Is My Decision Scary? What to do on days like Halloween

Baltimore is a big football town, and you can’t blame them because the Ravens are pretty good.  Even though it has gotten better over the years, the Raven’s success has sometimes served as an obstacle to people attending our church.  So we get pretty excited when they have a Monday night, Thursday night or even better a bye week.  This year’s bye week falls today…Yay!…but hold on it’s also Halloween.  Halloween on Sunday, something I experienced 6 years ago when we had 1 teenager (6th – 12th) show up to our Halloween party.  It was a little sad and a little embarrassing.  I remember thinking November 1st 6 years ago…I have to remind myself what this was like so that we can take a different approach.  6 years later…

…things are a little different.  Our high school students meet on Thursdays so Halloween (this year) is not an issue and for our Middle School students, we decided to do things as usual because we aren’t sure how many students will show up.  We’ll mention Halloween, and give out some candy, but no all out party like we did 6 years ago.  I know some of you might be thinking, “Chris are you crazy take opportunity, you should make it an evangelization event!” and others are thinking, “Just cancel.”  But we are in the middle of a series on priorities and spending time with God and my ultimate feels were doing anything different would be slightly hypocritical.  And I would think hard about this but the next time Halloween falls on a Sunday is in 11 years.
It’s funny because the phenomenon of Halloween is similar to Super Bowl; however, again not every year.  As youth ministers if one of these crazy events/holidays fall on a night of ministry the question becomes do you recreate your program to match that holiday (i.e. Halloween Party), cancel all together or do what you usually do?  I’m interested in your thoughts.

What do you do when your program conflicts with a major holiday/event? (i.e. Super Bowl, Halloween)

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  • Anonymous says:

    I think the kids either want to understand what the event is all about and / or want to join in what they see others / their parents doing. Stay on schedule / modify the message, perhaps.

    And, for accuracy’s sake, it’s “bye” week in the NFL. Just saying.

  • thanks for your comment, I definitely agree it’s about modifying the message and not ignoring the situation you are definitely on point with that. Thanks for the correction as soon as I saw it I was like “oh yeah”.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree, stick with your program just add the spice of the potential conflict event, and balance so there isn’t too much of any one topic or chaos. One focus with pop and flair !!! I’m always looking to you for inspiration and ways to bridge from 4th grade to your program.

  • I live and minister in Utah. Since it falls on a Sunday, Halloween was yesterday. 🙂 No problem for us!

    In all seriousness, I think it depends on the motivation behind it. If we’re worried about attendance, then that’s not necessarily a great motivation for a once-in-a-large-amount-of-time occurrence. But if we’re simply wondering how to interact with culture and be a light, that’s a different story.

    If we did have a Sunday night gathering that conflicted with Halloween, I’d probably just go ahead with business as usual as you’ve chosen to do. Sure, there might be fewer students, but perhaps I’d come up with something fun that we normally couldn’t do with a larger group.

  • Benjer,
    You are definitely right about the motivation behind it. I’m beginning to realize that this is a conversation that we need to have with our ministry team and parents to figure out what are intentions are going into a situation like this. Most times than not we fail to take opportunity of a situation because we fail to communicate clearly.