by Cailey Morgan
You may remember me waxing eloquent about how my husband and I moved into a new home.
We’d hoped to use our summer weekends to connect with our new neighbours over burgers or even just work on the front garden so we’d have a chance to say hi to people walking by.
Well, the end of October is here and we’re still neck-deep in interior renovations. There is no front garden and the barbeque calls to us forlornly from the empty yard.
We missed some big chances to offer hospitality because we’ve been so busy preparing our house for offering hospitality (yeah, I’m puzzled too). But, there’s hope! We’re not too late for a big opportunity this Friday. Here’s a thought from Michael Stewart of Verge Network that I found quite helpful:Halloween has quite a mixed history, and so we don’t always know how to approach it. And living on mission during Halloween can seem daunting. Sadly, we live in a culture where the idea of knocking on your neighbor’s 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.
As a family, we’ve wrestled with the implications of Halloween and its dark nature. We’ve decided that God’s asked us to be a light in the world–not to sit in the bright places and wait for people to show up, but to actually enter and dispel darkness. Jesus in His holiness was always found carrying that holiness into dark and scandalous places, and taking every little opportunity to speak hope.
So we’re going to throw a party.
It’s not going to be evil or spooky, or even hard to organize. We’re just going to dress up like the Flintstones and sit on camping chairs in our carport to hand out candy. We’ll crank out coffee and hot chocolate in hopes that the grown-ups will come say hi too.
What does this even have to do with Church Planting? Well, I think we need to simplify in our minds what it means to make disciples. If we want to invite people to a relationship with God, shouldn’t we have a relationship with them? If we want people to enter our “religious” context (which is majorly uncomfortable for many), shouldn’t we first enter their contexts, as uncomfortable as it may be for us?
We’d love to explore with you what intentionality could look like in your community. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to talk through some possibilities for your neighbourhood, or share some ideas here by commenting below.
PS: Pray for us on Friday! And I’ll let you know next week how our little shindig pans out.