On Lent

by Guest Blogger Shirley Davis

One of the most impactful things I ever did one Lenten season (in preparation for Easter) was give up holding grudges against my husband.  For context:  Usually, for Lent, Protestant Christians don’t bother much with giving things up.  I had, for many years, not seen the point and chucked the idea altogether.  I did, that is, until a good friend challenged me to use the 40 days of Lent as a time to come closer to God less through a sense of obligation and more about willingness and desire for life-change.

A Lenten practice might look like adding something—like praying for someone more regularly or choosing a place to serve those less fortunate.  It might also look like relinquishing an attitude or behavior.  I had the sense that God wanted me to give up stewing, to give up feeding my frustrations or my resentments, specifically those that were related to my marriage and my husband’s inability to read my mind . Incidentally, he was not doing anything heinous—it was just garden-variety relationship friction that I chose to continue to hang onto and keep to myself.

I also knew that I would need to replace what I was relinquishing with something healthier—a healthier attitude, better choices, etc.  So, I chose to increase my focus on God as my provider…my guide…my strengthener…my help.  I decided that every time I was tempted to ruminate over a grudge, I would “take that thought captive” to Christ and stop and pray for my husband instead.

It supposedly takes 30 days to break a habit.  Lent gave me 40 days, not including Sundays.  This one intentional season, over 20 years ago, truly broke me of that bad habit, replaced it with a better one and helped strengthen my marriage. Not that I never consider stewing anymore, but God reminds me to turn that over to Him sooner and more thoroughly so that it’s no longer my default mode.

I have also noticed the helpfulness of this practice in my coaching and mentoring.  New Year’s Resolutions seem so heavy and burdensome—stretching 365 days into the horizon with the potential for failure or discouragement at every turn.  The 40 (or 46) days of Lent, however, seems doable in a different sort of way.  Shorter. In partnership with God in a very intentional sense. A heightened awareness in a winter season.

Lent and Sacrifices

If Lent is about coming closer to God through some sort of self-sacrifice, then it’s probably more about attitudes than about actions.

Some things to consider “giving up” for Lent:

  • harboring anger or resentment toward someone
  • self-pity
  • complaining about one’s boss
  • complaining about one’s roommates
  • gossip
  • talking with others about a problem instead of talking with the person with whom you have that problem
  • over-commitment
  • complaining about your family
  • sweets
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • computer games
  • credit cards
  • compulsive shopping
  • social media
  • certain magazines/catalogs
  • television/Netflix/HBO/Hulu—or certain shows/movies—or binge-watching
  • eating out
  • problem-solving when someone is sharing their heart with you

Replace the thing you are giving up with something healthier:

  • prayer
  • accountability
  • a new habit
  • take every thought captive
  • pray the Psalms
  • Lent readings
  • quiet times
  • discipline
  • Scripture—memorize and remember
  • journaling
  • uplifting reading
  • books; books on Audible
  • rest
  • reflection
  • exercise
  • time limits
  • Post-It Note reminders in key places
  • Lent small group
  • listening to Scripture
  • worship
  • music
  • listening
  • silence/solitude
  • time in nature

And, pick just ONE thing.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of “resolutions.” Consider this a “fast” for your soul—a way to invite God in to do some much-needed renovation and restoration.  It helps to find a Scripture to meditate on during your Lenten practice.  Several suggestions follow:

Verses for Reflection:

2 Cor. 10:3-5  Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

Phil 4:8  Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

2 Tim. 3:14-17  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 4:2-4  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

1 Thess. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

Prayerfully begin now to reflect on what God would have you do . . . and who He would have you “be” . . . for your Lenten sacrifice to Him this season.

[Lent this year begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 and ends with Easter Sunday on April 12, 2020.]


shirleyShirley Giles Davis is a coach, consultant, and facilitator specializing in resilience, communication, conflict, transitions/change, leadership, strategic planning, personal style, resource-management, purpose, performance management, sabbath, caregiving, gifts/passion, and Enneagram debriefing.

