Do you know your neighbors by name? According to a recent survey, only 53% of U.S. adults do. How is it that for fifty percent of us, the people who live next door are almost complete strangers? In an article titled “The End of Neighbours,” Brian Bethune explains:
“It’s hardly surprising, given how lengthy working days, long commutes and having both parents in the labour force have combined with the way we raise our children to create suburban neighbourhoods that are empty more than half the day, with scarcely a neighbour to encounter, let alone recognize, trust or befriend.”
Although Bethune’s reason rings true, Jesus calls us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Mark 12:31)—and I’m guessing to love them would first require that we know their names and then know about their lives. All that takes time, which is why we hardly recognize the people who live in the house next door.
How do we overcome these daily obstacles so we can build true community with our neighbors? One way is to look where community is happening naturally and then build upon it. Despite the reservations many Christians have about Halloween, it does serve to draw everyone outdoors, offering the perfect opportunity to interact with and extend love toward our neighbors.
Research has found that nearly one-third (32%) of Americans socialize with neighbors on this day. Furthermore, one-fourth of parents who take their young children out to Trick-or-Treat say that’s when they meet new neighbors. If you are looking for a way to meet your neighbors, Halloween is your chance. George Robinson, associate professor of missions & evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, affirms:
“Halloween is the only time of the year when unbelievers come knocking on your door.”
So true! Over the past few years, many of you have made the most of Halloween by giving away The Story Booklet, either along with the treats handed out or to the parents chaperoning the kids. Booklets are sold in packs of 20 for $12 (available in English, Spanish, and German).
New this year is something specifically for children—it’s The Story Bracelet Kit. With each $28 kit, you can make 100 of our beaded Gospel bracelets and attach them to cards that give an overview of God’s story.
It is our passion to help you share the beauty of God’s story with your neighbors, community, and world. To make the most of Halloween, we’re offering a special promotion this month. Check out this month’s coupon options to have a discount offer applied to your order.
Be sure to let us know how community was increased in your neighborhood this season!