Holidays - Blog

What Christians Miss When They Ignore Halloween

Philip Long October 28, 2015

When John Crossman’s daughters began asking him if Halloween was the “devil’s night,” John instinctively said “no.”

While Halloween is a dubious holiday in which people seem to celebrate all the wrong things, John, along with many Christians, see an evangelistic opportunity instead.

“On Halloween, your neighbors are coming to you,” says John. “I think it’s an opportunity to show them the love of Christ, not turn off your lights and hide.”

John wanted his house to be fun, a place where neighbors feel comfortable and know his family as a resource.

So 8 years ago he began buying full size candy bars for the kids, water bottles for the parents, and a deck of cards with a brief gospel outline.

Living in Orlando, John was inspired to add water when he saw the mothers walking around sweating. He saves the water for later in the night, when parents are likely to have stolen a little candy out of their children’s bags.

On his porch, John makes an effort to talk and engage neighbors, having friends and family join him.

Each year John’s asked local churches if he can hand out info about their services. Sadly he’s been met with resistance in the form of “no” or lack of interest.

“We are called to be a light in the darkness,” John urges, “I have seen 14-year-old girls wearing completely inappropriate outfits. I have seen 4-year-boys dressed as demons. One thought process is to just ignore it, but my thought process is ‘No, let’s lean in, let’s be kind, let’s be loving and maybe that’s the only Jesus these people see’.”

“If [Halloween] gives us a reason to love people that’s a good thing, that’s all,” says John.

Besides this, John says he’ll never stop giving out chocolate, which is a very good thing.

Here are some ways you can adopt the holiday:

  1. Purchase copies of The Story of Jesus for Children. Make sure they’re accompanied by generous amounts of candy. Or you can simply give out cards for the Jesus Film app.
  2. Dress up! Don’t be “Church Lady” (Dana Carvey’s character from Saturday Night Live) that used to see “the devil” everywhere. Remember there are a lot of fun popular characters out there that represent good things.
  3. If you don’t know a neighbor’s name, find out when they come trick-or-treating and write it down so you can have more conversations later.
  4. Find something good and kind to say to everyone who comes through, even if it looks like a ghoul and kicks you in the shin.
  5. Don’t give out apples or, gasp, vegetables. You don’t want to be that house. Always give out candy. Consider giving water to parents as well.

What other ideas do you have for using Halloween as an outreach opportunity? Comment below!

Philip Long

writes for Cru's publications as a missionary journalist. He earned a master’s degree in Christian studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Philip balances family life along with bike riding, drawing and whittling toy cars. Contact him at

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