Shirley is also author of the God. Gifts. You.: Your Unique Calling and Design six-week workbook and the Your Unique Design Class Guide.  She has been Director of Equip-Connect-Serve Ministries at a church of 1,200 in Boulder, Colorado since 1999, connecting people with opportunities to serve and places of learning and fellowship.  Shirley and her husband, a university professor, have been married since 1982. Contact Shirley.

 

God’s Plan for a Better Tomorrow

by Guest Blogger Bob Santos

I confess. There are days when I just want to power down all my electronics and
escape from the world. I know (as I sit at a computer and type) that technology has
its benefits. But there are drawbacks as well. It seems as though we are constantly
exposed to a world of dysfunction.

Today, we struggle with unjust business practices, an over-sexualized culture, and
toxic politics. Middle-class opportunities are slipping away. Gone are the days
when young children could maintain their carefree innocence at least into junior
high school. And as much as we look to our political parties to build roads to a
better future, our political system has proven its inability to even fix itself.
What would you think if I told you that the Lord has a plan to improve our lot, and
it isn’t all that complicated? Would you believe me? Would you want to get
involved?

The principles are quite simple. God’s plan for a better tomorrow involves His
people coming together with one heart and in one Spirit to pray.

The Body of Christ

If we consider the reasons that the church has lost so much influence in our culture,
there is one that quickly rises to the top of the list: we are divided. Jesus once said,
“Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself fails” (Matthew 12:25 NASB).

If we understand the nature of Christ’s body, we recognize that all genuine
followers of Jesus are members of the church. There aren’t many churches in a
community, but rather one church with various expressions.

We might say that we separate ourselves for biblical reasons, but if our theology is
truly accurate, shouldn’t we be coming together rather than breaking apart?
I am not suggesting that we ignore sin or avoid difficult conversations, but that we
honor our Lord’s directives to preserve the unity of the Spirit and to build up the
body of Christ.

Neither am I saying that our beliefs are inconsequential. Rather, our unity is found
not through uniformity but through Christ and Christ alone. We truly are brothers
and sisters in Christ, members of His body, and members of one another. And as
we come to pray, the Lord imparts an anointed blessing of life to transform our
communities.

Community Prayer Initiative

It is with this mind-set that Search for Me Ministries, Inc. has created the
Community Prayer Initiative. The initiative itself is not complicated. Church
bob-santosleaders in a community use the Community Prayer Devotional to facilitate thirty
days of united prayer within their communities. And as momentum grows, other
steps to bless the community can be prayerfully taken.

The Community Prayer Devotional accomplishes three primary purposes:
1. It draws the people of God in a community together.
2. It actually gets them praying.
3. They pray with one voice about the same issues.

Search for Me Ministries has endeavored to make the Community Prayer Devotional accessible to all. Free PDF copies can be downloaded from
Smashwords.com. The Amazon Kindle version is only .99. And paperback copies
“personalized” for a community can be purchased at a significant discount. (Please
click here  for more information.)
No doubt, we live in a challenging and tumultuous era. But our good God has by
no means abandoned us. Exciting times are ahead for those who set their hearts to
pray with one heart and through one Spirit!


Bob Santos is the founder and president of Search for Me Ministries, Inc.—a ministry devoted to helping to form and equip a generation of world changers for Christ. Bob has written eight books which all touch on topics relevant to spiritual growth. He and his wife Debi live in Indiana, PA and have two adult children.

Finding Family Friendly TV & Movies

canstockphoto10378131More and more people are streaming their at-home entertainment these days. I decided I needed to update the “buy or rent movie” page on my Find Christian Links website to “streaming TV and movies.”

I recently signed up for frndlytv and am enjoying it thoroughly. So I decided to search for other Christian and family-friendly apps for streaming. I was amazed at how many I found! I hope you will check them out here. And please let me know of any I have missed!

Next, I set out to update my TV and Movie Review page. As Christians, we may ask ourselves, “Should I see that movie? How about this new game my teenager is wanting? Is that TV program OK for my 6-year-old?” We try to assess if it has too much bad language, too many offensive sex scenes, too much violence, or too many bad life examples for our kids.

Where do we draw the line? How much is too much?

