Fisher Price makes a nativity set in its Little People collection. It’s great because of instead of it being a manger that your children can’t touch, it is made for them to play with. Since I have kicked off the season early, it has made an entrance. The other day I hear from the kitchen my 4 year old tell the 9 month old “NO Andrew, Jesus is NOT for you.” Oh the irony. I wasn’t sure which life lesson to tackle first – the fact that we share our toys or that Jesus IS for everyone.
The doors of your church are always open, but the perception is that they are even more open at Christmas time. Many individuals that can not or do not attend throughout the year often will come for the Christmas Eve or other holiday services. All are welcome. I have visions as a child of the ushers setting up the folding chairs on the aisle for the Christmas Eve service. This is a busy time but a wonderful time for the church when those that don’t typically attend want to worship. You are given a window, sometimes just an hour, to welcome them. How can you help make sure that they know they are always welcome? When they exit the door, that they are contacted so that they enter again before next year? Is it the passing of a registry? Visitor cards? Ushers at the door spotting new folks? Or do you capture the information in Checkpoint (ACS) or Children’s Ministry (The City) of new visitors? Are they sent a welcome email or invitation to your City site? What sort of follow-up will you do?
As we gather to worship, may we all celebrate that Jesus has come for ALL of us. And hopefully, somebody new will enter your doors to hear that message. Hopefully, they will return to hear it again throughout the year. What a wonderful time to let everyone know that Jesus IS for them.