There are at least two times of the year when any church should be maxing out the evangelism RPMs and those are Easter and Christmas. Even with the increasing secularization of our culture, these two seasons still attract many unbelievers, the unchurched and nominal churchgoers to our campuses. This makes it even more urgent that pastors and churches think of ways on how to capitalize on these times of the year as a platform for the gospel.
One way is to get your people involved in serving the community. Our church last year did what we called the “Twelve Ways of Christmas.” We came up with 12 different ways we could serve our community, including
- taking meals and gifts to the local fire and police departments
- doing maintenance in the homes of the disabled and senior adults
- going into prisons to share the gospel
- giving gifts to the children of the incarcerated
- serving hot meals
- giving manicures and pedicures to the homeless
- doing oil changes and minor maintenance on cars for single moms
In addition, we operate the largest non-profit food and clothing ministry in our county and every one who comes through our Care Pointe ministry individually receives the gospel and follow-up.
We also get a list of underprivileged families from various agencies and have our people buy age-appropriate gifts and bring them to the church. Then we have them volunteer to take these gifts to the various families along with gospel materials and an invitation to visit our church.
Every year we do a Christmas series on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, and we have our people give out invite cards to that series and our Christmas Eve services, and both are evangelistic in purpose. Christmas Eve is one of the two services a year I personally baptize, and we work for a solid month in lining up baptisms for every one of the four services we have on that day in one campus and the three services we have at our other two campuses. We want the many unchurched and unbelievers who attend those services to be exposed to the gospel both verbally and visually. We encourage those who make decisions on Christmas Eve to be baptized on the first Sunday of the New Year as a way to begin their new life in Christ.
One thing I have found effective is to take this time and invite people to give a Christmas gift to Jesus in a somewhat ironic twist. Then I point out the only thing they can give to Jesus He doesn’t already have is their heart. I share how nothing thrills God more than to see us give gifts to His Son.
We really push our people hard to invite their neighbors, coworkers and friends to our church during this time of the year reminding them that it is the most receptive they will be all year at least until Easter and that they have the least competition for their time and their most focused attention.
In short, Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving to the church year after year and is still a great time to use our creative energies to get that once-in-history baby into the hearts of a world that needs Him more than ever.