Figur denkt ber die Daumen Bewertung nachIf we compare movies or television programming or even music today with that of a decade or two decades ago, most of us are horrified to realize how far we’ve come. With  gradually increased exposure to explicit sex, mockery of Christianity, sexuality issues,  occultic phenomena, and violence beyond imagination, our threshold of tolerance has increased. Things that at one time we would never have considered watching or listening to have somehow become acceptable. Our scorecard of “how much is too much” has changed dramatically. We have allowed ourselves to be conditioned.

Perhaps instead of “how much is too much,” we should ask ourselves, “Is this a positive thing for our lives or our children’s lives? Does it teach us something? Does it leave us with worthwhile thoughts or ideas? Is it healthy, harmless entertainment? Would we invite Jesus to watch it or listen to it with us?”

In Philippians 4:8  we are admonished to “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). Let this, instead of “how much bad is too much,” be our guide.

One way we can know which movies or TV programs or music are positive and worthwhile is through reviews from a Christian perspective. In checking the Internet, I found many excellent sites offering such services, but some stood out to me as being especially worthy. I am listing a few of the sites here that seem to approach their reviews and comments from a heartfelt biblical perspective. I hope you find them helpful.

Are You an Eye, an Ear, or a Foot?—Finding Your Place

By Guest Blogger Shirley Giles Davis

How do you find your place within the people of God?  Are you the eyes? ears? hands? feet?  Or, maybe you are the heart, the liver, or the pancreas?

What does this anatomy quiz have to do with God’s people?  Everything!

First Corinthians 12 says that the church is the body of Christ, and we, individual believers, are members (or parts) of that body.  Each part is essential–just as our eyes and our pancreas are essential to our lives–to the healthy functioning of God’s interdependent people.

We have each been given unique spiritual gifts to equip us to do the things that God calls us to do.  What gifts have you been given?  Do you even know what your gifts are?  Every believer in Jesus has at least one spiritual gift, usually more than one.

Have your gifts shifted since the last time you paid attention?  Or, does it feel like yours are less important?  Scripture tells us that each of us plays a crucial role—no one is more or less important than another.  How can your gifts be used to glorify God and accomplish His work in the world?

So, are you the eyes—the person who notices everything, who sees people?  The ears—someone who listens intently, who hears…or the inner ear—do you bring balance to the Body?  Are you the hands—the one who helps, builds, crafts, touches?  The feet—the person who feels compelled to go, to do, to act?  Maybe you are the heart—the pulsing energy, the compassionate empathizer, or the liver—the one who helps the church filter truth from lies or good from bad…

God made you and gave you a unique combination of gifts and talents and personality and passion to fulfill a unique role in the universe.  He has a variety of places and purposes—custom-built for you.  To find those places of “fit” takes effort, exploration, discernment, and the help of others.

shirley-bookThe God. Gifts. You.: Your Unique Calling and Design six-week study guide is intended to help you, your small group, and/or your church live more fully into the adventure of being a community of Christ-followers.  As you explore your calling, purpose, and discover and understand your unique, God-given spiritual gifts, you will see your whole life as ministry, not just what is done in the context of Sunday or church or even community volunteering.

Find something you love to do…and go do it!  Find someone to do it with.  Follow your passion, your gifts and your interests.  God has blessed you to be a blessing.  For more thoughts on gifts and involvement, explore the GodGiftsYou.com website.  Take the spiritual gifts assessment.  Look for where God is active around you and join Him.

Remember—you are a grace-giver to others:  “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).


shirley
Shirley Giles Davis

Shirley Giles Davis is a consultant/facilitator/coach/author with more than 30 years of experience in each arena. She has expertise in non-profit, government, and business management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, evaluation, and implementation.  Shirley has worked with a diverse clientele, including large and small businesses, city and county governments, state and national organizations, and religious and secular institutions.  Her communications and public relations proficiency  was developed working for both radio and television stations for more than 20 years.  She also works in curriculum development, navigating change, community-building, conflict coaching, volunteer management, and resilience-building.  Through her equipping work, she has helped guide nearly 4,000 individuals toward a better understanding of their unique gifts, passions, and callings.

