Seven Ways to Engage Your Neighbors this Halloween
Posted Oct 27, 2016 by Kris Eldridge in Missions
Halloween is an interesting holiday. Christians don’t seem to have a great grip on it; we don’t know what to do with it. Should we celebrate it? Is it sinful to participate in trick-or-treating? What if someone sees me? We have a wide array of opinions about the day.
The thing that is interesting about Halloween, however, is that it is the one day a year when neighbors (often total strangers) will actually interact with not one, but many of the folks in their neighborhood! Neighbors who never speak will now knock on each other’s doors for the first time in a year.
Regardless of one’s opinion on Halloween, Halloween does afford us an incredible opportunity. Our culture will celebrate Halloween. If Jesus has sent us to reach that culture (and I believe He has), shouldn’t we leverage this holiday as a way to be missional in our neighborhood and bring glory to God? Don’t allow your family to miss out on getting to know your neighbors and be missionaries among many who need Jesus. If you want to be more intentional this year, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pray – Prayer-walk the neighborhood several days before Halloween. Pray that God would go before you and prepare the hearts of those you will meet. Pray that you will meet “people of peace” with whom you can share your story and His story. Pray during Halloween night. Pray that the Lord would show you the needs of those around you and how your family can meet those needs.
- Answer the door – Don’t be the house that turns out the lights and shuts the window blinds. Instead, be warm and inviting. Greet children and their parents warmly and complement the children’s outfits. Find out their names and write them down so you don’t forget.
- Visit every home – Visit every home that has a light on. Again, be warm. Ask them their names and write them down as soon as you leave. Remembering people’s names will make it much easier to begin a conversation the next time you see them.
- Go trick-or-treating with other neighbors – Our kids are much better at meeting new people than we are. Ask your children who they would like to go trick-or-treating with and reach out to the parents of that child; ask if they would like to go as a group. We did this with our neighbors last year, and it was a great experience.
- Give out the best – Most kids expect little pieces of candy when they go to each door. Instead, give out large candy bars. Be known as the house that goes above and beyond.
- Do a reverse trick-or-treat – Do the unexpected as you go out trick-or-treating by giving treats to your neighbors instead. Go door-to-door and offer baked goods, candles, or so forth with a note attached that says something like, “It’s no trick! We are your neighbors, and we would love to get to know you!” Include any contact information you would like to leave with them. Make sure to follow up with families that respond positively.
- Be creative / Serve the parents – Brainstorm creative ways to serve the parents. For instance, set up a hot chocolate and coffee station and accompany those with warm cookies or pumpkin bread. Or, have a Halloween potluck dinner and invite the neighborhood to your home; provide a main course and ask everyone to bring a side dish. Or, have a costume party at your home for the neighborhood complete with children’s games, etc. Have the moms stay and socialize while dads take the kiddos door-to-door.
This year, my family plans to prayer-walk our neighborhood. On Halloween day, we will have a coffee/hot chocolate station in our driveway (with pumpkin bread of course). Just like last year, I will dress as Darth Vader. What about you? What are your plans or other ideas to be missional at Halloween?
Community Outreach Pastor
Fellowship Bible Church