12 December, 2013 Hugo Charteris
The Christmas season has begun and, for lots of us, the next two weeks are going to be busy. Good busy. Numerous Carol Services, loads of visitors, plenty of fun and a chance to hear the Gospel!
It’s also a time of year, with so much going on, for us to play our part. Here’s how.
- Look out for visitors. Especially if you’re on your own. You may be disappointed that the person you invited hasn’t turned up, yet now you’re free to talk to others. Anyone standing on their own? A Christian friend struggling to keep the conversation going? Someone needing to be freed up to talk with the next person? Get talking.
- Look out for jobs. Again, especially if you’re on your own. Carol Services can be a real juggle for those who’ve managed to bring a friend along, only to realise that they’re got to do refreshments. Could you step in? Could you free someone up? And if you don’t have to get away for a post-match drink, could you help tidy so that others can go?
- Make sure visitors get a seat. It may well be that all seats are taken. Wouldn’t that be great? Yet if that is the case, make sure that the guests get the best seats, and get to sit with those who’ve brought them. We anticipate space will be an issue for us in Newcastle and so we’ve asked our guys to improvise. They may need to stand. They may need to stand in the foyer and chat to a visitor whose baby has gone ballistic. They may need to stand behind the bar (we meet in a theatre) and wash mugs. They may miss the whole thing. But so what, if it means a non-Christian gets to hear the Gospel?
- Take in something extra. Is there a Christmas service which could do with some bodies to make it feel like an event? In Newcastle we’ve asked members of one congregation to attend another later in the day, to do just that. Of course it’s exhausting, but you’ll get plenty of time to rest later.
- Be alert to what’s on in January. Does your church run a post-Christmas Christianity Explored, or equivalent? If so, keep your eye on that. After all, our Carol Services are usually evangelistic-lite, with the follow-ups much better opportunities to investigate Christ.
- And of course pray. But for the Spirit of God applying the Word of God to our hearts and lives, our Carol Services will be just another thing to do at Christmas. Please heavenly Father will you be at work amongst us all this season. Amen.