This is one of the most read blogs in the history of our site, so let’s re-explore this topic with a few timely edits!
Stop passing out Halloween Candy! That’s right, I said it. Like any good pastor would, right?! Well, not so fast…
Some would say Christians shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. We agree. Don’t celebrate it – use it! Just like Paul used a pagan culture in Acts 17 to build a bridge to the message of Jesus, we can do the same with Halloween. We can use it as a great opportunity to reach out and build relationships that aren’t possible any other night of the year. This is the one night each year that knocking on your neighbor’s door or walking through someone’s yard is normal and expected. That makes it a home run opportunity to impact many people for Jesus!
But don’t just go through the motions of waiting for someone to come to your door to give them candy, or just sending your kids to strange houses alone. Try some of these ideas to leverage Halloween this year to build relationships with those in the very community where you live, work, and play! Get together with your home group, volunteer team, or others in your neighborhood and see how these help you use Halloween to be on mission.
1. Grill Hot Dogs in Your Driveway – Make your house THE place to stop in the neighborhood and hang out! It’s cheap and easy, and no one else will be doing it. You’ll have a driveway full of people and more opportunity to have a conversation.
2. Pass Out Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider – Set up a crock pot or thermos with cups in your driveway or on your porch. Invite families to join you in a cup before they head back out.
3. Play Games – Have a game or two set up in your yard that kids play to “win” the candy. Let them play over and over, giving you more time to connect with their parents! (Game ideas: blog.onelifeknox.com/halloweengames)
4. Face Painting – Are you a little artsy?! Buy some cheap tubes of paint and paint brushes in the craft section of Wal-Mart and put two chairs at the end of your driveway. That’s all it takes! You’ll have kids and parents lined up!
5. Have Conversations – This is the most important part! All of these ideas are designed to create conversation opportunities. Be prepared to ask simple conversation starting questions like, “How long have you lived here?” or “How old are your children?” It’s amazing how a simple question will open the door! Have some OneLifers from your home group or volunteer team there helping you (and even split the cost!) so you have more people connecting and having conversations.
More than anything, use Halloween as more than an opportunity to get or give out candy. Use it as an opportunity to be a missionary to your neighborhood!
We’d love to hear your ideas, too. What have you found works to develop relationships with your community on Halloween?