As we enter into the Christmas period, churches are gearing up for their Christmas programmes. For many churches it will be their big push to get as many non-churched people to carol concerts and Nativity plays. This of course is a season where a higher number of non-believers will enter a church, whether it is to see their child or grandchild perform in a nativity play or to sing familiar Christmas carols. Valuable indeed, but there are so many other ways to express the love of Christ this Christmas by getting outside the 4 walls of a church building and showing God’s love to the community in creative ways.
This year our home church, Life Church in Bedworth is embarking on ’12 days of Christmas kindness’. This initiative is all about the church celebrating the birth of Jesus through blessing, not busyness, giving not receiving and through loving without borders. The whole of the church is encouraged to find ways to show our community that it is loved. There will be whole church projects such as food hampers for families living below the poverty line and donating Costa coffee vouchers to give to local council staff. Individuals are being encouraged to think up creative ways to bless their neighbours and local schools. The love of Jesus is to be celebrated and expressed in a way that touches the community. An expression of love is so often the first step in a person experiencing God’s love. Many of the people who will be touched would never step inside a church building, even at Christmas. We are anticipating that this explosion of kindness across our town will lead to many meaningful conversations and testimonies of individuals experiencing the love of Jesus for the first time.
Since Sophie returned from Melbourne, Australia in June, she has been involved in Gas Street Church in Birmingham, led by Tim & Rachel Hughes from Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London. This Christmas they have launched ‘#100ChristmasParties’ event. The vision behind this event is to encourage the congregation to host a 100 Christmas Parties in their communities, leading up to the 2 weekends of Christmas Carol services on 11th & 18th December.
These parties are a way of being a light of hope and joy to the city inviting friends and neighbours to their homes and loving them.
The Christmas parities can be as simple as inviting neighbours over for some mince pies and mulled wine or sharing Christmas cake and coffee with work colleagues.
Through these connections, it is hoped that many new people will connect not only with the church but will encounter Jesus for the first time.