With Christmas right around the corner, you’re probably beginning to consider where you are spending the holidays, when the get togethers will happen, what you will cook, what gifts you will give, and what decorations need to go where. Maybe you’ve even dug out that disgusting old ugly Christmas sweater with a giant cat on the front to try on, hoping it still fits. Yet, in the midst of all this preparation, I wonder if you’ve taken a moment to consider one of the most important questions surrounding this Christmas: Who will you invite to hear the good news of great joy this year?
Check out the skinny from outreach.com on inviting people to church this Christmas season:
For non-Christians, an invitation to church can be uncomfortable, intimidating, or downright scary. They don’t know what to expect, so they’re reluctant to accept. But Christmastime changes all that.
That’s because most Americans already celebrate Christmas, even if they leave baby Jesus out of it. They probably have some basic understanding of the traditional Christmas story, so a visit to church for a Christmas concert or Christmas Eve service feels less weird… But here’s the thing: Even though most Americans celebrate some version of Christmas, most aren’t planning to attend a church service.
SO, LET’S INVITE THEM, ORCHARD HILL!
If a family is already getting together for a gift exchange or Christmas Eve dinner, it’s easy to meet up an hour earlier for a church service. Or if a friend or neighbor has no plans or no family in town on Christmas Eve, they might be open to joining their Christian friend for an evening of carols at the church around the corner. It can’t hurt to ask, and statistics might even be on your side that they’ll say yes. That’s because among non-Christians who do visit a church at some point during any given year, a Christmas Eve worship service is the most likely time for them to attend.
Life.Church Pastor… Bobby Gruenewald affirmed the importance of these services. “We often say that people are more likely to accept an invitation to church during the Christmas season, more than any other time throughout the year. For the past five years, we’ve averaged a 70% increase in Christmas weekend attendance compared to our average weekly attendance the rest of the year.”
Without a doubt, a personal invitation to church from a friend or loved one is the most effective way to actually get a new face through the church doors. In fact, more than half of unchurched Americans say a personal invitation to church from a friend of family member would be enough to get them there.
Wow! What an opportunity we have this Christmas season! We know God can work through invites any time of year, but why not use the open door of Christmas to invite someone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus to church, and maybe even to your personal Christmas gathering? Take some time and consider who you might invite this year. Maybe it’s the name on your “Live to Tell” magnet that you have been praying for. Maybe it’s your co-worker, family member, or friend. Maybe it’s your entire bowling league! Whoever it is, grab a postcard invite from church and invite them to join you this Christmas season! I am praying the boldness of the Holy Spirit over you all, Orchard Hill! Live to tell!
-Pastor Laura Dilley