The final week of October is here, which means Halloween is upon us. This particular day brings out some different perspectives for many Christ-followers. From the “it really isn’t a big deal and I enjoy the chance to trick-or-treat with my kids”, to “I refuse to participate in such a celebrated, pagan day”. Though there are some compelling arguments from and for both perspectives, its vital for the Christ-follower to view this particular day through a lens of Gospel-mission.
Regardless of one’s view of involvement on this day, there is a sociological fact that cannot be denied: Halloween is the one day which neighbors are outside of their homes and engaging in something together. There is not another day during the year that we see so many faces and family in our immediate sphere of influence, together.
We need to ask this question:
“In light of this understanding, how does God want me to put this day to use for the name of Jesus to be magnified?”
There are many practical ways that might help us engage our neighbors and participate in our collective community, here are a few to consider.
Host a costume party with your missional community and invite your friends and neighbors. This is a great way to practice gospel hospitality. This would serve as a non-threatening environment and an opportunity to remove unhealthy barriers for the purpose of connecting with those that you might not know very well, or even at all. This also invites your missional community to be participants, together, in serving as one body.
Have dinner in the front lawn with neighbors as you give candy to trick-or- treaters. What a great opportunity to be creative to involve others in getting to know each other (not to mention, again, you getting meet them). You can bring your grill to the driveway and cook hot dogs and hamburgers. You could have some fun with what you are cooking as well (ex. Breakfast for Dinner – waffles, pancakes, eggs, etc. A bunch of appetizers would be easy, even as simple as Hot Chocolate and or cupcakes). Meanwhile, as families come by, you can have candy available to give. You could even have some fun, quick activities in the front yard for the kids to play as they stop by your house (pinatas or a bean bag toss are great options).
Take your kids trick-or-treating with your neighbors. For families, you could invite your neighbors to join your family in the search for mass quantities of sugar! Again, this is a way to practice hospitality outside of your home.
What are some ideas you have for engaging with neighbors on Halloween? What are some things you’ve done in the past that worked well? What about your best horror story – errrr, things that didn’t go so well when you tried to engage your neighbors?
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