It’s Christmas time! Well, nearly…fireworks have been, the John Lewis advert is here so we better start preparing as well! Christmas is one of the best opportunities to invite people to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. In the nativity story, the angels tell the shephards about the good news that the Messiah has been born and urge them to go and see the baby for themselves. After seeing the baby, they go away and tell people about the amazing things they had seen. Our mission can look a bit like this during the festive season: we encourage people to come to our churches and hear for themselves or to be a part of a service, but we can also go, like the shephards, and tell. Maybe we’re more comfortable with the the first than the second, but the reality today is that it’s hard to attract people so we have to be ready to talk to people outside of the chapel and meet them where they are. Here are some ideas about how we can go and tell others about baby Jesus. There are lots and lots of resources out there, especially in English, and I am very indebted to the ideas of Chris Duffet and others here.
Scripture Union produce a comic every year about the Christmas message. Many churches but a bulk of these to give out in schools. This year the theme of the comic is Guardians of Ancora, the new app – a digital Bible game – they have developed. Copies can be ordered here:
Scripture Union are using ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ events in schools to take the magazines to the school. You can download all the resources and everything you need to run a ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ at your local primary school here:
One of the easiest and fun filled projects you could ever do! This is a project Chris Duffet (BUGB) started in 2008 which has now been used by hundreds of Churches. It enables all kinds of people to be involved in the Christmas story by encouraging them to participate and experience being part of the nativity in a fun way.
After setting up a nativity scene in their local town, churches invite people from their local community to dress up and be part of the scene. A photo is taken and then uploaded to this website, so that each participant can find their photo – and then print it, email it to friends or share it on Facebook at no cost to them.
The cost of running the project and being able to offer this gift to participants is covered by the £50.00 registration fee. For this fee, each church or group is given full use of the Get in the Picture website and 300 information cards – which not only direct visitors to the website to find their photo, but have space to add details of the local church.
3. Showing a film
How about organizing a film night in your local school/shopping center or village hall? The Nativity produced by the BBC a few years ago is available to buy online from the Bible Society and other shopping websites or can be ordered from your local shop.
4. Singing carols
We’re used to the idea of going around in groups to sing carols in order to raise money, but how about turning that on its head and giving a seasonal gift to the people who open the door?
5. Baby Jesus everywhere!
Paint some oval shaped pebbles as a baby sleeping and lay on a bed of straw in different places around your community, on doorsteps or benches, bus stops or pub tables… hide the baby Jesus for people to find!
This is something that everyone can take part with. Also, don’t be put off by the painting aspect, it really is as simple as 1,2,3.
- Using white acrylic paint, paint an oval shape on one side of the stone. Let it dry.
- Using a brown or pink acrylic paint, paint a roundish smaller shape for the face of Jesus. let it dry.
- Using a permanent black marker draw around the face and body. Draw 4 lines for the swaddling clothes. Add the eyes, smiley mouth and one curl for the hair. Have fun!
6. Travelling Nativity set
Many a home own a nativity set showing the scene of Jesus’s birth. This idea involves passing the Nativity set around homes on your street/neighbourhood or friends. It could be a special nativity set people have created together. It’s an opportunity to invite people to the house for some mince pies and wine, to read and discuss the nativity story and maybe sing a few carols.
7. Stall on the street
If your church is in a large village or town, how about organizing a stall for a day and blessings people by giving little gifts of chocolate to them and wishing them a Merry Christmas – a gift from the church. Or how about offering a gift wrapping service – that would start some conversations!
Giving a little booklet to friends and family is another way of sharing the good news of Christmas. Why not ask to meet for a coffee with them at a late date to find out what they think about the message inside? There’s a great selection of tracts here: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/christian-living/christmas/evangelistic/
For more great ideas go to:
In the mean time, it’s time to dig out the tinsel…!