I’m cheating on Halloween with All Saints Day (or All Souls Day) this year. I’ve never made a big deal of All Saints Day but Halloween has lost some of it’s pizzazz for me. Besides, All Saints Day focuses on the commitment the saints made, even unto death, that our kids need to hear.
For years, as a youth pastor, I would follow the well worn path of balancing the practice of Halloween while tapping into the seasons of helping kids address their fears (because, God-forbid I should say something nice about Halloween)
This year I’m not a youth pastor, so I don’t have to come up with a catchy series title or beg kids not to come “dressed that way” to the Harvest Festival. This has freed up a lot of mental space so I turned my attention to that other celebration that falls on the same day, All Saints Day.
So, with my free time, I thought, maybe youth workers, like you, would like to skip Halloween this year and focus on what both biblical and historical martyrs could teach us about living a sacrificial life. I’m not crazy, I called it something cool: Bringing Back The Dead. I still have youth worker blood in me after all.
There are four lessons
In the first lesson, I pull Halloween’s pants down and take the devil’s candy. Halloween is not the boogey man the church has made it out to be. The devil holds no greater power on the 31st of October than any other day. Students learn that their commitment to Christ is powerful than the fear of the enemy.
In the second lesson I talk about those saints from scripture who gave up their lives for the cause of Christ back when it was really dangerous to be a follower of Jesus (unlike in America where they may call you a few names). Their commitment to the truth of the gospel will remind your students of what real commitment is and why their commitment to stand in the face of adversity matters.
In the third lesson I take to more historical martyrs both ancient and modern. These men and women risked everything and, in the end, gave everything to serve Christ. These stories of commitment will inspire students to re-evaluate their commitment to Christ and draw them deeper into daily devotion to their faith.
Lastly, I share God’s deal with the dead. Many think life is over when you die. Even some believers think we’re just going to lay around and eat steak for all eternity. No, God’s made a deal with the dead, and life after death get’s even busier than the life we had before. Students are challenged to be committed until they day I die.
I hope you’ll check out the series and challenge your kids this October to look at the dead, and the living, in whole new way.
As for Halloween, I like it for what it is, a night where I sit on my porch and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. And maybe wear a funny mask.