Several years ago, a pastor-friend of mine near Philadelphia posted some ideas to help his church reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. I think it is something on all of our hearts as well, but we can easily get sucked into the commercialism of what is meant to be the celebration of our Lord’s incarnation. Consider these ideas and let us be a light set on a hill pointing people to the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
Is it just my imagination or is the Christmas season by far the craziest time of the year? There’s Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating, Christmas lighting (as soon as you get all your leaves raked), Christmas plays, Christmas parties, Christmas cookies, Christmas photos, and Christmas TV specials. It feels like a 900 mph sleigh ride through a crowded mall. It’s lots of fun, but certainly not what Christmas is all about.
And I often find that others, even non-church-goers, feel that way too. They know there is more to Christmas than a harried schedule. Maybe that’s why people are often so open when we invite them to our Christmas events. They want something more out of the season than a peppermint latte, sore feet, and a panic attack.
People More than Tasks
And because of Jesus, we have something more. As I often have to remind myself: people are more important than tasks! As you consider ways to share the hope of the gospel with people during this season, here are a few ideas:
First, have a Christmas party: not just another red and green event, but a place to jumpstart conversations and friendships.
- These parties work great in an office or a neighborhood. And if everyone in your life seems busy, make it a drop-in.
- Be sure to include both unbelieving and believing friends.
- Make it simple by just doing dessert and having everyone bring something.
Second, go Christmas caroling. This is a great thing to do with your community group or a group of friends.
- Bake cookies and give them out along with a Christmas invitation to church.
- Include the kids. It’s hard not to smile at kids bundled up in scarves singing you Christmas carols.
Third, give gifts. Small thoughtful gifts can go a long way when you are reaching out to neighbors or co-workers.
- Cookies, $5 gift cards, and CDs are perfectly fine.
- A note of invitation or encouragement can make these gifts even more meaningful.
Fourth, invite. Look for opportunities wherever you go (grocery stores, gas stations, hair salons, etc.) to invite people to [GCC] events.
- It is amazing how open people are to Christmas events.
- Consider asking waiters or waitresses if you can pray for them, give them a nice tip and invite them to our Christmas events.
- Make sure to get some invitation cards at church this Sunday.
Fifth, serve. Look for ways to lend a hand to others.
- Help your neighbor rake some leaves.
- Hold doors for people who are shopping.
- Let people go ahead of you in lines and then look for an opportunity to get into a conversation.
Thinking Outside the Task List
Christmas evangelism can happen with a little creative thinking. God is eager to give us opportunities if we think outside of our task list this Christmas. Let’s ask him to lead us!
*Jim Donohue serves as Pastor of Evangelism and loves getting to know new people, and has served on the pastoral team at Covenant Fellowship Church since 1996. He also leads the college age ministry. He and Trish live in West Chester with his wife, Tricia, and their four children.