Archive for Halloween

Reaching Our Neighborhoods – Halloween 2017

Calvary Temple - Pumpkin Crosses

I’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT REACHING THE LOST AND ENCOURAGING THE BELIEVERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE HAVE MANY Events THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. I HOPE YOU FIND THE FOLLOWING TO BE A BLESSING.

I’m personally excited about this post, to share how my church family has reached our local community during Halloween.  Now, Halloween can be a controversial holiday for many believers, who do not support what’s behind it.  I used to be apprehensive of it myself.  However, the Lord has told us to, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel,” Mark 16:15.  Now, I see Halloween as a fabulous opportunity to reach people who are literally coming up to my door.

Here are the testimonies of how two ladies and I were able to minister to our neighborhoods this year.

My Neighborhood – How it Started

Three years ago, it was on the heart of one of the young ladies in our Young Adult group at church, Kristy Lawrence, to reach the kids in a neighborhood near church.  Over twenty Young Adults volunteered their time and money to hand out Bible tracts, act out Bible skits, and coordinate games.  Feel free to read more about it here.

Noah

Noah

The outreach opened a huge door in my neighborhood.  One of the young boys who had never heard the Bible story of Noah called it the “Pirate Story” because it had a boat.  Cute!  Since that outreach, I keep a, “Kid Box,” with Bible coloring pages, crayons, balloons, several Children’s Bibles, and bubbles.  Any time the kids want, I’ll bring out the Kid Box, and we’ll color, play a game, or read a Bible story.

When Halloween came around the next year, Kristy Lawrence was unavailable, so I organized the outreach that year.  The theme was a Puppet Show, with performances by our Sunday night service’s Puppet Team.  We were able to reach a lot of kids and parents.

Last year, Kristy Lawrence was available.  Since I had been blessed to steadily minister to the kids in my neighborhood, it was on her heart to move the outreach to a new one.  We decorated our cars for a Trunk or Treat, with seven stories from Creation all the way to the Battle for Your Heart.

My Neighborhood – This Year!

This year, however, neither Kristy Lawrence nor I felt like a big outreach was on our hearts.  Instead, I felt that the Lord would perhaps use more of us at our own houses.

 I prayed more than I ever have for the Halloween Outreach this year.

Calvary Temple - Bible Coloring Pages

Calvary Temple - Jesus is the Greatest Treasure signA few weeks before Halloween, I asked a number of ladies from church to specifically pray that the Lord would use the Bible tracts to reach the kids.  Three separate times, the kids in my neighborhood came up and asked to read something!

On the actual night of Halloween, the Lord drew so many kids to my front door that I actually ran out of tracts!  The Lord then reminded me that I had the Bible coloring book, so I quickly tore out some pages and stuffed them in a Ziploc bag with a crayon.  My roommate helped during crunch time, tearing out the pages for me.  So many kids came by that we ran out as fast as we could make them!

One young boy saw the, “Jesus is the Greatest Treasure” sign by my front door.  He said, “Are you a Christian?”  “Yes,” I replied.  “I met a Christian once,” he said.  Then he said he wanted to go to church but couldn’t.  So I encouraged him that, “It’s ok.  God sees.  You can pray to Him.”

 

Overall, it went very well.  What a blessing to see the hand of God.

Kristy Lawrence’s Neighborhood

Calvary Temple - Kristy's Outreach 2017

This year, it was on Kristy’s heart to reach her own neighborhood.  Her two daughters dressed up in princess gowns, and brought out their cardboard castles as decorations.  Glow necklaces, Bible tracts and candy, and a few games completed her outreach.

Calvary Temple - Don't Be Tricked, Jesus is the Treat!

She was able to reach 80 people, both parents and kids!  A couple of parents made it a point to come back and thank her for what they were doing.  One teenager even said, “This is the best house yet!” after he saw the “Jesus is the Light of the World” sign.

Kristy had been praying for an opportunity to share with a particular neighbor.  She hadn’t seen them since she started praying, but the day before Halloween the Lord allowed their paths to cross.  Kristy had a great opportunity to share.

Stephanie Bright’s Neighborhood

For Stephanie Bright, reaching her neighborhood for Halloween was also a family outreach.  Her three young daughters helped assemble Bible tract pacts with candy.

Calvary Temple - Kids Assembling Tracts

Calvary Temple - Praying for Tracts

Dad praying for Bible tracts with his children

While the Brights did not get any specific opportunities to share the Gospel, they had the highest number of visitors yet!  They also ran out of tracts.  Stephanie ran upstairs to get more candy to meet the high demand!

Before kids started coming, Josh Bright prayed over the tracts with his children.

The girls were excited to hand the tracts out, saying, “Jesus loves you!”  A few people thought this was cute and responded with smiles.  One kid even responded, “Jesus loves you too!”

 

 

Overall, our families were very excited to be used by the Lord to reach our local community.  Though full effects of the fruit of this ministry have not yet been seen, we believe that the Lord Jesus is working.  We count it a great privilege to be used, and look forward to what the Lord will do for next year’s Halloween outreach.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on FacebookTwitterYouTubeFlickrInstagram.

