Sharing The Gospel At Christmas
Whilst there are always a few Christmas grinches around, people still love Christmas time. For churches it’s an important time that comes around annually that gives plenty of opportunity to tell the Gospel story. It’s a unique time of year in our Australian culture when openness to the biblical story of the birth of Jesus is arguably at its highest. If there’s ever a time when people who don’t normally darken the door of a church are going to set foot on church property it will be Christmas.
Baptist churches across our country put an enormous amount of effort and innovation into Christmas outreach. Each year thousands of Australians get to hear the Gospel story thanks to the diverse ways in which churches have used Christmas to reach out:
Christmas lights attract hordes of people each year, sometimes by the busload. Many churches have built up an impressive array of lights. Lifepointe Baptist Church in Maroochydore is one of many Baptist churches who have built up an impressive reputation for putting on an outstanding light display. There is more than lights though, there’s also the annual production, an expo, the Bethlehem walk and a baby animal farm.
The production features multimedia, drama, dance and song to drum in the meaning of Christmas. The musicians, singers, actors and dancers lead a 45 minute presentation depicting the reason for Christmas and the difference it’s made for so many people.
Christmas Carols & Plays
Churches have a ready made stage, talent and equipment to put on an impressive carols experience. Many churches take the carols outside and gather in many more thousands of people as a result. Often churches have built a popular reputation for staging an impressive carols event and as a result continue to attract large crowds.
Some people would only ever think of attending church twice in a year: Easter and Christmas. It’s a unique occasion where a significant percentage of the congregation present do not normally attend church. Churches have become sensitive to this and pitched their celebration services accordingly. The challenge is to be evangelistic without making people regret they made this rare exception to attending church.
Many churches use the opportunity of the Christmas season to reach out to those less fortunate. The message of Christmas is reinforced through practical expressions of love and service in the community. The truth is churches do this throughout the year but it does attract more profile during Christmas (and perhaps make more impact).
Christmas is a time where a lot of people have the potential of being left out. Hospitality is an important outreach at this time (and always). Reaching out by way of inviting people around to share a meal and some company can be the best gift. Outreaching churches encourage and facilitate this to great effect.
The power of the personal invitation trumps any flyer you can stuff in a post box. Evidence proves time and time again that people become Christians more often than not through the involvement of someone known to them, and were initially invited to something by that person/s. Having something to invite someone to helps, but extending that invitation through a warm, personal interaction is the most effective way to do it. At the very least a warm invitation to enjoy personal hospitality goes a long way.
Some helpful links with more ideas: