Stranger Things: 8 Teaching Topics for October
I have to admit that Next to Easter ad Christmas, Halloween is the easiest month of the year for preaching. There is so much baked into the holiday that pulling out themes are a piece of pumpkin pie.
If you are struggling for some ideas let me share 8 potential themes you could run with a single idea four part series or combining ideas to make a eclectic series. Before you launch into any of the series you may want to float them past your Pastor and a few parents so they know why their kids are coming home and hiding under the bed.
We all have them, we all wear them. We are like this persons one day and with another person the next. How can we become more authentic and live a life without masks?
- The mask of pride (I don’t need anyone)
- The mask of hypocrisy (I’m always happy)
- The mask of fear (I can’t cope)
Facing Our Fears
Consider looking at the most fearful moments in scripture such as being thrown into a lions den or into a blazing furnace and the responses the biblical characters had towards those fears.
Jesus had some scary moments too:
- Being brought to the top of the temple with Satan
- Almost being thrown off a cliff
- His night in the garden. Loneliness can be the scariest thing.
Coming Back From The Dead/Zombies
While everyone is talking about horror movies or death, why not talk about the resurrection stories in scripture:
- Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath’s widow
- Elisha resurrected the son of the great Shunammite woman
- Elisha’s bones raises a man back to life.
- Jesus raises the Nain widow’s son
- Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter
- Jesus raises Lazarus
Again, this is a subject where we can share to much information and create more fascination in kids that detraction. We have to be clear about what it is, what it is not, and what God thinks about it. There are some witches and wizards within scriptures:
- Witch of Endor – I Samuel 28:7
- Elymas the Sorcerer – Acts 13: 6-12
- The magicians of Pharaoh – Exodus 7:11
- The girl with a spirit of divination – Acts 16:16-19
This falls in with Witchcraft and the Paranormal but something that is supernatural is not necessarily bad. God did supernatural things. People, with God’s spirt did supernatural thing such as:
- Sampson defeating the Philistines – Judges 15:1-17
- Peter Walking on Water – Matthew 14:22-33
- Elijah running with supernatural endurance – I Kings 18:45, 46
Good and Evil or Good vs Evil
I did a series one time on angels and demons. Needless to say I had their attention. Angels and demons are great topics of discussion and we can often tell which one are which, but what about the evil in the our world today? The world is a scary place and is under the Devils’ control:
- Warring Angels
- Messenger Angels
- Worshiping Angles
- Fallen Angels
Bones: Skeletons In Our Closets
Something else that scares teenagers is that their “secret” will be made known; that they are not who they say they are or have lied about something. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, a past they wish no one knew about. Consider a character study on the skeletons in famous bible characters closets:
- David was an adulterer
- David was a murderer
- David was not a good father
In the end everything will be revealed. All our motives and ambitions will be laid bare. Pretty scary huh?
Death/Fear of Dying
Death is all around us from the neighbor who passes away to the evening news about terrorist attacks. This is perfect time to talk about the new life Christ can give us. Why not talk about life or heaven? You could use the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31. You could also talk about heaven, hell and the judgement, all of which can be very scary if we do not know Christ:
- Heaven (How do I get there?)
- Hell (How do I avoid it?)
- Death (How can I face it?)
- Judgement (How can I prepare for it?)
October is filled with opportunity as the world focuses int he scary and the macabre, the church can focus on living the overcoming life.
PAUL TURNER is a long-time youth worker, speaker, and blogger of all things youth ministry. He’s the youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Assembly in Birmingham, AL and writes regularly at THEDISCIPLEPROJECT.NET.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.