What to Do When Halloween Falls On a Church Night

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Pastors and church leaders faced the question of how to handle Christmas Day when it fell on a Sunday last year. The news media highlighted churches that chose to cancel services on Sunday to allow families to celebrate at home. A LifeWay Research study, however, found that nine in 10 pastors planned for their churches to host Christmas services on that Sunday.

This year, Halloween falls on a Wednesday.

According to a 2011 National Retail Federation study, "seven in 10 Americans (68.6 percent) plan to celebrate Halloween." If your church is like most others, you have midweek programming on Wednesday nights and it is unlikely that you would cancel those activities for Halloween.

The question is: What do you do when a major cultural event that does not represent your values threatens to hijack your activities?

Let me share how our church has chosen to tackle this. Our Wednesday night programming includes dinner, age-level activities and short-term connect groups for adults. I called an "ad hoc strategic meeting" with key staff members who lead or are involved in Wednesday activities. The only item on our agenda was to deal with our plans for Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.

After discussing all the options, we decided not to ignore Halloween, but to plan a few simple enhancements for the night and communicate to our church family in time for them to make their own decisions about participation.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Craig Webb
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