By Starla J. Halbrook
‘Tis the season for “trunk-or-treats,” a new way to “evangelize, invite and minister,” according to many of our friends and Terry Delaney (http://ministry-to-children.com/trunk-or-treat). If, like me, you are wondering about this new way to proclaim the Gospel, Mr. Delaney in his article, “Trunk or Treat: A Church Halloween Alternative Idea,” provides 5 easy steps for the church to reach the lost.
1. Make sure your church is on board (…they may prefer a different sort of party)
2. Make sure you have enough trunks
3. Provide hotdogs, chips and sodas
4. Have games to play
5. Rent a bounce house
You think I’m kidding that this is going on at our local “churches,” with the funds of the church, and in place of worship service times? Just view your Facebook newsfeed and you can easily find locations and times for such events (how do you think I became so curious?). But before you consider attending or helping such an event, consider what the Lord would say concerning such evangelistic efforts.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42) And they continued steadily in the bounce house where they heard His name proclaimed while they jumped up and down and laughed? Is this really how we are able to teach others?
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7) And they met together on the first day of the week to break candy and hotdogs together? Is this really what we ought to be partaking of in His name as a church (1 Cor. 11:18)?
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Cor. 16:1-2) Fill up your trunk now, so that when there is a need for candy, you will not be scurrying to find some! Were these His instructions for use of church collections?
To Mr. Delaney’s credit, he is not trying to spend ALL the Lord’s money on this effort. “Provide hotdogs, chips and sodas. This is an extremely cost-effective way to keep the families around that much longer to be able to evangelize, invite and minister to them.” Even cost-effective efforts must follow His order (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
The article encourages you to “Be sure you have enough candy and make certain you have fun while doing this. Have fun and redeem the time for the Lord!” However, Jesus encourages you to Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matt. 28:19-20) So, go therefore and spend your time having fun, so that the lost might first be attracted to your goodies and fun, and then to His honey-sweet Word? Really, is that how the first century Christians taught others?
Friends, I implore you to consider the Lord’s instruction on the use of what is His, on teaching the lost the pure gospel, and on your personal motives in serving Him. These thoughts are not to protest individual trick-or-treating, but rather to promote your evaluation of a church-sponsored trunk-or-treat.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… because you have forgotten the law of your God… (Hosea 4:6).