It can be scary meeting your neighbors. Most of the times you interact with them, you’ve probably got a garbage bag in your hand or you’re cutting the grass. Neither situation lends towards open conversation. While we certainly don’t want to celebrate things that aren’t of God and get all creepy on Halloween, we do have to face the command given to us to go and make disciples. Jesus prayed that God would not take His followers out of the world and that we would also not be of this world, but rather that we would be sent into this world to demonstrate his love. He called us to shine light into the darkness. This challenges us with a few questions. With this night being such a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors, how do we capitalize on this without “celebrating” Halloween? How do we show them the love of God on a night like this? Halloween is the one day out of the whole year where your neighbors will actually come knocking on your door and expect you to do the same.
Instead of turning off your lights and locking your door, let’s be intentional. Get creative with ways to make your house a must stop destination during the night. Try and capitalize on how you interact with everyone who stops by. Consider including your Life Group, D-Group, volunteer team, or Bible study, but definitely have your whole family participate. This is such an excellent opportunity to build relationships with those living around and engage them with the gospel.
In light of the Great Commission, here are three ways to love your neighbors on Halloween:
1. Give out candy from your driveway.
A great way to get to know those stopping by is to set-up in your driveway. It gives you a chance for people to see your face and vice-versa. While sharing the gospel is our ultimate goal, don’t press the issue during this quick conversation. This is a chance to build relationships, not shove Jesus in people’s faces and potentially turn them off to church or the gospel. Perhaps during the Christmas season, make it a point to bring your neighbor's cookies or a card as a way to follow up from this first encounter.
2. Write the names down of those you meet and pray for them.
With every encounter, write down their names after they leave and commit to praying for them; especially with your immediate surrounding neighbors. The next time you get a chance to speak to them, ask them how they’re doing and how you can pray for them. Add that request under their name and intentionally check in on them from time to time.
3. Compliment every costume and give good candy.
For most kids, they have no idea the symbolism related to Halloween. To them, this is just a chance to be their favorite superhero or princess for a night. More than likely, their parents paid decent money, and the kids put a lot of thought into who they wanted to dress up as. The last thing you want is to be the house on the block that didn’t react well to a costume and gave out bad candy. It’s a worthy investment to go and buy good candy and give it out, so the kids are excited when they leave your house. It will mean more than you think, and you’ll definitely leave your mark on their night.
These are just a few of things that are easy for you to do as a family or as a Life Group. More than anything, show your neighbors love on this night. How you spend the evening and to what level you participate in community activities is ultimately a matter of personal conviction and preference. No matter what you choose to do on October 31, take advantage of the opportunity to show people Jesus. Your neighbors are literally walking up to your front door, capitalize on this chance to meet them and begin building a relationship.