Yesterday, I pointed to our need to think theologically about our college ministry methods; in this case, I was referring to how we interact with our campus’s “party scene,” and then particularly how we engage students at Halloween.
Regardless of where you land on “Halloween-celebration,” there are ways any college minister can use this as a season to impact or be impacted. No matter our viewpoint on Halloween, this is an opportunity!
(I threw out some of these ideas right before Halloween last year, and others are new. Either way, this year you get a little more lead-time!)
- View what takes place if debauchery reigns on your campus. Observe things like a missionary should. Let it break your heart. Let it open your eyes and your Christian students’ eyes. Let God use what’s actually happening – not just what you assume is happening – to provide ministry ideas for the future. Consider prayer-driving or prayer-walking through “the scene” – it really will break your heart sometimes, especially if you stick around until after the fun ends.
- Serve students. Like Spring Break mission trips or Finals Week, your campus might respond well to various forms of late-night service. After you’ve prayed through your convictions on this, it’s worth considering how you can serve – and build relational bridges to – students.
- Pray. Pray – with your students or otherwise. This might be a night for all-night prayer or prayer-walking, or just some intentional prayer before the festivities are underway.
- Teach. The issues raised by Halloween are worth teaching about. Speaking on the occult or “Is Satan real?” might be important, for instance. But your students might need to hear other things addressed, too: Why shouldn’t a girl “dress to impress” in the party scene? Why wouldn’t a college student drink to excess once in a while? What’s so wrong with a night or weekend of debauchery? How can students serve their peers when they’re wrapped up in these things? There are plenty of topics this season brings up – so have you taught through these things? Are your students prepared for the Halloween season (or next weekend’s frat parties)?
- Attract. Of course, depending on your convictions, this is also a time where simple ideas – pumpkin-carving, for instance, or helping local kids – could draw plenty of students to your campus ministry.
- Integrate. In a connected vein, consider what your campus already does with Halloween. Are there chances to dovetail with what your “tribe” is already up to? Again, don’t cross your own convictions, but where you can, consider getting involved with other organizations or official campus activities.