THE E WORD: sharing faith at CHRISTMAS
I’m a big fan of seasonal celebrations. So when it comes to Christmas, I’ve got Bublé, King Cole and Sinatra on repeat, am totally drawn in by the Christmas lights, and take every opportunity for anything mulled.
And it seems like most people love the Christmas festivities… and since the church also loves Christmas, it’s the perfect opportunity to share your faith with others. To use the cringe (but true!) phrase: Jesus is the reason for the season.
And, after all, it’s a nostalgic time, when people are open to walking in to a church building just because they get to sing carols; a time where people want their kids to experience ‘the magic of Christmas’; a time where people feel lonely because everyone around them is spending time with their family and they’re not. A time when people might be more open to the message of God’s love.
So, let’s take hold of this opportunity and invite people to sample a little bit of who Jesus is this Christmas!
How is Church Army sharing Jesus this Christmas?
To inspire you, here are a few festive ways that Church Army Evangelists are connecting with their communities and sharing their faith…
Theresa Pountney will be helping with a Christmas trail for children from the local schools. The children will visit her church in London for a fun trail and get to hear the Christmas story.
Sheelagh and Paul Easby work with seniors and run a weekly coffee group and lunch club for chatting and activities. The majority of those who attend live alone. This Christmas they’ve invited a local primary school choir to sing, and organised a Christmas coffee and mince pie morning where anyone is welcome to come.
Evangelist-in-Training, Chloe was part of Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market. She was in the Real Christmas Chalet where people were invited to tie little pieces of material to a cross, symbolising giving their concerns to Jesus. Chloe also prayed with people and gave out little pieces of paper with a blessing on.
As part of #xmasangels, Kinder Kalsi has asked as many people as possible to knit little woollen angels. He’ll attach tags with encouraging messages on each of them and place them around Sheffield City Centre before sunrise to be found and kept.
Jane Emson organised a Santa’s grotto and family fun event followed by a church event in Middlesbrough. Working in partnership with local companies, she provided free hot dogs, refreshments and Christmas crafts. Jane welcomed 150 people from the community and is having conversations with one of them about getting baptised!
Lots of our Evangelists are coordinating Posada events, where Mary and Joseph figures travel around different people’s houses, reminding them of the first story of Christmas. Some people run Posada with their church community, whilst others send Mary and Joseph to shops down their high streets. Gill Martin is sending Mary and Joseph on a journey round a school where she leads assemblies.
How will you share faith at Christmas?
So now you know what others are doing, we challenge you to pick one of these ways to share your faith over Christmas:
Take inspiration from our Evangelists - there’s still time to organise something (even if it's low key).
Invite a friend or colleague to join you at a carol service, nativity or midnight Christmas service (perhaps preceded or followed by a festive mince pie or drink!).
Share on social media how you’re celebrating Christmas. I’m planning on posting photos from the big outdoor carol service my church holds (which has a brass band and everything!).
Share a Christmas related Bible verse on your preference social media. On Christmas day I’m going to post a festive Bible verse on Instagram.
Whatever you do to share your faith this Christmas, we pray you’d seize the opportunities and have God-given boldness to talk about the importance of Jesus coming to earth.
We’d love to hear how you get on with sharing you faith – let me know!
And… I’m going to sneak in there early and wish you a very happy Christmas!
6 December 2019
Hannah is Church Army’s Communications Officer and is excited for the launch of Church Army's new podcast (watch this space!). She loves Christmas and recently ran a 10K where instead of a medal you got a Christmas pudding when you crossed the finish line!
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