Reach Out

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

It’s Christmas, and we want to reach our family members and friends who are not yet believers. But how do we go about that? How do we make the transition from gifts to glory? How do we effectively communicate the real reason for the season? Here are a few practical suggestions:

Begin with prayer. Every outreach should begin with up-reach. Pray specifically, by name, for those whom God has burdened on your heart. Ask Him to reveal Himself to them. Call on the Holy Spirit to make them receptive to His message. And when you pray, be prepared to be used by God – He may choose to send you.

Connect on a non-threatening level. One way to communicate the essence of Christmas is to send E-cards or snail mail cards that focus on Jesus without being churchy. When you send cards add a personal note that let the recipients know that you care for them. You may also want to add a little something extra. Here’s something we photocopied and sent as an enclosure in our cards a few years ago.

Christmas card list.

I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book,

And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look,

And that is when I realize that these names are just a part,

Not of the book they’re written in, but of folk close to my heart,

For each one stands for someone who’s crossed my path sometime,

And in that meeting they’ve become much more than just a name,

For while you may not be aware of any special “link,”

Just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think.

For once I’ve met somebody, the years cannot erase,

The memory of a pleasant word, or of a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine,

Of names that are in a Christmas list, forgotten in between,

For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,

It’s because you’re on the list of folks I’m indebted to,

And whether I have known you for many years or few,

In some way you have had a part, in shaping things I do,

So every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew,

The best gifts life can offer is meeting folk like you.

Give gifts that count. Solely giving a Christian book or CD to a not yet believer isn’t always the best way to communicate the love of Christ. The gifts we give to others should be related to their interests. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t give gifts that proclaim the good news. It’s simply suggesting that the best way to express your love may be to give a “regular” gift coupled with a “Christian” type gift.

Invite friends and family to church. After all, Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to do things together with others and most churches have a number of exciting events that you can confidently invite folk to. One way of making the occasion especially memorable is to combine it with a meal.

Whatever you do, remember that Christmas is an opportunity to make a difference for Jesus. If you are willing, God can uniquely use you to help someone meet Jesus this season. So be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. For Christmas is about following His lead, pursuing His agenda, and making it all count for eternity.

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