There is much debate about Halloween and whether the Christian church should celebrate this holiday or not. Whatever your view on the subject, it can’t be denied that wearing costumes and going trick-or-treating are some things kids enjoy.
While it may not be appropriate to participate in a traditional Halloween as a church, we can still pay attention to why children love this holiday, such as costumes, candy, and an interest in the spiritual world. We can separate these aspects from the festivity and explore them in new ways! Let’s talk about three children’s ministry-appropriate alternatives to Halloween that your church could provide.
1. Put on a Fall Play
Autumn is a wonderful time to incorporate a program for children to get involved at church. Holding a Fall play or musical would provide a creative environment for kids to act, sing, dance, and - of course - have the opportunity to dress up in costumes!
This theater experience is a positive way to involve the whole church from the program design, to the set and costume makers, the supportive church audience/congregation, the musicians, and the kid actors. For the script, you create your own play based on a well-known Bible story. There are also many excellent Christian resources, such as KidsWorksMusic.com or KathieHillMusic.com.
Bonus: Check your local area for Christian performances or take your Children's Ministry to a movie theatre to watch a Christian movie. If there are no showings in your area, create your own movie theatre at the church.
2. Host a Candy Carnival
Another aspect that kids enjoy about Halloween is candy. Who doesn’t love a chocolatey peanut butter cup or a sweet lollipop? Hosting a Candy Carnival at your church provides a creative way for kids to enjoy playing fun carnival games and collecting candy as prizes!
Some exciting games to include are fishing for candy with poles, a coin toss into buckets, and knocking pins down with a ball. The possibilities are endless. And the more games you have, the bigger the event will be.
Be sure to include options for children who are food-sensitive, diabetic, or have other health-related allergies and challenges. When you go the extra mile to make sure everyone is included, it says so much about how the church cares about and values us all.
Bonus: Create a candy scavenger hunt, much like the board game Candy Land, where kids collect candy as they complete the game.
3. Talk to Your Kids About the Spiritual Stuff
We know from God’s Word that the spiritual world is very real. There is good and evil, angels and demons. For us to pretend it doesn’t exist is foolishness, but to explore the spiritual world without the protection of Jesus would also be foolish. You have an incredible opportunity during the fall season to teach God’s truth about what's really happening in the spirit realm.
Topic: Resurrection of the Dead
Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. He also rose Himself from the dead after defeating death. In fact, in Matthew 27:52-53 it says, “Tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs. After Jesus was raised from the dead, they went into the holy city. There they appeared to many people.”
Sounds scary, right? The truth is, it was anything but. Talk to your kids about how miraculous it was for Jesus to do these things. Instead of shying away from the topic of the spiritual world altogether, tackle the questions kids have about being raised from the dead and other strange and miraculous stories they can find in the Bible. Two curriculums we provide at Children's-Ministry-Deals.com.com that delve into some of these stories are “Science with Jesus” and “Did You Know?”
Rather than being afraid or having an unhealthy fascination with the spiritual world, we can help children understand that God is in control, so there is nothing to fear!
Kids like being active, creative, and helpful, and they like to have a whole lot of fun. We have an amazing opportunity to be the light of Christ and to share the gospel with the children in our ministry! We have the opportunity to do things differently from the rest of the world.