By: DeAnna McEntire, CDHX
I used to love getting dressed up and running around my neighborhood with my sisters to collect candy. However, I always preferred holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas because I had an excuse to eat enormous amounts of food and open presents. Halloween just seemed like the prequel to my favorite, upcoming holidays.
As I got older, the thrill of Halloween continued to dwindle as I got too old to dress up and ask my neighbors for candy. Nowadays, I sit inside and hand out candy to children, or hang out with a small group of friends and watch a movie.
But this year, Halloween means something new - the opportunity to serve the new community I live in!
I am a part of the Crossroads Discipleship Home (CDH), and part of the program involves putting together community outreach events. Our first event is on Halloween, and we will be inviting our neighbors to come to our house to receive candy, eat food, and get to know one another on our driveway.
Through planning and preparing for this event, I have learned 3 ways to serve this Halloween:
Engage your neighbors. Halloween is a great excuse to go around and meet neighbors you haven’t met, or connect with the ones you already know.For our event, we are planning to give our neighbors an invitation by going around to each of the houses. You don’t even need to have an invitation to do something similar to this – you could simply go around and exchange plans for Halloween.
Practice hospitality. Halloween gives you a reason to invite people to your home and show them warmth. They don’t necessarily even need to come inside. At CDH we are inviting people to hang outside on our front lawn and driveway. We are providing food, games, candy, and decorations. This is a way for us to serve the people in our community as well as engage them relationally.
- Show your community the love of Jesus. Being kind, generous, and loving will show the people around you the love of Christ. For CDH, the impact won’t be made simply because we engaged the people around us and invited them over. They are really impacted after they come over and interact with us. It’s really easy to be stressed or annoyed during holiday seasons with the business and bustle of the season. This is an opportunity to show your community how different you are by loving them the way Jesus would. The way you talk, act, and genuinely care about your neighbors will show them that love.
All of these things ultimately give you the opportunity to share your faith with the people around you. People who don’t have Christ inside of them will be drawn to the way you engage them, invite them to your home, and show love during a season when many people can be stressed and angry.
They will want to know what makes you different and you will be able to share with them. You may not have those conversations immediately but your desire to love, engage, and invite them will plant that seed.
Don’t miss out on a chance to share the Gospel and serve your community this Halloween!
About the Author: DeAnna is a recent graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in East Asian Studies. She loves writing, drinking good coffee, and anything to do with China. She's currently living in Anderson, South Carolina as an intern with Clayton King Ministries through the CDH program.