Check out these three great ways to redeem Halloween for your children’s ministry–service ideas and party themes!
Help kids serve others. Send home letters to parents requesting a donation of a Halloween treat, such as individually wrapped lollipops, chewing gum, or candy bars. Sort the treats into different containers and place them on a table.
Have each child select either an orange or white lunch bag and decorate it with black and orange markers. The children can then fill the decorated bags with treats from the table. Fold and staple the top of each bag.
A few days before Halloween, take the children to deliver the treat bags to a nursing home, a women’s shelter, or a homeless shelter.
REDEEMING THE DAY
Rather than avoiding Halloween, transform it with these ideas:
- Have a party where people dress up like famous people in literature or the Bible.
- Hold a memorial service for those Christians who’ve died this year.
- Go Halloween caroling with the good news message.
- Have a party with a Christian illusionist doing gospel magic.
- Hold a candlelight service on Halloween night to pray for the neighborhood children’s safety.
- Make Halloween banners promoting Christ’s victory over death.
- Give away angel food cakes.
- Greet one another with “Happy Halloween! Jesus has triumphed!”
- Take photos of trick-or-treaters, get their addresses, and mail the photos to them.
- Carve pumpkin heads and put a candle inside as a reminder to let our lights shine (Matthew 5:16).
- Make a Holy Spirit “comforter” just in time for winter. Have kids pick out material for this patchwork quilt.
- Think of four special things to do in the four weeks before Halloween; for example, do something for God, for unchurched friends, for churched friends, and for family members. Create an Advent-type program to honor these four relationships at this time of year.
Mark von Ehrenkrook
12 PARTY IDEAS
Try these new party ideas to provide kids a safe place on Halloween night.
- Country Picnic — Eat on the ground, auction boxed dinners, and invite your “aunts.”
- Circus, Circus — Have a “let’s pretend” circus complete with three rings, circus animals, and acts.
- Pumpkin Patch Party — Meet in a pumpkin patch or create a patch in your church. Carve pumpkins, hold a seed-spitting contest, and eat pumpkin pie.
- Costume Ball — Have a sports night where different balls are used for activities, such as a football throw or a three-person basketball game. Come dressed in costumes, of course.
- Armor of God Party — Make or purchase armored costumes. Discuss spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12-13).
- Living Library — Have a parade with costumed characters from favorite books. Create rooms based on themes from books such as Tom Sawyer, Jurassic Park, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- Pie Fair — Have pie judging, pie eating, pie throwing, a pie raffle, and a pie walk.
- Cider Squeeze — With this apple theme, have apple pies, caramel apples, and apple games such as bobbing for apples and apple rolling.
- Potlatch — Use this American Indian custom of showering gifts. Shower a poor family with gifts or make blankets for a rescue mission. Have a walk-a-thon to raise money to purchase comforters.
- Fiesta! — Have a pinata, tacos, chips, serapes, luminaries, and Mexican music.
- The Old West — Have pony rides, a barbecue, a dunk tank, a jail for non-Western wearers, and a hoedown (that’s western for dance).
- Noah’s Ark — Have kids come in animal costumes. Your pastor can be Noah. Serve animal crackers. Talk about Christians’ responsibility to care for the animals God has created.
Mark von Ehrenkrook