Halloween 101: Community Building and Factories of Courage

A 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. A dark house is uninviting. If a house is not welcoming during the neighborhood’s favorite day of the year, it is not likely to seem welcoming the rest of the year either.

Use this night as a stepping stone to build relationships. Talk with your neighbors. Give the best candy 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 scary stuff.

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 don’t need to fear a piece of plastic. Our God is sovereign over everything.  The devil didn’t steal October 31st from God. The day belongs to God!

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.