Advice for Churches: Evangelism on Christmas
By CCD contributor:Ruth Zhao, December 06, 2016 03:12 AM
Christmas is just around the corner. We celebrate joyfully because we're grateful to our savior. At the same time, it is such a wonderful opportunity to preach the Gospel to nonbelievers and introduce Jesus, savior of mankind, through the holiday that is all about Him.
This reminds me of my participation in the Christmas activities of the church many years ago.
On that snowy evening, we were all wearing choir robes, standing in the cold from the gate of the church to the hall, greeting everyone who came for the holiday activities with joy. Even though the church made adequate preparations, we could hardly cope with so many people inside and outside the church. We added a few more performances and everyone was exhausted. But looking at the people converted filling up the stage, we all had tears of gratification. It felt like that was the great revival. However, as the holiday spirit subsided, the number of church members didn't change. There were barely any believers who converted on Christmas.
Who knows that the situation was still the same with all the input of manpower and money! For this reason, some churches changed their Christmas services from outside to inside oriented, and turned it into a holiday for Christians only.
Looking back, maybe we were overanxious for quick results. It is impossible to alter one's belief with sermons and performances of less than an hour, let alone acquire a correct philosophy of life and values. Especially since people who come on Christmas are there mostly for the fun of the holidays. Most of the people who converted were under the influence of passion and acted out of their impulses. Such passion is superficial and does not last. Just like when Jesus fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish, those emotional people wanted to take him by force and make him king. But the next day, many people left. As Jesus told us, it was the heart of stone with no change.
So, does it mean we don't need to preach through Christmas? No! Apart from preaching the Gospel, we also need to seize the opportunity to truly bless our seeking friends. We need to change our ways, but not the goal.
No good results will come if one doesn't care for the Gospel ministry in normal times. At least visit the friends with intentions before preparing for Christmas. The focus should mainly be the better halves, family members, and friends of the brothers and sisters, so that they can feel the care and love from the church. The preaching targets should be focused.
The key is that they learn the concept of God before Christmas, so as to believe in the Creation. Otherwise, they will not believe anything you say, and the performance will be just entertainment.
The holiday performances play a supporting role with sermons. Therefore, the sermons can't be too rigid, and there should be more interaction. Through interactions, raise some questions, and ask the seekers to answer with some meaningful gifts. These types of questions should be ones that can get people thinking, instead of difficult questions about faith. For example, ask people "which came first, the egg or the chicken." All people will start thinking and then enters the subject that God created all.
The Christmas gifts for each person should be equal, especially for the seekers. Visit them before Christmas so they may feel the love during the holiday. Paying return visits is just as important.
Translated by: Grace Hubl
(Disclaimer: the author is a believer in Liaoning Province. The viewpoints in the article represent the author's only. The original title was "Advice on How to Have a Good Christmas.")
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