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Halloween in Franklin, TN comes around every year and Christians have to make a decision of how they will use the day. Throughout the many years of ministry and not so many years of parenting, I have chosen all three options listed above.

We have hosted and participated in fall festivals, Trunk-or-Treat, Candy Crawls, Hay Rides, and door to door Trick-or-Treating. We have asked church families to host yard games and a meal at their homes as part of their festivities.

But just a few years ago, one of our neighbors included us in their intentional attempt to get to know the neighbors better. They introduced us to several people in the neighborhood that we had not ever met. This not only changed the way we do Halloween, but it also forever changed our relationship with our neighbors.

What started as a walk with my neighbors to get candy, has now developed into a neighborhood small group.  The family who invited us to participate, continued to keep us all connected at pool parties, egg hunts, and cook outs.  Now we have a growing relationship with these families who we frequently meet with, pray, and study God’s word. I had no idea I was getting “set-up” into my community when I said yes to Trick-or-Treating with a group of people I did not know.

Yes, Halloween along with Easter, and Christmas all have been commercialized, recreated into events that make Christians cringe, but I say look for opportunities to be creative and redeem it for good.  With each season, ask yourself how you and your family could make the most of times when large groups of people are coming to your door or may want to hang out with you. Whether you are the host or participant, be intentional with the opportunity you have before you.

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About the Author: Shane Pass is the Kids Pastor at ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN.