The Holidays…Problem or Possibility?

Halloween is coming up in a few short weeks. Kids will dress up in costumes of their favorite superhero or princess. Doorbells will be rung by little ones excitedly waiting for a treat. Decorations of orange and black will be scattered throughout our neighborhoods. 

Now, this may not be a Christian’s favorite holiday. It certainly isn’t mine. It seems a little silly to me to celebrate all things spooky or even scary. Halloween is a mixed bag of sugar overload and scary movies – two things my family can do without. 

The purpose of this post is not to debate your personal stance on Halloween, but instead to shed some light on a potential missed opportunity for community outreach. Holidays like this  are an opportunity to serve our community. Unchurched neighbors are literally knocking on our doors. How can we not use the opportunity to give them something much more valuable than a few pieces of chocolate?

Our church uses the opportunity of Halloween to host a Fall Festival. We rent huge inflatables, carnival games, serve free food, and house a Trunk or Treat as an alternative to Halloween door to door trick or treating. We invite the entire city to join us for this free event. Then we use the night to have intentional gospel conversations with people who would not normally walk through our church doors and connect with our community. 

Why do we spend so much money, time and effort on one night? Simple.

Good Works to our community lead to Goodwill within our community which leads to an opportunity to share the Good News with our community. 

Maybe your church hosts a similar event. Make sure you use the time wisely to connect unbelievers to the body, offering them the eternal hope of Christ. 

Maybe you’re tempted to turn off the porch lights and lock the doors on Halloween night to boycott a holiday you feel is inappropriate. Rather than turning people away, use the opportunity to share God’s love with your neighbors. Offer them some literature on the Gospel, or share a conversation with them about what God’s done for you. Build relationships with those who live close to you.

We live in a culture where we can go years without introducing ourselves to those who live nearby. Do you even know all of your neighbors’ names? Or do you pull into the garage every evening and simply close the door behind you. Think of who you’re shutting out when you do that. 

The holidays are a time to share good will with our community. And in order for us to do that, we must know who our community is. So whether you host a huge event like we do, or simply open your front door to your neighbors, do so with intentionality. Get to know your neighbors. And when you do, share God’s love with them.  It may just change a life for eternity.

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