By Cherie Werner
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15 ESV). You may not be able to go into all the world, but Christmas is a perfect time to share the good news about Jesus with your community.
CTA offers many great resources to get you started including The Story of the Christmas Tree: A Community Christmas Party. This event can be used to share the joy of Jesus with your congregation and also help you reach out to members of your community. Here are some ideas.
- Consider Going Offsite. A neutral location will help make your event more appealing to those who might be reluctant to come to a church.
- Invite. Invite. Use social media, radio, newspapers, flyers, posters, etc. to let your community know what is happening. Ask permission to give out flyers at area schools so the children in your community can get excited and want to come. Most importantly, ask the families in your church to bring friends and neighbors with them to the event. Those personal invitations will be the most effective in bringing in new people.
- Plan a Piggyback Event to Widen Your Impact. Get your youth group, elders, and women’s groups involved. Provide a meal before or after your event. Offer a parenting, marriage, or a financial skills class for parents to attend while their children are occupied. Offer a gift-wrapping service, car maintenance, or other services that would help young families and single parents.
- Make It Multigenerational. Use your event to help brighten the lives of local nursing-home and assisted-living residents. Invite them to join you (or go to them) the night of the event and participate with the children in the crafts and games.
- Expand the Service Project. The Story of the Christmas Tree event includes an element of service. With some preplanning, you can expand that to give back to the community right away. Invite families from the local rescue mission, military families, families struggling with illness or injury, or single parents. Ask your congregation to donate ahead of time so that those who attend your event can go home with needed items.
Pray. Ask God to bring people in. Ask him to use your event and the people involved to touch those who need Jesus and draw them to him. Pray for all those who help and participate. Ask God to use his Word to open their eyes and their hearts to his love and grace.
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out CTA’s The Story of the Christmas Tree: A Community Christmas Party, the free coordinating resources in the Resource Pack, and the whole line of products created to support your event.
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