When our goal is to build meaningful relationships with our neighbors that will lead to making disciples, we should make the most of this opportunity as the one day out of the whole year where your neighbors will actually come knocking on your door. We can intentionally participate on this night for kingdom purposes. We are called to live our lives on ‘assignment’ and to take seriously the responsibility that we have to pray for our neighbors, engage in relationship with them, and speak the truth of the Gospel to them. We believe that Halloween is a great way to connect with and invest in our neighbors.
1. Be inviting by sitting on your porch or in your driveway
One of the best ways to embrace Halloween is to get outside and greet your neighbors. Instead of waiting for the doorbell to ring, sit on your porch or in your driveway and greet people. Use the time to intentionally get to know your neighbors who are coming to your house. Halloween can be a great chance to meet new neighbors and be an example of welcome and hospitality. You have your community coming to YOU at your house! Get out there, be the Church, and get to know your neighbors. Ask the kids about their costumes. Introduce yourself to parents. Build the foundation of a relationship. If you feel inspired, dress up a bit. Try something that would tell a little about yourself. Wear a hat you bought on vacation or put on your favorite sports jersey. A relationship requires an exchange of information. Learn something about your costumed guests, and share something about yourself.
2. Be Generous to your neighbors
Our lives are opportunities to display God’s character to the world around us. We have a generous God who delights in giving. Halloween is a great time to display bold generosity to our neighbors. Be the house with the ‘good stuff.’ Choose to give M&Ms instead of black licorice. Consider giving out full-sized candy bars to the neighbors and children you already know. Or perhaps a small “Boo Bag” full of little treats for your immediate neighbors. A generous gesture can open up a relationship. You can love your neighbor as yourself and give out the good candy like you’d want. It doesn't have to be candy. You could purchase glow bracelets in bulk to give out. First off, glow bracelets are cool, and they get more than half a second with each trick-or-treater while they crack the bracelets and loop them around the wrists of the children. They have time to talk and interact with each one. There are many options besides candy.
3. Be Hospitable
Provide a place to sit and drink hot chocolate so that kids and their parents can pause and rest. Set up your picnic table on your front lawn. You could fire up the grill and serve hot dogs. It could be a space where neighbors can sit and then sit down with them. Share a bit of life with your neighbors. Find out what sports their kids play. This environment could lend itself to testimony and prayer. Share your own story of what God is doing in your life, then offer to pray with a neighbor who may share a difficult situation she is experiencing.
4. Pray for every child and family who visits
Our neighbors live beside us because God placed us in proximity with one another. We should take seriously the powerful opportunity that we have to go to battle in prayer on behalf of our neighbors. Pray for them as they walk up your driveway. Pray for protection for their family as you hand out treats. Pray for them as they walk away. Pray for opportunities to develop lasting relationships with them. Ask God to reveal himself to your neighbors, to encourage them through their interactions with you and other Christians in their lives. Prayer is undeniably the most important and powerful thing you can do to love and serve your neighbors well.
5. Participate in events in your community
If your neighborhood/community has an event for Halloween, you should be encouraged to participate in what they are doing. This can be an open door to building relationships with your neighbors and can create more opportunities in the future. You can use some of the same strategies as you would if they come to your house in a neighborhood event. It’s another great opportunity to meet and connect with those who live near you. Loving our neighbors well can be as simple as showing up and being hands on within your community. Not only can you show up to serve, but this could lead to be invited into other community events and opportunities to serve and build influence as well.