Trick or Treat and the Most Popular Costume – Calvary Temple Outreach

i got a rock

I got a rock

I’ve been a member of Calvary Temple Church in Sterling VA for over 25 years now.  We are passionate about reaching the lost and encouraging the Believers in our community.  We have many Events throughout the year to spread the Gospel.  I hope you find the following story to be a blessing.

When I was growing up, Halloween was the number 2 most important holiday on the kid’s calendar.  It was rivaled only by that grande dame of avarice – Christmas.  Christmas may have been all about the presents but Halloween was all about Candy, Candy and more Candy. This was your chance to get a sugar payload big enough to last well into December before you would get another hit.

In my day, we donned a cheap-o plastic costume mom bought at the drug store.  It came with a mask you couldn’t see out of or breathe in because the holes were cut lopsided and uneven.  Your mom was usually a giant buzz kill and made you wear your coat.  And you weren’t allowed to eat any candy until she checked it for needle holes and razor blades.  Somehow the snickers bars never made it back to my stash from the rigorous safety examination.

Trick or Treating Old School Style

Trick or Treating Old School Style

Back then we didn’t have a lot of Halloween swag – fancy pumpkin baskets and holiday accessories.  The plan was simple.  We grabbed our pillowcases, threw our coats in the bushes and headed for the nearest apartment building.  All kids can do complex math equations on Halloween.  Greater density housing + smaller square area x speed ÷ number of trick or treaters = maximum candy payload.  Any house that gives out apples or raisins is obviously making a cry for help and wants to be egged or tented in toilet paper. Whether it was from the contraband eaten on the way home or from breathing in the chemical residue from the inside of Spiderman or Wonder Woman’s face – we were delirious by the end of the night.

Halloween can be a very touchy subject for Christians.  Some Christians take the stance that it descends from All Hallow’s Eve,  a Christian holiday .  Why not let the kids dress up and have some harmless fun?  Other believers feel that to celebrate Halloween in any way is equal to sacrificing a goat on the church lawn. Most Christians fall somewhere in between.  One thing I think we all can agree on is that Halloween has gotten out of hand.  The decorations hit the shelves in the summer while you’re still on your beach trip.  Costume Superstores are open for three months a year then disappear back into the internet.  Your neighbors decorate their yard like its the set of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Queen Esther

Tierney managed to find the only Princess in the Bible to dress up as – Queen Esther

With so much hoopla given to one day why not make it a witnessing opportunity?  Swarms of kids will descend on your yard with costumed parents in tow. Here is your chance to tell them Jesus loves them and died for them.  Some of our young adults organized a neighborhood outreach to present the gospel to Trick or Treaters last Friday night.  They set up a base camp with goody bags filled with glow bracelets and bookmarks and a clever tract about Jesus that looked like a million dollars.  There were also free games and costumed greeters who invited the kids to take part in the Halloween Treasure Hunt.

halloween games

halloween games

Treasure maps were given out to lead the kids to each of four locations set up around the neighborhood cul-de-sac.  Each location had costumed participants who acted out different Bible Stories.  Then the Trick or Treaters were given stickers on their map and the usual Halloween loot of a pick from the candy bowl.  When they had finished visiting all four locations they returned to base camp where they showed their completed map to collect their treasure.  The “Treasure” was a bag of gold wrapped chocolate coins.  I considered a makeshift costume and map of my own for a minute but common sense and my daughter’s inevitable shaming of me stopped it from happening.

Treat Bags and Tracts

Treat Bags and Tracts

I visited each location to see what skits were being performed and check for any chocolates that may have inadvertently fallen to the ground.  The quality control was pretty high so I didn’t find any sweets but I did get to watch each skit performed for the kids.   Daniel in the Lion’s Den.  David and Goliath.  Noah and the Ark.  And The Story of The Birth of Jesus.  The Trick or Treaters and their parents all seemed to enjoy it and they made sure they went back to collect their treasure when they finished their maps.

Treasure maps

Treasure Hunt Maps

One of the houses had a visitor who told the actors that she was very blessed and that whoever thought of the outreach had heard from the Holy Spirit. She said it was a blessing not just for her grand kids but for her personally.  That’s what we like to hear.  If you want to watch the skits, and i hope you do – I have the links to each one in the titles above. Spoiler alert – one of them is set to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island Theme Song.

Noahs Ark

Noah and his Ark full of Beanie Babies

I took a poll from each house to see what the most popular costume was for this year.  And the answer is . . . Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.  One of my houses counted SEVEN.

three blury elsas

Three Elsa’s – I’m so sad that i didn’t realize how blurry they were at the time. I must have had low blood sugar from lack of candy.

Over 120 visitors went through the Halloween Treasure Hunt and were witnessed to, Praise God!  What a great way to present the gospel to families in your neighborhood.

About Calvary Temple

Calvary Temple is an independent church which holds to all Assemblies of God tenets of faith. Calvary Temple ministries include Discipleship Training, adult Bible college, media ministry, and an aggressive missions program.

Pastor Star R. Scott is Senior Pastor of Calvary Temple in Sterling, Virginia, where he has ministered since 1973. In addition to the pastoral gift, Pastor Scott functions in the five-fold offices of apostle and prophet. He has planted churches, and currently oversees the pastors and ministries of numerous satellite churches.

Visit Calvary Temple online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram