ed. note: On Monday, I shared a flyer that challenged you to tell people more about Jesus at your holiday events. I just found this related article and I hope you find the challenges in it useful. I don't want to sound like a Grinch in reminding you of the serious messages we need to communicate at this time of year and take away all the fun. But to paraphrase a challenge I heard years ago, "We will have all eternity to celebrate, now is the time to work." If being a Grinch causes one church to clarify the Christian message as they celebrate Christmas and if one more person comes to know Jesus it will be worth it.
As many churches plan their seasonal outreach celebrations, they often focus on putting on a big program for the co3mmunity. It could be a play, serious or humorous. It could be a concert consisting of anything from the choir presenting a formal choral arrangement to the music ministry doing a special seasonal musical to hosting a visiting Christian Rock group.
There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with these events and if you follow the advice of Effective Church Communications and are conscientious about connecting with people at your events, explaining what is going on at the church, explaining the Christian faith, linking them to more resources, and inviting them back, these events can be effective ways to grow your church. But something else is going on that we need to consider if you want your event to have a positive impact on your congregation beyond the event itself because. . .
"What you win them with is what you win them to."
Seasonal events don't stand alone. How we celebrate them reflects both the core beliefs of the church and the effect of them on the spiritual growth of church members. [Read more...]