How will you answer "the knock?"
Throughout the year we seek moments with our neighbors to show God’s love and perhaps to invite them into our homes. We may have asked a neighbor several times to come over and they have never accepted. Yet for Halloween, many of these same neighbors will likely walk up to our doors and ring the bells. May we open our eyes to the possibilities…
“Love is the very nature of God, and as believers, we share His nature. That’s why love is so important. Our expression of love is evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. True love results in action.” Janice Mathers
One of the best ways to love our neighbors is through their children. Ideas are endless. The following tips are centered around Trick or Treating.
*Pray! Start now and let God lead the work and relations for you. Submit to Him and how He will use you during this season.
*Be excited that many children and parents WILL BE COMING TO YOUR DOOR. May our homes be the most inviting and welcoming in the neighborhood!
*IMPORTANT-have the good stuff for trick or treating-don’t skimp! This is part of what people will use to understand who you are. As a kid, how did you remember houses? How do you want to be remembered?
*Do not replace treats with tracts!! You will be “that house.” Let’s be known for our generosity, both in kindness and candy.
*Be hospitable. In whatever you do, adopt an attitude of service for those you are reaching.
*Get outside. If you are planning to hand out candy or host something, be out there and be available. Sit out on your porch, wave, talk to your neighbors, and listen.
*Complicated or BIG isn’t necessarily better. Have fun and enjoy getting to know your neighbors. Many of these ideas can be combined for a bigger event or done separately for a small, fun way to visit with your neighbors and friends.
*Safety. If you host a party think about what concerns you would have if your child was in someone’s home. Take the responsibility of others seriously and use it as part of your witness.
IDEAS for Trick or Treat:
Reverse trick or treat: Take a treat to your neighbors! Maybe your neighborhood isn’t so involved in trick or treating. Take this opportunity to let them know you are their neighbor and are available if they need anything.
Hot chocolate hand out: Maybe it’s cold outside. Change things up with some hot chocolate. Add some encouraging words on the cup if you are leaving as a gift or simply chat with the children and parents.
Hot dog handout: Set the grill out in the front yard and hand out hot dogs to passersby. Let neighbors know ahead of time so they are prepared for something different. Put out lawn chairs so people can sit if they want to while they eat. Provide water or soda. Keep it simple.
Cookie decorating: Have a table set up for children to come and decorate their own cookie. Have cookies pre-made and varied icing and baking decorations ready to go. Again, let neighbors know ahead of time so they are prepared to stop for a couple of minutes. This is a great idea if you have older children who can help.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
May this quote from Howard Hendricks motivate us to connect with our neighbors. Keep in mind that a big part of what you are doing is building trust and friendships.
The opportunity to initiate conversations walks right up to our front doors on Halloween. How will you answer the knock?
Adapted from Northeast Bible Church, Gardenridge, TX