Jesus passionately pursues the lost. He hunts them down, seeks them out. And He does so with great joy, he loves reaching out and inviting people into the Kingdom of the Father. It is what we spent our whole service talking about yesterday, as we heard the story of Him saving Levi and attending a party with the outcasts of Jewish society. What better time to live like Jesus than the season when we celebrate his coming?
That is exactly what Tim Gaydos of Mars Hill Church (Seattle) wants us to do. Namely, he encourages us not to waste our Christmas. Instead, we should have "a plan to pray for and invite, and then what to do with friends, especially unbelievers, this Christmas season."
I've included his article in total below. Where he gives Seattle specific ideas, just comb similar events going on in your area and your church. Merry Christmas as you share the Good News in your context!
As Christians, it’s so important that we look for missional opportunities with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members as they are way more prone to engage in Jesus-friendly activities and conversation this time of the year than any other—by far! So, let’s pray and get after it!
Here’s the deal: People really love being invited to events, parties, and homes. There are so many opportunities happening in our respective cities through concerts, shows, plays, parties, and services that proclaim Jesus and would lead to natural conversation with those in your sphere of influence, let me give you just five.
1. INVITE PEOPLE TO A CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW
Every year, my wife and I invite friends to go with us to the The Lights of Christmas, which is put on by a Christian conference center just outside the Seattle area. There are many examples of Christ being proclaimed at this event, specifically a Nativity scene. There might not be another time where a non-Christian friend would go with you to a Christian conference center, but this is the time—who doesn’t love Christmas lights?!
2. GO TAKE IN HANDEL’S MESSIAH
One year, we took some non-Christian friends to Handel’sMessiah at the Seattle Symphony. No matter who you are, it’s impossible not to be blown away by the grandeur of this masterpiece. It was captivating, and the awe-inspiring nature of the Messiah gave us a chance to talk with our friends about the content of this piece, which led to an incredibly rich gospel conversation.
3. THROW A FUN, FESTIVE CHRISTMAS PARTY
Sweaters, white-elephant gift exchange, good food, good drinks—go BIG! Christmas is a great reason to engage the people God has placed in your life. Invite neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends. Make sure it’s not a Christian-only party. Make it a point to invite people into your home, to sit on your couch, drink from your cups. Show that you care and take a moment to introduce people to one another. Share the meaning of Christmas with them and the reason behind all that we are celebrating.
4. SERVE OTHERS
People are “naturally” charitable at Christmas. There are so many local opportunities to serve the least among us during the Christmas season, and both Christian and non-Christian alike see this as an opportunity to do good and love others by serving those who are less fortunate than they are. This is a great time to preach the gospel in word and deed as Jesus has commanded us and share about why Jesus is the most generous and charitable man who ever lived.
5. INVITE SOMEONE TO A CHURCH PLAY OR CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
Many churches put on incredible productions during the Christmas season. Also, Christmas Eve services are some of the most well-attended church services and is the absolute only time (or one of only two times) someone would willingly enter into a church. For many, going to church on Christmas isn’t weird, just what you’re supposed to do. Don't miss this opportunity to invite someone to hear the real meaning of Christmas.
PRAY, THEN MAKE A PLAN
Right now, I want to ask you to take one minute and think about three people in your life that you would love the opportunity to share Jesus with.
Once you have those three people, pray for them and their hearts to know Jesus. After you have prayed for them, think about what event, service, party you could invite them to and call, text, email, Facebook or Twitter them.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?