WOW! It's Christmas again, and we're celebrating Christ's coming in one way nearly every church does in our community--a Christmas Eve service First Assembly
. This year, we're moving to offering 4 opportunities to hear the music, hear the story and hold a candle that lights up the darkness while singing "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night".
Maybe you're volunteering or you're just planning on attending, and you're wondering, "Why 4? Why not just one?" I'd like for you to know what's behind the thought here.
- This is one of the best times to share about Jesus with people who don't know Him. This past Thursday, I was privileged to share the gospel with about 300 parents, grandparents and siblings of the children from our outstanding daycare, Adventure Station. A fair number of these people don't normally attend church or have any way to connect with me. A number of these families communicated to me that last Thursday's service was a welcome gift and that they plan to come to First Assembly on a Sunday. That's exciting! That's one of the reasons we're doing this, but that will happen at each of these Christmas Eve Services, if we'll bring people. People's hearts are more open to our message than they ever will be.
- By offering more opportunities, we should see growth in attendance. Our Sunday morning services, at 9 & 11 are not both "filled to capacity", but we offer two services because more people will come if there is more than one chance to make it here. The same thing is true with these Christmas Eve Candlelight Services. Our mission, "To create a community where waves of people are transformed by the love of God", is drives us to open as many doors and do away with as many barriers as possible for this to happen.
- By offering multiple Christmas Eve Services, we're doing what nearly every church of any size or tradition is doing. 3 services is fairly typical, but we offered an extra one due to the daycare. Just look at any newspaper from our area this past Friday, and you'll see that most churches are offering what we are--it's "normal" in our community.
- Christmas Eve offers the church a place and time to showcase her treasures. The amazing music, unique cultural window, extraordinary emotional ties and moving story all lends itself to the ideal setting for sharing powerful resources the church has. We don't want to squander this incredible opportunity, so we're increasing how much we're offering at Christmas. People connecting with God at Christmas needs to be given priority for us as a church.
I'd like ask you to pray, and be ready to worship and celebrate Christ our King this Christmas on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. God is once again knocking at the door in the lives of people who don't know him, and we have an amazing opportunity to bring God near through our Christmas Eve Services!
Labels: advent, Christmas, Church life, community, events, First Assembly Community Ministries, outreach