Loving Where We Live on Halloween

Halloween offers a great opportunity for us to engage in new relationships with those around us or to revisit some old relationships in our neighborhoods. Regardless of what you think of the holiday and its roots, the culture we are sent to reach is going to celebrate Halloween. We all have in front of us a wide open door for engagement in our neighborhoods. I want to encourage you not to miss out on the opportunity.

Here are a few ideas to help you walk through the open door that Halloween presents to us.

BE HOSPITABLE - Don’t just give out candy!

1. Give out the best Candy. Please, don’t give out tracts or toothbrushes or pennies. Kids are looking for the master loot of candy. Put yourself in their shoes.

2. Think of the Parents. Consider having some Hot Apple Cider and pumpkin bread for the parents who are bringing their kids around the block.

3. Be Present. Don’t hide out all night. Come to the door, or hang out on the porch, or even set up in the front yard. If someone stops to have some cider, get to know their names and where they live in the neighborhood.

4. Be Encouraging. Tell the kids you love their costumes and to have a great night. Practice building up others with your words.

5. Throw a Party. If you are ready for more, you could even have a pre-Trick or Treat party. Provide a simple dinner and drinks. Then, send the dads out to trick or treat with the kids while the moms continue hanging with some hot apple cider. Then reconvene with the parents and kids together to examine all of the loot.

6. Learn the Stories. If you are out Trick or Treating with the kids or staying back with the other parents, ask questions and get to know their stories. Pay attention to their hearts and their felt needs. Look for opportunities to serve them later.

GO TO THEIR PLACE - Join what is happening elsewhere.

7. Attend the Party. If others are throwing parties, you may want to join them. If so, bring drinks, food or whatever is needed. Then serve by helping to clean up.

8. Join the Community. If your community has a fun event, you can join in, but just be sure to invite some neighbors to go with you.

BE PRAYERFUL - Ask for the Spirit to lead, guide and work.

9. Pay Attention. Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and ears to the real needs around you.

10. Stay Dependent. Ask the Spirit to help you listen, care and serve those around you. And ask the Spirit to open doors for new relationships and spiritual conversations.

- Adapted from material originally presented by Jeff Vandersteldt on the VergeNetwork.org.