Ja sam bio zagovornik sluge evangelizacije dugi niz godina. Naš vinograd crkva u Cedar Rapids, Iowa je 13 godina i uvijek smo imali srce za tip outreaches da je Steve Sjogren prvi put doveo u našu pozornost u vinogradu obitelji vratio u kasnim 1980-ih. Tijekom godina smo učinili besplatna hrana pokloni, Hosted seljak i tržišta, distribuira besplatno cvijeće na Majčin dan, zaradio susjedstvu ostavlja u jesen, i dati daleko besplatno Goodies na božićne parade.
Dok pišem ovaj kratki izvještaj, naša Crkva se priprema za naš sedmi godišnji Trunk-N-poslastica Halloween događanja. 31. listopada, skrećemo naš veliki parking u Halloween Spectacular koja privlači stotine i stotine obitelji iz cijelog našeg grada. Mi se postroje svoje automobile na kraju našeg parkirališta, čineći ogromnu U-petljom. Za dva sata na Halloween noć, iz 5 PM se 7 PM, ćemo dati slatkiše i slastice iz debla našim automobilima, daje roditeljima sigurno i zaštićeno mjesto da rade svoj trik-ili-liječenje. At the end of the “U” each participant gets a free hot dog and drink, and a warm greeting from our welcoming team.
Over the years, I’ve had well-meaning Christians question me on why we are cooperating with such a dark holiday as Halloween. I tell them that while I personally hate Halloween (and I’m guessing that so does Jesus), I believe that Jesus wants us Christ-followers to be out there with the masses, loving ‘the hell’ out of those who come our way. Oh yeah, I know, I might be trafficking with evil, but as I see it, God’s love is so much stronger than the powers of darkness.
So my encouragement to you this October 31st? Don’t go underground on Halloween, hiding behind your locked doors or hunkering down in your church buildings. May I suggest that you and your church go ‘public’, moving beyond the typical Hallelujah evening for “Christians only”. Try something risky. Take a step into the darkness with the loving light of God. Try hob-knobbing with some of the pagans this year, letting the love of Christ be evident. And while the time might be too short for you and your church to pull off a full-fledged Trunk-N-Treat, try doing what our youth group has done in past years. We call it a Reverse Trick-or-Treat. We arm our youth group and families with bags of candy and on the night before Halloween, we send them out into neighborhoods, knocking on doors and ringing doorbells. When the folks answer the door, we offer them free candy! Without a doubt our teams come back with many reports of surprised faces and blessed neighbors! I’ve been so thrilled year after year when parents from our neighborhood express their appreciation to me that a local church would provide such a great blessing for them during the Halloween season. As I see it, it’s a perfect opportunity for our churches to bring the light of God into the darkness of the season, for His Name’s sake.