It must be difficult for people who grow up in an environment where there is no affection for the Church or for Christ to suddenly be confronted by Church and church people at Christmas time – especially when ‘we’ are so overly enthusiastic about it all!
Our Christmas Community Carols commences in just a few hours, along with a puppet show for the kids/parents and a BBQ before the carols singing. So I’m trying to put myself in our visitors’ shoes as they walk in our church door. What will they see? What do they want to experience as guests at our place? If I didn’t know Christ, what would I want to see at a carols service? Perhaps . . .
I would want a place that welcomes me with sincerity, that puts me at ease and appreciates that I won’t know the status quo for moving around your premises. I won’t know where the toilets are, and I won’t know if it’s okay to put my feet on the seats or stop my kiddies running around in certain areas. Please tell me.
I would want a preacher who looks me right in the eye and tells me what they genuinely believe. I would want them to ask me to consider the real meaning of this Christmas celebration, explaining it in a clear but really succinct way! If this Jesus character is so important to you all, please tell me why. Show me.
I would want the music to sound good, with musicians who know when to come in and when to stop playing. I want singers who look like they are interested in the things they sing about.
I would want to see you had put effort into providing decorations for my children and I to be feeling festive. I would want some air conditioning and cold drinks (there’s no snow in the land down under at Christmas).
Most of all I would want you to treat me like someone who belonged here, not someone who is obviously new. I would love people to show a genuine interest in me, and my children, and to ask me back to visit again. That would show me how much you enjoyed my company!
That would make me feel special. If you remembered my name the next time I came, that would be awesome!
Please pray with me for our upcoming community carols, which is essentially one of the best outreach opportunities for the Gospel in our calendar. And I will pray for yours: that Christ will be glorified; that people may be won over by the love of Christ, turn from the god of self, and follow Him.
May there be much rejoicing in heaven over many new souls entering the Kingdom this Christmas.