Halloween has always been a big question mark among Christians. Should we let our kids go trick-or-treating? Is it ok to let them dress up? And, if we don’t know those answers, then maybe it’s just easier to do nothing.
Well, whatever side of the fence you are on about the matter, here is an article we found that may help clear the muddy waters.
Living on mission can seem daunting.
Sadly, we live in a culture where the idea of knocking on your neighbors door and having a conversation sounds completely alien. Many of our neighborhoods operate on an unspoken understanding of “If you ignore me, I’ll return the favor.” Since the invention of the automatic garage door it has been possible to go months without even seeing the people you live next to, never mind actually talking to them.
However, once a year culture lobs us a softball called “Halloween,” and with just the slightest amount of intentionality the stranger down the block can become a friend. You just have to be willing to swing the bat.
Here’s a few thoughts for making the most of the opportunity that is extended to you every 31st of October.
- Check Your Conscience – Whether you feel compelled to participate or to find another way to spend your Halloween evening, do so with joyful confidence – knowing that you’re guided by the Holy Spirit, and with humility – understanding that others might choose otherwise and be just as faithful as you in doing so.
- When People Knock, Answer – Sounds simple, right? Just to be overly clear, the very people you (should) want to be growing in relationship with will be walking up your driveway, and ringing your doorbell. They will be coming to you. So, open the door. Smile. Be friendly. Talk to people. Ask them their names. “Do you guys live around here?”
- Visit Every House on Your Block – Even if the connection is brief and potentially awkward, it sets the stage for the next time you both check the mail at the same time, and keeps you from having to avoid eye contact while one of you is mowing the lawn.
- Be Creative – Feel free to go above and beyond. Consider putting a flyer in your neighbors’ mailboxes, inviting them over for hot cocoa and pumpkin bread before they take their kids out trick-or-treating. If you or someone you know is a photographer, set up a photo booth on your front porch and offer to take family pictures for people. If you think of an idea that ends up being a hit, do it every year.
- Pray. A lot. – Before the evening’s festivities begin, pray that the Holy Spirit would give you eyes to recognize unique opportunities to connect with people, and the boldness to actually do so. Start thinking right away, “How can I connect with these people again soon? Yes, to be a good missionary, but also just to be a good neighbor.”
With such a complicated mixture of influences, it’s important for each family to use discernment and wisdom in determining if and how to celebrate this holiday. I believe that there are sinful ways to participate in Halloween, just as there are with any holiday.
However, I also believe there are many aspects of this holiday that we have freedom in Christ to participate in. Regardless of how you choose to engage in this holiday, I urge you not to miss out on all the opportunities to disciple your kids that the Halloween season provides.
Because this holiday can be a complicated one to disciple your children through, I have three tips to help you lead well during this season.
- Every Decision is an Opportunity for Discipleship – Fathers and mothers should answer these questions through consulting the Word of God, through prayer, and through community. The principles of Scripture need to be applied by each family with wisdom and discernment. Because every family, every child, and every ministry context is different, there is no “one size fits all” answer for how to approach the season.
- Do Not Fear – One reason we parents tend to agonize over each little decision regarding Halloween is that we are scared. We’re scared that if we make the wrong decision, that we will scar our kids for life. We’re scared that we’re too strict, or that we’re too lenient. We’re scared because we care for our children so much, and want to make sure that we always do what’s best for them. In these moments, God has words of comfort for us. When God’s people, Israel, were in fear of the nations around them, He said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- We’re All on the Same Team – I want to remind all of us parents that we all want the same thing. All of us are doing the best we can to lead our children through this life, praying that God will bring them safely home to Him. While other parents may make different decisions regarding Halloween than you have made, what we all need most is not judgment and criticism, but rather prayer, encouragement, and support.
Read the full post here: http://www.vergenetwork.org/2013/10/25/3-tips-for-discipling-your-kids-through-halloween/
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- Tags: Brian McCormack, etch, EtchLife, Halloween, John Murchison, loving our neighbors, missional, myetchedlife, resources, trick or treating, Uncategorized, Verge Network