Halloween was a holiday far from good for my family. Growing up in a highly conservative christian home, naturally, we did not participate in Halloween. This was a bummer as a kid. I missed out on a ton of candy, though I probably was spared some cavities. However, now as a parent I can see Halloween serving a greater good. Halloween can have redemptive purposes in the life of a disciple. Halloween provides a great opportunity to leverage mission in your neighborhood. Here are couple things to consider as Halloween approaches.
Halloween provides contextual learning opportunities. Halloween moves you directly into the context where God has sovereignly placed you. We have the opportunity to see people and learn how to connect with the people God has commissioned you to show and share the Gospel. This is done through something as simple as observation. For instance, look at your neighbor's lawns and landscaping as you take your kids trick-or-treating. Yes, it sounds silly, but it really tells you a lot about a person. A well kept yard reveals work ethic, priorities, and also provides a talking point. As we learn to grip these opportunities that God has given us, we will better understand how to engage the people in our communities.
Halloween closes relational gaps and builds bridges. Halloween provides an easy way to move your relationship with a neighbor and the people of your community from a hand wave to a hello. A friendly hand wave is great start to establish acquaintances, but it is conversations that build relationships. A reading of the gospels and we see Jesus was friendly, but He also made friends through conversations. Halloween supplies us a means to close the relationship gaps with people in our neighborhoods. So take your kids house to house in your community and make an effort to speak to the families you walk with and receive candy from.
Halloween puts you in the trenches of "those people." Halloween (for that matter any holiday) puts you among people that are nothing like you. It’s a great and easy way to be around people who are from different sociological, economical, and religious backgrounds. When Jesus and the disciples passed threw the Samaria region, He subjected himself to people that had been classically hated and pushed aside by the Jewish community. A disciple who leverages life on life opportunities with "those people" on Halloween, can pay huge dividends: relationships can be formed, the Gospel can be shared, and the mission of Jesus will advance.