From four-foot lighted letters to two-year-old children, what can you do to share Christ this Christmas?
by Alison Zeller
Empty seats. That’s something rarely seen in a church at Christmas. Sometimes churches can’t keep up with the number of people coming to services at Christmastime. It may be a hassle to set up those extra folding chairs in the overflow seating area, but what a blessing it is to have the opportunity to witness to these guests! Christmas can be the perfect time to witness to unbelievers, especially those who usually have no time or interest in hearing about Jesus during the rest of the year.
Members at Midlothian Baptist Church in Midlothian, Virginia, strive to get the whole community involved in their Christmas celebration. To do that, they hold an annual lights display in the circle driveway of the church. During the last weeks of November, staff and church members work to set up the display. When visitors drive up, they are instructed to tune their radios to a specific station (a “low-watt” or “low-power” station) that tells the Christmas story as visitors drive by.
The first set of lights depicts Adam and Eve in Eden. Next, Jesus’ birth is shown in a lighted manger scene with angels suspended in the air and shepherds watching below. Next, visitors see three crosses, and then a triumphant empty tomb. The last stop on the lighted tour is a scene of heaven. Each display shows part of Christ’s mission to save us, and at the end, in four-foot lighted letters for all to see, are the words, “Mission Accomplished.”
As guests left last year, church volunteers handed out CTA’s Good Tidings of Great Joy gift bags. The gift bag featured homemade recipe cards added by church members who had written the “recipe for heaven” on each card.
“Everyone is very excited about the light show,” said Kathy Cornett, a church member who helps assemble the displays. “I’ve had parents come up to me and say how excited their children are to come see the Christmas story in lights. It’s really become a tradition in our neighborhood.”
Christmas outreach is important. And it need not be elaborate. Debra Kreienkamp, a leader of the Parents Day Out program at Christ Community Lutheran School in St. Louis, uses CTA products to share the Gospel at Christmastime, too. Her approach is smaller, but no less effective. Her goal? To help two- and three-year-olds tell their parents the Christmas story.
“I have a passion to equip parents with tools to share Jesus with their children and, sometimes, equip children to share Jesus with their parents, too,” she said.
This year, Debra is using CTA’s new Christ the Savior Is Born book as a Christmas gift for each child in her class. Before she has the children take the book home, Debra reads it in class and uses it as the inspiration for art projects and other activities. In the end, the children become very familiar with the book and are eager to take it home to show to their parents. If the parents are not Christian, this becomes a great outreach activity.
“Our program is sometimes the first door parents walk through when starting to explore a church home,” remarked Debra. “Being family-friendly in what we do is very important. I think CTA children’s products are family-friendly, faith-filled, and priced right!”
Will you see empty seats in your church this Christmas? Or will you enjoy a “full house”? Take a moment to share a warm heart and the Gospel story with visitors this holiday season! You’ll find all CTA’s Christmas products online.
Editor’s note: Even though the Good Tidings of Great Joy gift bags mentioned in this article have been discontinued, several new CTA Christmas products are suitable as Christmas outreach giveaways. For example, the Christmas Story Pen testifies to God’s love in Christ in a unique, but meaningful, way.
If you’re interested in low-watt/low-power radio broadcasting this Christmas, keep in mind there’s no license required. See the Federal Communications Commission Website for more information. You might consider using the text of CTA’s Christmas Story Pen as the text for a message connected with the crèche, light show, or other display on your church lawn.