Hallowed Halloween

“We’ve been looking for a new way to get involved with our community,” said Roscoe Shields, Sharon Church pastor. “So, we started looking at Halloween.”

The Sharon Church sits in a bustling, popular neighborhood not far from downtown Portland, an ideal location to interact with the community. 

The church began by developing foundational goals.

  • Share the gospel with the community.
  • Be seen as a place where community members could come for support and help.
  • Involve as many members as possible in reaching out to neighbors.

Transforming Halloween into a ministry moment was a unique concept, requiring intense creativity and energy from the Sharon members. They discussed a lot of ideas. “Maybe we could hold a drive-through Trick or Treat event on Halloween night, something that would engage our neighbors, give us a chance to greet them, share the Gospel, give them treats and yet be Covid-safe.”

Ideas blossomed and led to a final grand plan — a fun, family-friendly, drive-through, interactive Bible Study to help people understand the true state of the dead. It would tell the Story of Salvation and feature nine stops exploring events between Creation to the Second Coming of Jesus.

“We wanted to engage people in a meaningful way,” said Drechelle McCray, church member. “But [we also wanted it to] be safe for all of us during Covid, so the drive-through seemed like a good idea.”

Church members lined up to volunteer for the event, each one receiving work assignments and a t-shirt with Sharon’s new volunteer logo: SHARON HERO.

The assignments?

  • Prepare your heart to be a witness.
  • Decide what should happen at each of the nine stops on the “Hallowed be Thy Name” tour.
  • Create a script for each stop.
  • Design a backdrop and a QR code for each stop.
  • Locate and upload a special video for each stop, so people can watch it later.
  • Choose and package a gift for each stop.
  • Make sure everything will stand firm if the wind blows and the rains fall.

“Using what we’ve learned about social media, we set up the event on our Facebook page and linked that page to our Eventbrite page,” said McCray. “This helped us know how to plan and helped our neighbors know what to expect.”

By Halloween afternoon, 147 people had pre-registered to drive their family through the church parking lot!

McCray and her husband Kevin, Russ Fay and a couple dozen other Sharon Heroes set up the nine displays, trying to assure the wind wouldn’t blow everything down. “Have you seen Elisha’s Bones?” called McCray. “They’re right over here, next to the Witch of Endor,” Fay answered.

And so it went until the first car arrived at Stop #1: CREATION. From then on it was greetings, laughter, explanations about God, why He created us, how He shows His love and that He’s coming back very soon!

At each stop, the guests were given a card with a QR code that linked them to a series of short video stories designed to help children understand the Bible truth that was illustrated at that stop. Here’s a link to the video about “Walking on Water.” Each stop also included a special “learn more” gift. At the second stop, where God breathed life into His new children, each guest was given a small packet of kinetic sand that they could use to create something special.

At the last stop, guests were given one more QR code. It took them to a website where they could review their Halloween experience and learn about other events that are coming to the Sharon church.

“And, before you ask,” Shields said, “YES, we gave out candy! And a bunch of other handouts. Like, at the crucifixion stop, we gave-out something to remind them of God’s greatest gift — Life Savers!!!”

Sharon Church's creative, innovated outreach has opened the door to build relationships with neighbors and brighten their community with the light and love of Jesus.

Featured in: January/February 2022