matter what age they are.

Is it the right approach? It is for us. Everyone must decide before God how to handle it.


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Our ministries face the same question. How will we handle Halloween? Will we take a lights-off approach? Or will we point toward the Light at Halloween?

Share your ministry’s approach in the comments section below.





About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 28 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones


  1. Here in New Zealand the “Halloween thing’ has only taken off in the last 10 years or so. We don’t have people decorating houses etc. but costumes are available in shops now. Many churches around our country run a “Light Party” which is advertised as “A Positive Alternative to Halloween”. Entry is by gold coin donation ( one or 2 dollar coins) and no scary costumes are allowed. Kids dress as angels, fairies, super heroes, bible characters, animals etc. etc. Often there is a theme which we use to decorate the hall and which kids can dress for if they like eg: saints and angels, sea and sun, light and bright, bold and beautiful. We provide sausages, cold and hot drinks and baking, a couple of bouncy castles, nail painting, face painting, crafts for kids to make, a sausage sizzle, games etc. Our place is always packed with kids and their parents.

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