Halloween 101: Community Building and Factories of Courage

 

frozen_spiderA child hid her face in her hands, “Mommy who would put such a scary mask on display?”

“Boo!” Out of the shadows jumped Mr. Incredible hoping to steal some candy from his unsuspecting sister.

“What an awesome batman mask!” said a father brandishing his camera.

Love or hate them, one thing is true: a simple, plastic mask evokes strong emotions. Some of us may stay as far away from them as possible, shunning anything that even reminds us of evil in the world. Others join in the merry making with hardly a care in the world.

Either way, we can’t completely hide from Halloween, which brings me to an important part of this holiday—conversations. We converse with friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, and our family about this annual day of trick-or-treating.  And, in this type of dialogue is great opportunity.

Community Building 101

If you stop and think about it, Halloween is one of the only times that almost all your neighbors come knocking on your door. This is not the time to tell the neighborhood children you’ll give them extra candy if they come to church. It’s also not the time to bring up finer points of Christian doctrine with their parents.

It’s a time of bonding with your neighbors that doesn’t come along very often. In fact, it’s probably the only day of the year that all your neighbors come out to visit. Use this night as a stepping stone to build relationships. Talk with your neighbors. Give the best candy or trinket on the block. Compliment creative costumes. Engaging with your neighbors speaks volumes. When you care about what matters to them, they may start to show an interest in what matters most to you.

Courage Factory 101

If we walked around quoting verses about courage on a regular basis, we might receive some peculiar looks or get labeled as “Awkward Bible Nerd.” But around Halloween, you get a free pass to talk about stuff that scares us. Use this as an opportunity to build courage and confidence in your family and encourage fellow believers. It is not every day that we get a chance to talk about our fears or how God is always with us no matter what.

As believers, we don’t need to be afraid. At the end of the day, a mask may look scary but it is just a costume accessory. We have no need to fear a piece of plastic.

Note: This is an edited form of a blog I originally wrote last Halloween for bible.org. You can view the original post here.