Shirley has been Director of Equip-Connect-Serve Ministries at a church of 1,200 in Boulder, Colorado since 1999, connecting people with opportunities to serve and places of learning and fellowship.  Shirley and her husband, a university professor, have been married since 1982. They are the parents of two adult daughters who are both pursuing their passions on the global stage. At any given time, one or more of their family is traveling somewhere outside the U.S.  Contact Shirley.

Time for a Coach?

by Guest Blogger, Jenny Karr

When I was 13 years old, I was involved in an accident that left me with some structural issues and chronic pain.

Several years later a doctor told me if I could work on strengthening the muscles around my back, core, and joints, it would provide some relief from the pain I was experiencing. In an attempt to do so, I actually ended up making things worse. I didn’t understand my limitations and in fear of making things even worse, I just stopped trying altogether.

Coaching Business Succes Cloud ConceptGod recently opened a door for me to try again, but this time I’m working with experienced and knowledgeable coaches who are giving advice specific to me, my body, and my goals.

This reminded me of how often I hear of my friends and colleagues who are coaches talk about the importance of having their own coach. Not only does it help you stay focused and intentional in your own life, but if you are a coach, then it’s helping you experience coaching skills that you can incorporate into your own coaching! One friend said, “When I started my first business I didn’t have anyone mentoring me. Now that I’m starting my 12th business, I have two coaches!”

She went on to share that when you look at people who are professionals and masters in their field, you will often learn of a mentor, coach, or trainer who has been supporting or guiding them along the way. They understand that to be successful, they need to receive the wisdom of others—not just general wisdom, but wisdom that uncovers where they are now and where they want to go and and guides them on how to bridge the gap for their specific situation.

When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, ‘What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
Exodus 18:14–15

Who is speaking into your specific situation? What areas are you trying to go it alone? If you don’t have an answer, it might be time to get a coach!

Note: Original article was written for CCNI’s President Message at ChristianCoaches.com . Visit their website to learn how to find a coach . . . or how to become a coach.


About Guest Blogger, Jenny Karr

Jenny-Karr
Jenny Karr

Jenny Karr has been at Tailored Fundraising since 2013 and is now the Coaching Manager and Executive Coach. With a passion to train, equip, and support people in ministry, she has worked with hundreds of Christian missionaries and leaders on healthy and effective ways of building a partnership team.

Outside of Tailored, she is the 2019 President of Christian Coaches Network International, providing education, resources, and community to Christians seeking to grow or strengthen their coaching skills.
In Jenny’s personal life you’ll find her spending quality time with her husband and teenage daughter in and around their home in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

3 Dangers When Sharing Your Story

Photo by moein moradi from Pexels

Contributed by guest blogger Kris Castro

Have you ever been having a casual conversation with someone, when suddenly the topic shifts over to a personal circumstance they are struggling with that you have already walked through, but never told anyone about?

In that moment you have to make a split second decision: Do you share your story….or do you keep silent, providing a sympathetic nod, while hoping that person will simply move onto another subject?

There are 3 Dangers to consider when sharing your story:

  1.  You become invincible.
  2.  You may save a life.
  3.  You will fall more in love with Jesus

Now, if you are wrinkling your forehead in confusion wondering how those 3 items can be considered “dangerous,” I’ll let you in on a little secret….your story, when shared with others, is one of the most dangerous weapons you have against the lion that prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Photo by Rene Asmussen / Pexels

An article on ChristianityToday.com in 2007 asked 1000 Americans three questions to discover their feelings about fear, shame, guilt, and other issues.  The result of the survey was this: 38%  said they avoid shame the most, while 31% said guilt and 30% said fear.”

Thinking about publicly sharing the story of your journey through any sort of brokenness  can elicit all three of those emotions.  Fear about what others might think of you; shame at some of the things you did; and guilt around the people you hurt or the consequences that happened because of your choices.

Keeping your story locked up deep inside you as a bad memory and former life you want nothing to do with is certainly one way to move on from that painful experience. But it’s also the perfect recipe for the Adversary to hold you hostage to your past anytime he feels like it.

