the Monday Morning Debrief: To Halloween or NOT to Halloween

To Halloween or NOT to Halloween.  That is the question that seems to plaque youth ministers

Trunk or Treats, All Saints Eve and Fall Festivals are all things I have heard youth programs do during Halloween.  In fact, last night our youth program did our 2nd annual Hallotober Fest (a combination of the words Halloween and October…just in case you didn’t know).

images-5Hallotober consisted of a bunch of gross or fun Halloween type games such as “Bobbing for Worms” and “Mummy Wrap Race”. It also included a maze we created to do something different and fun for the students.  Sandwiched in-between the games and the maze is a break for a message that is Halloween based.  This year’s message was on Conquering our fears.

I know that there is a school of thought in youth ministry that almost ignores that Halloween exists.  I can understand that as we don’t want to be apart of culture and in essence lose our salt and light. However, what we are striving for is to use what is going on around the world and be light to that.  Students are encouraged to dress up, but nothing gross, bloody or sexually suggestive and come out for a great night of fun and games.  Each year we have done it, it has gone over really well.

I believe that when you use things in culture, you become culturally relevant and students can see how their faith can be alive in this day and age.

Whatever it may be, there are a variety of ways you are “celebrating” Halloween with your youth.  What did you do or what are you doing? OR even, what are you NOT doing?

Share your thoughts and experiences below so we can have a good conversation on to Halloween or NOT to Halloween.


Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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