This time of year raises the same questions for many believers. How should Christians respond to Halloween? Should we celebrate it or should we refuse to take part? Do we throw a Halloween party or offer some kind of alternative celebration? The minefield of responses is broad and a bit confusing. Each person and family must navigate these questions thoughtfully and prayerfully, but our mission to the world around us can help guide our response. As we seek to connect with our community and engage our neighbors, how can Halloween provide us with some unique opportunities? Here are a few ideas to consider as we think about Halloween this year.

1 // Meet Your Neighbors

It can be difficult to meet your neighbors. After missing that pivotal window of time right when you or they moved in, it can become awkward to try and reach out. This Monday, however, your neighbors and their kids will be coming straight to your door. As you accompany your kids around the neighborhood, you’ll have an easy way to introduce yourself for the first time. If we’re going to be a church who loves our neighbors as Jesus commanded us, we can start with learning their names on Halloween and building a relationship from here.

2 // Practice Hospitality

Whether you throw a Halloween party or an autumn festival, any kind of celebration is an opportunity to practice hospitality towards those around you. Throughout the gospel accounts, we find that Jesus was not unfamiliar party guest and used those opportunities to engage conversation and include outsiders. Throw a party and invite that person at school or work who seems lonely or even excluded. Opening your home to others is a simple way to make others feel significant and to deepen relationships through generosity.

3 // Share the Gospel

Halloween can enable us to grow relationships and explicitly share the gospel message. At Mission Hills Church, we invest time, energy, and effort into throwing an annual Big Halloween Party. Last year, we had over 1,100 students attend and 600 of these kids entered our doors for the first time. This party provides our middle school students with the opportunity to invite all of their friends to a fun and safe party where they will also hear the life-transforming message of the gospel. Last year, 110 kids accepted Christ for the first time and returned to their homes and schools with their life transformed.

As we seek to honor and obey God in our actions, we must not ignore our mission to the world around us. We need to be conscientious about how we elect to engage culture while we confidently engage opportunities to reach out to our neighbors and our community.