Two-thirds of pastors encourage church members to invite neighbors to church-related event on Halloween, according to a recent survey.
According to a survey conducted by LifeWay Research of 1,000 Protestant pastors, 67 percent of pastors encourage their congregation to invite their neighbors to church on Halloween day. The survey found that pastors with larger congregations (250 or more attendees) are more likely to encourage their members to invite their friends and neighbors (86 percent) to church than small churches with 50 or less members (48 percent).
Pastors are also more likely to encourage their church members to befriend trick-or-treaters (52 percent) than to hand out gospel tracts (26 percent), with pastors at larger churches more likely to encourage their congregations to do so (63 percent) than are those at smaller churches (42 percent).
“This is a time when your neighbors literally come to your doorstep,” says executive director of LifeWay Research Scott McConnell. “Pastors don’t want their church members to waste that chance to make a connection or invite someone to church.”
Furthermore, Baptist pastors (47 percent) are more likely to encourage church members to hand out gospel tracts than are mainline pastors (15 percent) and evangelical pastors (32 percent).
One-in-ten pastors tell church members to skip Halloween completely (8 percent). The survey reveals that older pastors (65 years and older) are more skeptical of Halloween than their younger counterparts under 45 years old (4 percent). African-American pastors are also more likely to advise their congregations to stay away from celebrating the holiday (23 percent) than their white counterparts (7 percent).
People who attend church more are more likely to be skeptical of Halloween, according to a 2015 LifeWay study. Nearly four-in-ten Americans who attend church at least once a week say Halloween is “all in good fun” compared to those who go to church only on religious holidays who are twice as likely (82 percent) to say the same.