The Last Bit: Yes, Halloween Really Is Weird

Remember that item about Halloween?

http://www.brigada.org/2017/10/01_21419

This past week, a Brigada participant wrote to say, “Is this for real? Do we really spend that much on outfits and that little on overseas missions?” As a matter of fact, we had two really great inputs on this item, one from Justin Long (Beyond) and another from Dan Scribner (Joshua Project). Both are outstanding data specialists and both are extremely exacting in their expectations. Dan referred us to a post at the National Retail Federation…

https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-research-and-data/holiday-spending/halloween-headquarters

This particular post estimated we would spend upwards of $3.4 billion on costumes in general — and that 16% of us will buy costumes for pets. Dan’s summary: “Weep indeed.” Justin pointed us to …

http://www.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga/research/documents/StatusofGlobalChristianity2017.pdf

In this case, the estimate is that we spend some $53 billion on foreign missions, with an estimated 0.1% on the unevangelized world. So that would come out to $53 million. However, he added that no one really knows this figure for sure. But using the best data available, he indeed granted that the $350 million we spend on Halloween costumes for pets is 6x higher. He also added, “Even if we spend 1% of foreign mission money (530 million) on World A (I rather doubt that), Halloween costumes would be nearly 50% the same amount.” Dan said it well: “Weep indeed.”

It’s not that we’re saying pets should go without holidays. It’s that we’re saying, *if* we are going to go ape over our canines, let’s get real about our priorities to connect people with the creator.

2 Responses to The Last Bit: Yes, Halloween Really Is Weird
  1. Melissa A Hawley Reply

    Great info. I’m integrating it into my next UPG presentation.

  2. Marti Wade Reply

    Been thinking about this statistic that comes up around this time each year and wondering why it bugs me and I nix it whenever it’s suggested for inclusion in an article or presentation. I think it’s because it’s an inappropriate contrast. As if we could justify an expectation that the society at large (one “we”) should be bankrolling ministry to the unreached (a responsibility of “we” the church). Would it may more sense to draw a comparison between how much “we” (the church) spend in candy, etc. for the October 31 “harvest parties” we throw for our kids and their friends? That’s money that might be available, instead, for ministry among the unreached. Though some churches see these events as a powerful local outreach, and I don’t think we can knock that. Easier, than, to mock those people who buy costumes for their pets.

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