This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Terilyn Brown, Northpoint’s Director of Children’s Ministries.
Dear Church Family,
How I used to dread when the month of October would roll around each year. Oh, I loved the cool, crisp mornings and the fall color, but as the month would draw to a close, the beauty of autumn would give way—at least as I saw it—to the blight of Halloween. In every store and in every neighborhood were, to my eyes and ears, sights and sounds of pain, fear, suffering, and death—all seemingly directed at our precious children. Happy Halloween? I didn’t think so.
The only thing that made the evening of October 31st tolerable was the good ol’ Northpoint Country Fair. Many of you will remember those many years when we’d invite the community to our campus for a reprieve from what was going on outside the church walls. We’d offer fun games and activities, and hand out candy (that was my job!) in the name of Jesus. I loved being able to tell the little boy looking at the big kid in the gory costume that he didn’t have anything to fear because Jesus loved him. I loved being able to tell a child how Jesus’ greatest desire is for them to know that He died and rose for them so they could be with Him forever and ever. At least some of Corona’s kids were safe from Halloween, if only for a little while.
Given that, I was a bit surprised a few years ago when leadership said that we were going to try something new: instead of inviting the community to Northpoint for the County Fair, we were challenged to take Northpoint and the gospel into the community. What would I do? It was so easy to share quick gospel shots (and a few pieces of candy) to the long line of Halloween revelers streaming through T100. They had come to my church after all, so of course I could share Jesus—they probably expected it. But what about at home? People probably wouldn’t be so willing to hear about God in exchange for a piece of candy.
My first thought was to stay home by a fire in the fireplace, the porch light flicked off, shades closed, all the while ignoring the doorbell when brave souls would come to the door of the darkened Brown house. I’d wait Halloween out. But that would miss the point of what we’d been asked to do: take Northpoint and the gospel into the community. After some discussion with my husband, we scraped the idea of hiding out, and decided that we’d set up a hibachi on our front porch and make s’mores for those who came to our house in search of candy. We’d also pass out invitations door to door in our neighborhood. Then, when people showed up, we’d slow things down, ask them to sit and wait while we cooked. And we’d try to chat. If an opportunity arose, we’d try to bring up something spiritual. If nothing happened, at least we’d be remembered as the place to be for the next Halloween—when maybe we’d have a better discussion.
That was the plan … and it worked! We’ve done that for the past two years (or is it three?). There haven’t been any memorable conversations, but at least we’ve made ourselves available. We’ve gotten to know some neighbors that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s easy. It’s something you could do, too. Be creative. Make yourself available. Do something to glorify God on a night that seems to me, to be dedicated to the enemy.
Now I look forward to October 31st.
So this year, please think about being a gospel light in your community. Really get prepared for Halloween.
For God’s Kids,