Our small group is full of wonderful people who have great ideas. One of our couples decided a few years ago to create an Pumpkin Party for their grandchildren. On the designated night, the grandchildren (I think there are 11) would bring their parents for pumpkin carving, costume contests, pinata, and grilling. Since they started this party tradition, they have enlarged it by inviting friends and colleagues with their children and grandchildren.
This year, we took our older grandson who had a blast. We didn’t count, but there must have been about 25 children, along with parents or grandparents. Many of them we knew from church, but others we did not. The first event: Pumpkin carving. Our two older sons are expert carvers, but we have no patience for it. We did manage to get the top of the pumpkin cut!
From there, we moved on to the random run through the large back yard — and I mean LARGE. The kids had room to run and run. As it was getting dark, out came the light-sticks — those plastic strands with the phosphorescence glow substance inside. These wonderful creations generated a huge amount of running fun for the kids.
Then came the pinata, the costume contest and the pumpkin carving contest. Every child received an “award” of candy. And, finally, food! By now, everyone had the opportunity to meet and interact. The kids seemed to automatically make new friendships. The adults, too, were engaging in good conversation, even among strangers.
The concept is this: Take secular celebration and create a safe environment for the kids to have a great time. Invite some Christian friends and some secular ones, too. Mix them up in a casual and fun atmosphere, and you have instant mission field!
God has called His people to be salt and light in this secular and pagan world. We become salt when we take advantage of opportunities like this to “season” the occasion with Christ’s love. We become light when we allow the love of Jesus to shine through us into the darkness of this age. What a great way to penetrate families with the gospel than through a fun and casual family event such as this!
Whatever your views on Halloween, the day will come around every year on its appointed time. As Christians, we have several choices when it comes to Halloween:
- We can shun it and isolate ourselves.
- We can embrace it and celebrate with the culture.
- We can creatively use the occasion to share the good news of Jesus.
I am thankful for friends like these who choose to invest their time, energy and lives into a secular occasion such as Halloween for the missional purpose of engaging secular people with the gospel of Christ. Be creative next year. Find a way to be missional in your family discipleship. I am already looking forward to next year!
What ideas do you have or have tried? I would love to hear from you!