What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Do you need to devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Must you become a better person so that God will accept you? Learn how you can know God personally.
There's no easier time to have a conversation around the gospel than when someone else brings it up first. This is especially true when it’s Christmastime, and everyone's humming “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger.” But don't be fooled; it takes planning on your part to make the most of the season's opportunities.
Below are four ways you can be intentional about sharing hope this holiday season:
Throw a Party
Consider hosting a party that connects Jesus, the greatest gift, to your favorite Christmas traditions. Invite those in your neighborhood, your office, your hobby or your club. Learn a step-by-step plan for this kind of Christmas gathering here.
Invite the neighborhood kids over for a birthday party for Jesus. Have a cake, play birthday and Christmas games (like Pin the Tail on Mary's Donkey), tell the story of Jesus' birth and talk about His life.
Have a party with a purpose. Wrap presents for the underprivileged. Make care packages for the homeless. Do a project for a local shelter. Getting outside of yourself and helping others brings meaning and purpose.
Put It in Writing
Send Christmas cards.
When Mary Jane Morgan became a Christian years ago, she began inserting a gospel tract into her Christmas cards. "They just had pretty cards back then," she says, "but nothing with the gospel.” Consider how you, too, can pass along the hope and peace of Jesus in your holiday cards perhaps by including your favorite verse of Scripture or writing a personal note to show you care. Pray for the people as you prepare and sign the cards.
Invite People to Church
People are most open to visiting church during the Christmas season.
Invite those that are a part of your relational network — the people you come in regular contact with — whether you know them well or not. Engage them in conversation afterward. Ask questions like, "Did your family have any religious traditions during the holidays?" or "Where do you find hope in the holidays?" A great gift to give them is to be present and to listen.
Invite people in your small group to serenade your neighbors, and at each home, leave a printed invitation to your church. You might also consider leaving a small gift like a Christmas ornament or an evangelistic book like Josh McDowell's “More Than a Carpenter.”
You never know who you might meet.
Ring the bell for the Salvation Army, play Santa Claus or serve in a soup kitchen. Visit prisons, hospitals or nursing homes. Talk about the reason for the season.
Do something nice for a neighbor. Shovel someone's sidewalk or offer to help put up Christmas lights.
It's not just about giving gifts; it's about giving of ourselves. You can bring up the fact that Jesus gave of Himself, and we can receive Him. The greatest gift is the hope and peace He alone offers.
serves as a journalist with Cru. She has had an interest in creative writing ever since her high school newspaper column days. She hopes to inspire hearts toward Christ. Contact Jan at Jan.Stewart@cru.org.