My Favorite Service of the Year!
Dear Precious Saints of MBC,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to the Lord's Day.
30 years ago when I was pastoring the Community Bible Church in Omaha, Nebraska, I attended the Moody Pastors Conference. One of the workshops I participated in was on outreach and church growth. Let me pause here to say, I've since learned there is no sure fire way to grow your church and reach the lost. We must simply be faithful in prayer and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes our way and leave the results to God. However, one of the methods suggested was a Christmas Eve Service. Upon returning to Omaha I proposed it to the Elders and it was met with skepticism. More than half said they had family gatherings on Christmas Eve and would not be able to attend. I said that was fine, we should have it for those who could come. Our people advertised and my first "Candle Light Christmas Eve" Service was to a packed house. I could hardly believe all the people who attended: Most whom I had never met. The music was first rate and I gave a message clearly presenting the gospel. Christmas Eve has since become my favorite service and I'm hopeful it will become yours as well. Why do I love it? Because many people are eager to come to church on Christmas Eve if invited! What's more, they are open to the gospel message!
Earlier this week I read a survey that discovered that about 60% of Americans attend church during this holiday season. 57% who do not attend church during Christmastime indicated that they would be likely to attend if invited by someone they knew.
Here's what I'm asking you to do: Invite someone to join you for our Christmas Eve Service. Don't say "no" for others by not bothering to invite them!
Here's what I promise to do that evening: I will tell the story of Christmas with faithfulness and respect! I will tell it accurately and fully. I will tell it with gusto and love and with the excitement of someone hearing it for the first time. I will not detour into theories and guesses and myths and controversies. I will not steer into conjecture on how the planets aligned into creating that wandering star which led the Magi to Bethlehem. I will not waste everyone's valuable time on the pagan origin of Christmas or the history of Augustus' census. I will simply remind people of what Christmas is all about: That Christmas is the story of God sending His Son to earth to offer Himself as a payment for the sins of mankind and He now offers to us forgiveness of sins, eternal life and heaven if we will simply put our trust in Him and receive His gift!
"O Come Let Us Adore Him. Christ the Lord."
See you on Sunday!
In the light of His glory and grace: