We are home this year for Halloween. While Chesterfield County has said that trick-or-treating is not recommended this year because of obvious reasons, they have not cancelled it. Because trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity and some people are eager to have a normal holiday, it is best to assume that you will likely see people coming to your door dressed up as Ironman and Princess Elsa hoping to get candy.
Regardless of how you feel about Halloween, God has given you a golden opportunity to be gospel lights to your neighbors. This is the one time of year where our neighbors actually come to our door to be blessed. How much easier could God make it for you to share the love of Jesus with your neighbors!
Jesus said to his followers: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). Let’s be ready to be gospel lights on Halloween night.
Here are five ways we can be ready:
1. Turn your light on. I am aware not everyone will feel comfortable having kids and families come to their door. But if you are home and you don’t mind, turn the light on to let others know that you are home. Then welcome them on your porch with joy and kindness. Engage them in conversation. Have fun with them. Show them you genuinely interested in them as people, made in God’s image. Comment on their cool costumes. Think long term. This is about meeting your neighbors and building relationships that last beyond Halloween. This is so you will know what house they live in when you want to drop off a blessing at Christmas time. This is so you can pray for them as you drive by. This is so you can love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
2. Hand out the best candy. Just because you are Christian does not mean that we need to be stingy. This is not the time to be passing out sugar-free alternatives. No carrots or Christian celery sticks. Do not let their view of Christians be the people who gave out the vegetables and ruined their day. We serve King Jesus! Let’s be the ones who give out the King-size snickers. Let’s give them good gifts, because our King has only given us good gifts (James 1:17).
3. Write encouraging notes that you can attach. You may not need to attach a note to every piece of candy. But consider doing this on some of your larger pieces of candy. Make some small goodie bags and attach a note with a gospel promise on it, a Bible verse, or an encouragement, while letting them know where you go to church. Consider writing something like: “It was a joy meet you. We hope this shows the love of Christ to you in a practical way (Romans 5:8). Have a safe night!” If you are not home, make little goodie bags attached with a note and a smile and leave them in a basket outside your door.
4. Pray with them. As you have opportunity when you have conversation with people, simply say to them, “I am a believer in Christ, we go to Swift Creek Baptist Church, and I wanted to see if there was any way I could be praying for you before you go?” They will likely either say, “No thank you, we’re fine.” Or they might be delighted you asked and respond, “Yes. Thank you, we would love that.” If the situation feels appropriate, ask them if they would like you to pray for them right then. If not, assure them that you will be praying for them in the days ahead. You simply don’t know what your neighbors have been going through. They may be walking through a trial in their life and they need a touch of God’s presence. You never know how God might have been preparing their heart to walk up to your door.
5. Have a gospel conversation. You likely won’t be able to share the gospel with everyone that comes to your door (if you do, that’s amazing!). But you might get a chance to share with one person. If you get an opportunity, be ready. Listen carefully to how they talk about their life, situation, and trials. You may hear pieces of brokenness in their life, and you will be able to offer the hope of the Savior whose wounds can heal their brokenness. Do your best to try to turn the conversation into a Jesus conversation. It might be a five-minute conversation or it might be one comment. These words will shine the brightness of the gospel onto their heart. Do we really believe that the gospel itself is the “power of God for salvation for all who believe” (Rom. 1:16)? If so, let us not be ashamed!
If you cannot share the gospel, you may just invite them to church with you on Sunday. It may just be what God uses to draw that person into a relationship with Christ. If you feel like you are not really equipped to share the gospel with someone, here is a simple app that you can download on your phone called “3 Circles” that will help you articulate the gospel with others.
Let’s maximize Halloween for the glory of God by making Christ known in our neighborhoods!