NextGen4Christ Blog

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Revolutionizing or Rewinding Christmas?
Posted 03/23/2019 by Laura

We tend to think in a lot of black and white around the holidays. Nostalgia is on fire, and not just any fire, a fire roasting chestnuts in a fireplace.

The truth is most houses don't even have a working fireplace that would roast chestnuts.

The second and far more interesting truth is that no one I've ever known with a fireplace roast chestnuts! And I, for one, would probably burn them!

As a whole, and there are some exceptions, churches love the nostalgia of the holidays. We love the idea of candlelight Christmas Eve services and programs and parties and even more parties and pageants and...oh, look...another party! But with so much changing in the world and even changing in our children's ministry to make the message more relevant, should we really be stuck in the old traditions of the past!

This is a hard question to answer- Revolutionize or Rewind? And what you need is not just one answer, but a strategy. Why do we do this? Is it accomplishing it's goals? Are the people driving by our "live nativity" really changed or made aware that the Son of God left the glory of heaven to live and die for them?

So while hitting the rewind button comes naturally, let me encourage you that sometimes the VHS tape is out of date- and you just need to get the DVD. There's nothing really wrong with the event, but maybe considering not many people know what a "Cantata" is, your church might consider not "revolutionizing", but just renaming. It's a concert with skits.

For Kid's ministry, that may mean if you are approached about a Christmas Pageant, you can find creative more meaningful ways to have one. You can have an impromptu one at several Christmas parties so kids and adults can jump into the action! It may mean having one as part of a family service specifically designed to reach kids with their parents gleaming the simple truth of beloved story! It may mean taking a break and having kids put on a pageant in a nursing home where they bring handmade gifts and cards as part of mission project!

Many of us will always hit the rewind button at Christmas. Over time, it creates a tradition. But that tradition only has meaning if the truth and love of Christmas are clear and touch our hearts. Christmas traditions have to mean something; they are defined by the feelings that we have for Jesus and for our family. What does that mean? Sometimes we revolutionize the tradition based on it's meaning. Caroling was supposed to bring a little light and remind people of why Jesus' birth. What could do that today? Caroling with coffee? Not caroling, but just handing out coffee? Creating a Christmas Eve service to reach someone who's never been in Church and doesn't know what to do?

Different events may have different answers to this question: you may rewind and press play for the event everyone loves, you may upgrade to the DVD for the live nativity and change it into a family experience, or you may say we need to create a new movie that's HD so people can see with a new clarity the love of Jesus.

Either way, have a blast making memories that will last because they are memories with meaning.

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