We Need Christmas

by | December 22, 2016

Years ago, like a lot of Christians, I often lamented the commercialization of Christmas and talked at length about how our American style of materialism worked against the spirit of the season.  For me, this was obvious in the way Christmas spilled to earlier starting points on the calendar.  This year for example, I heard a radio station playing non-stop Christmas music the day after Halloween, and we have already received our first cards and presents in the middle of November.

But that’s okay.  I don’t worry about it anymore.  Because I have come to understand we need Christmas.  We need Christmas so much, we are willing to devote one-sixth of the year to it, and maybe more.  Sure there is profit to be made, but that is only because people want Christmas as much as possible.  I grew up with Christmas season starting on Thanksgiving night.  My grandchildren will look for it when they come home from trick-or-treating.  That’s okay.  Christmas is that valuable.  Certainly it’s that big.  And it is obvious there is something in Christmas that people want and need.

I have found that people also need giving.  I mean, we need to give.  I need to eat, sleep, exercise, have time alone and with other people, and take walks with my wife.  I also need to give.  It is an essential part of living.  I touch something valuable and important inside me when I give away something I value to others.  That’s at the heart of Christmas, but it is also a vital part of the life of any church.  When we receive the offering, we are not pausing worship.  The offering is one of the great acts of worship and is rightly in the middle of all that we do to honor God in a service.  This is because people need to give.

However, many congregations are over-focused on the need of the church to receive.  This creates a very different idea of giving that often hinges on obligation, a negative sense of duty, and the expectation that we barely have enough to give.  There is no joy in this approach.

Why not talk about giving because people need to give, and trust that God will find a way to do what God wants to do with your ministry?  Why not divorce the stewardship appeal from supporting the budget and make it a spiritual response of the giver to God’s blessings?  Now talking about giving becomes ministry focused on people, and not some dreaded administrative task that few church leaders want to do.

I’m a lot more relaxed knowing something good is going on with ‘early Christmas.’  How can you release stress by addressing people’s need to give?

                                                                              

Image Info:                Image Info: “Nativity Scene” by Chad Sparkes is licensed under CC BY 2.0

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything you need to inspire generosity.

RECENT Posts

A Practical Guide to Year-End Giving for Any Size Church

Year-End Giving The last five to 10 days of the calendar year are critical to maximizing the generosity of your church. It may feel like this is the time of year to pull back, slow down on communication, and talk about anything but stewardship. If that's your gut...

5 Free Resources on Generosity & Stewardship for Church Leaders

It is a privilege to share with church leaders like you across the country—digitally and in person—who are faithfully serving the people in your community and making disciples. We’ve been blessed with multiple opportunities over the past couple months to share our...

Four Ways to Make Stewardship a Worshipful Experience

Stewardship as a Meaningful Part of Worship Stewardship isn't something that just happens during the second weekend in October. Jesus talked more about money than heaven and hell. Why is that? Because money is an outward, measurable expression of what we really...

OUR NETWORK

Follow Us

PO Box 627
Cabot, Arkansas 72023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This