Sundays at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.


In this series of posts, I hope to help followers of Jesus see the opportunities in our annual celebrations to love our communities and share the gospel.

“Close the blinds and turn off all the lights so nobody thinks we are home!” No, my parents, sister, and I weren’t hiding from Jehovah's Witnesses coming to our door; it was Halloween. Like many families (we weren’t the only ones, right?!), our Halloweens were spent hiding from princesses, superheroes, and football players rather than enjoying a neighborhood walk on a crisp autumn evening. Halloween can be a controversial topic among followers of Jesus. But rather than add to the noise of these debates, I want to encourage us to shift our thinking about Halloween.

I want to propose that we cultivate a missional mindset as we come to traditions and events within our communities. Living missionally means looking at our lives, communities, and calendars and asking, “How can I use the opportunities available to me to show and share the love of Jesus?” When we choose to live with this mindset, Halloween becomes a day with great missional potential.

  • Our neighbors come to us
    What other day of the year do the people God has called you to love and share the gospel with come to your front door? When we hide behind closed curtains or choose not to be home, we miss an excellent opportunity to get to know people.

  • People are willing to talk
Parents may dread taking their kids out trick-or-treating, but they will interact with others once they are out. Take advantage of these encounters and be willing to be the first to initiate conversation.

  • Develop community in your neighborhood
Conversations lead to relationships, and relationships build community. Your conversations with people on Halloween can develop and create community in your neighborhood. These relationships will naturally lead to opportunities for spiritual conversations. Knowing your neighbors will also provide a healthier and better neighborhood.

After seeing this potential for Halloween, the question is, What does this look like practically?

  • Make plans to be home
    The Johnson County trick-or-treat night is Halloween (10/31) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Make your home a place people want to stop at
  1. Rather than sitting inside waiting for people to knock, go outside to them. Set up a table in your driveway or garage to give out candy.
  2. Have something for adults too. Offer hot chocolate or apple cider to adults who come with their children. This will encourage them to stay a few minutes rather than walk away as soon as their kids get candy.
  3. If it is a cold night, pull your fire pit to the front and have a warm place for people to gather.

  • Ask your neighbors, friends, or small group to join you
  1. If this all seems overwhelming, team up with a neighbor, friend, or someone from church who doesn’t live in a neighborhood with trick-or-treaters.
  2. If you partner with a friend or neighbor, interact with the people coming by to get candy, and not just get caught up in a conversation between yourselves.

  • Listen and ask questions
    The goal in looking at Halloween through a missional mindset is not to have as many gospel conversations as you can in a night but to get to know your neighbors. This means listening, asking good questions, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit to engage the person in a spiritual conversation.

  • Have fun and give out good candy!
    Don’t skimp out! Turn on some music, enjoy connecting, and sneak a few Reese’s when you can.

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