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Occasionally we get this question: Should Christians celebrate Halloween? And, by “occasionally,” we mean “every Halloween.” On one side are those who see nothing wrong with a little dress up and candy noshing (other than the accompanying cavities). On the other side are those who stand at their windows and weep to see all the neighborhood kids slowly circling the neighborhood as Narnia’s White Witch fills their baggies with Turkish delight. (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point).

We’d posit that neither an aggressively pro- or anti-Halloween approach is completely appropriate. Functionally, Halloween isn’t inherently good or bad. Paul, talking about a similar subject in Romans 14, says that each must be fully persuaded in his own mind; whatsoever is not of faith is sin; and we are not to judge another Man’s servant (Romans 14:4–5, 23). Halloween does offer us all an opportunity, however, to engage our neighbors missionally.

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If you think being filled by the Holy Spirit means an endless series of miracles, burning bushes, still, small voices, warm fuzzies, and sensations of peace that pass all understanding, then you are going to be disappointed.

The greatest (and most honest) saints have always confessed that they had to walk through many valleys with no sense of God’s presence. Sometimes they nearly went deaf from the heavenly silence. Often they stumbled helplessly in what felt like total darkness. C. S. Lewis wrote that during one of the most painful times of his life, he cried out to God and got:

…a door slammed in [my] face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become.[1]

Somehow, these honest words seldom make it into anyone’s list of “favorite C. S. Lewis quotes.”

Have you ever felt this way?

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At the Summit, one of our plumblines is: our success is measured by sending capacity as much as seating capacity. I’m not against counting numbers. I just want to make sure we’re counting the right numbers. So as excited as I get when our weekend attendance booms, I’m ten times more excited when I think about the 238 people we’ve sent out to plant 23 churches in North America. Over the last year, those 23 church plants have seen an average attendance of 6,000 people, and have baptized 317 people.

We have a vision as a church to plant 1,000 churches in our generation, so I believe what we’ve seen so far is just the beginning of what God wants to do. This year we’re training planters who will head out to Asheville, Charlotte, and Denver—three great cities in great need of the gospel. And here’s my question for you: could God be leading you to join one of these church plants? Could you be #239?

I don’t claim to have the spiritual gift of mind-reading, but I can take a good guess at your answer: “No thanks, not for me.” I’ve heard my fair share of excuses for why people don’t think they would fit on a church planting team. And they’re almost always based on a misconception about church planting. So let’s debunk a few myths together, shall we?

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