Let’s go back to that split-second decision….

….Did you ever consider that one of the ways the Lord had always planned to bring

Photo by Fernando Andrade / Pexels

beauty out of the ashes of your past (Isaiah 61:1-3) was to use your story as a redemptive opportunity to help others in their present situation?

 

Your story is DANGEROUS TO THE ENEMY for all 3 reasons I mentioned:

1) You become invincible

You know that saying, “Only a fool would underestimate a man with nothing to lose” ?   It is more than true…it’s powerful.  There’s a deep peace that settles inside you – which becomes stronger than anything that can happen around you – when you experience the freedom of letting go of your past through sharing your story.

Photo by Li Sun from Pexels

In a sense, you really do become invincible because no one (especially the devil) can twist the information to use it against you once you’ve shared it publicly the way you experienced it!

The same thing happens in the political arena all the time whenever a negative story is about to break wide open. The person at the center of the story can either remain silent and wait for the public backlash, or they can rush to the media to tell their version of the story first in an attempt to control how it’s perceived.

Being Invincible certainly does not prohibit some consequences of sharing your story. What it does, though, is provide a solid foundation of self-worth and inner confidence as you “face the music” of those who might not understand and choose to treat you differently because of your choice to share your story.

As sons and daughters of Christ, we have to remember that the Lord did not put us on this earth to simply live a quiet 70+ years and then off to heaven we go.  He has a purpose for each of us, and sharing our stories is part of that purpose (1 Peter 3:15).

2)  You save lives

I’m fine.”  How many times have you heard that response from others only to find out later that those very same people have been experiencing life altering challenges; keeping everything quiet because they are barely holding it together and afraid of what will happen if they let someone into their extremely difficult situation.

What those people need are assurances that they are not alone, and that the God of the Impossible has the power to step in and turn everything around for our good (Romans 8:28).  I know…because the Lord sent me on a “Crazy” 12K+ mile Adventure across the U.S.  to share my story in order to bring hope and provide encouragement to hundreds of people currently walking out a variety of incredibly difficult situations in their own lives.

As I traveled from state to state, I recognized the Lord had not coordinated that “Crazy” Adventure just for me, but rather as an incredible testimony of HIS faithfulness and desire to take care of all His kids because of how much He loves us.

Photo by Rahul from Pexels

A recent article on CNN.com shows a very concerning statistic:  “The suicide rate in the United States continues to climb, with a rate in 2017 that was 33% higher than in 1999.” 

It’s the second leading cause of death for those 15 – 24 years-old. Often that is because they get stuck in a mindset of hopelessness, feeling trapped in a cycle of emotional pain, causing them to withdraw which increases loneliness and exacerbates the hopelessness/trapped feelings. After a while, stopping the pain any way they can causes suicide to become a viable option.

YOUR STORY might just be the light the Lord has chosen to help them find their way back out of that very dark place to potentially save their life.

3)  You fall more in love with Jesus

This is the most interesting by product of sharing your story.  With each re-telling to the next person the Lord brings your way who needs to hear it, you step into a sacred place of thankfulness which becomes a tangible awareness of His love for you, which leads to a deeper place of intimacy with Him.  Just like human relationships (marriage or friendship), intimacy builds trust which then activates more faith in the other person, which breeds more love resulting in more intimacy thus naturally experiencing more love….repeat!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Deeper love and intimacy with the Lord means your identity is no longer focused on “you.”  It is now focused on Jesus flowing through you. That shift means that every need you have is met in Him, freeing you to join the Lord anywhere He leads, helping anyone He brings to you, in any way He asks of you….without concern for the outcome or the consequences.

HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE OUTCOME because of your willingness to step out in faith to partner with Him (Isaiah 46:4).

Will you prayerfully consider sharing your story?

Here’s an easy and no-obligation way to begin that leap of faith to (consider) sharing your story:

Take This 2-minute survey (watch the video then click the green button).  You can even submit it anonymously if need be.

After you take the survey, check out the impact others have experienced from telling their stories.

Are you willing to become “Dangerous” by allowing the Lord to use your story to make a difference in the life of one of His other kids? 

