Use Christmas for outreach

In this article, Heber Ticas, CMM's National Coordinator, discusses how the congregation he pastors uses the Christmas season as a prime opportunity to reach out to unchurched people in the area served by his church. [caption id="attachment_1960" align="alignright" width="150"] Heber and Xochilt Ticas[/caption] The congregation I pastor in Southern California, Comunion De Gracia, is constantly looking for ways to live out a "missional mindset." A primary way we do that is by taking advantage of the annual holiday seasons to create missional environments within our congregation and, most importantly, to be present within the community that surrounds our church building. When it comes to reaching out to the community, one of the most... Read the article

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From Greg: Humanizing humanity

Dear fellow ministers of Christ, [caption id="attachment_21" align="alignright" width="150"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] In my many travels with Delta Air Lines I often read Delta's Sky magazine (typically doing the crossword puzzle first in an attempt to exercise my mind!). On a recent flight, a particular article caught my attention. It highlighted the movie Born to Be Blue, in which actor Ethan Hawke portrays fabled blues trumpeter Chet Baker. Hawke is quoted as saying that Baker's biggest struggle after a drug dealer knocked out his teeth was “to play and to play great again.” Noting the movie's primary goal in telling Baker's story, Hawke made this comment (emphasis added): Some biographies paint [Baker] as the... Read the article

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Kid’s Korner: Use Christmas to teach kids about Christ

Childrens mininstries have the responsibility (and wonderful opportunity) to teach children about God and his love. This teaching is offered in many ways and at various times. A significant "teachable moment" arrives each December in the Christmas season. Though we may (understandably) object to the commercialism associated with this season, we can take advantage of this annual opportunity to help children learn about the stunning miracle of Jesus’ birth. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="230"] Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] By focusing on Jesus' birth, we are reminded that, through the Incarnation, the eternal Son of God, in the person... Read the article

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Advent-Christmas celebration resources

In the Western-Christian tradition, Advent and Christmas celebrate the coming (advent) of Jesus Christ into the world. Advent-themed worship services are held on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas (in 2017 the first Sunday of Advent is November 27). Advent celebrations often follow the progressive themes of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace (sometimes in a different order). By beginning with Hope, Advent looks forward to Jesus’ “second coming,” which then points back to his Incarnation, followed by the celebration of Jesus' birth on Christmas. [caption id="attachment_2201" align="aligncenter" width="421"] Source[/caption] Below are resources for celebrating Advent and Christmas. Up first are four short Advent-themed videos from... Read the article

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Preparing for Advent-Christmas

Below are links to the five articles in the November Equipper, which offers resources to help congregations and ministries prepare for Advent-Christmas. From Greg: Humanizing humanity Greg Williams reminds us of a central truth of the Advent-Christmas season: Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, has humanized humanity. Advent-Christmas celebration resources Here is a series of GCI-produced Advent videos and other resources to enhance your worship in the upcoming Advent-Christmas season. Use Christmas for outreach Heber Ticas offers tips about how a congregation can use Advent-Christmas as an opportunity to connect with unchurched people. Sermon summary: God's "one and only" Lance McKinnon's sermon celebrates the Incarnation of... Read the article

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Sermon summary: God’s “one and only”

[caption id="attachment_178" align="alignright" width="150"] Lance and Georgia McKinnon[/caption] This sermon summary is from GCI-USA Pastor Lance McKinnon. He preached this Christmas-themed sermon a couple of years ago in his Dallas, GA, congregation. Theme passage: John 1:10-18 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of Gods—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,... Read the article

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