Take the survey, and then contact me at Kris @ BeginToShift .com to learn how to begin your story-telling process.

Article References:
Christianity Today: “Shame, Guilt, and Fear: What 1,000 Americans Avoid Most”

CNN:   The US suicide rate is up 33% since 1999, research says


About today’s guest blogger, Kris Castro:

View More: http://xxiiiphoto.pass.us/icf-final-headshotsKris Castro is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those around her by giving them hope, encouraging them in their challenging circumstances, and helping them transform their relationship with the Lord in a deeper way. She describes herself as a Faithful Warrior, an Inspiring Visionary, and a Bold Change-Agent after 50 years of walking with the Lord through both joyful and extremely difficult seasons of her life.  Kris’s company, Shift Inc.™, creates possibility-rich environments filled with laughter, encouragement, and affirmation, leading to endless personal and professional growth opportunities.  Kris helps others truly realize their identity in Messiah, achieve the destiny the Lord desired for their lives, enhance their potential, increase their confidence levels, and overcome obstacles more easily to achieve their heart’s desire in every area. She absolutely loves coaching, training and mentoring others in a deeply transformative way using the Holy Spirit her guide.

Visit her blog.

Planning for a Children’s Christmas Outreach

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

WeihnachtskugelnMost churches report that their highest attendance takes place at their Christmas and Easter services. While many of the kids who joined you for VBS and fall festival may have gone missing-in-action in-between, there’s a good chance they will turn up at Christmas if you give them a little nudge. So why not put together a fun outreach event this Christmas?

Start Planning Early

It’s never too early to start your planning for Christmas outreach, or any outreach event, for that matter. In fact, the best time to start planning for next Christmas is right after this Christmas! The earlier you decide on your theme, the better. You will then have more time to gather resources, ask around for well-loved items that you can re-use and take advantage store coupons and discounts. As you are preparing, executing, and evaluating this year’s event, take note of ideas that: you would have shelved, of what went well and what didn’t, and of what you wish you had done differently. Write them all down before you forget! They are all helpful tips for next Christmas!

Don’t Do It All Alone

Rather than doing everything yourself, invite others to join in your preparation and in running the event. Chances are you will end up doing a much better job at planning, promoting and executing your event as a team. Perhaps more importantly, you will have more people praying alongside you for the event.

Be Creative

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, but that doesn’t mean the theme for your outreach must be limited to the nativity scene or Bethlehem. Just google “birthday party themes,” and you will find lots of fun ideas, ranging from “under the sea” to “up, up and away!” Why should Jesus’ birthday celebration be any different? With some out-of-the-box thinking and creativity, there is no reason why we can’t think up a fun theme for our Christmas event – one that honors Christ and that kids would love to join in!

Ride on What’s Trending

One good way to get people excited about your event is to ride on the buzz of what’s currently trending. Find out what child-friendly movies will be released around Christmas and plan an event related to that movie. For example, Spies in Disguise is to be released in December 2019. The world is facing a disaster and counting on the nerdy Walter Beckett along with his partner Lance Sterling, (whom he accidentally turned into a pigeon), to come to its rescue. While not knowing much else about the movie, you can still plan an event with fun games involving heroes saving the world. Think spies, gadgets, and birds, and wrap it up with a Gospel presentation about Jesus Christ, the true Savior of the world! Alternatively, if you are uncomfortable basing your event on too many unknowns, plan an event based on a more well-known movie. Perhaps a film like Star Wars, which incidentally has another planned release in December 2019: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Or Stick to Something Traditional

If you prefer something more traditional, below are three themes you may like.

1. The Greatest Christmas Gift

Play a variety of games involving gifts. For example:

  • Pile Up the Presents – Players stack presents to form the tallest tower.
  • Elf Challenge – Whoever carries the most gifts across the room wins.
  • Oven Mitt Unwrap –Try your hand at unwrapping a Christmas present while wearing a pair of oven mitts.
  • Christmas Left Right Game – A story is read aloud, and the parcel gets passed to the left or right as directed by the story.

Detailed instructions for these and other delightfully fun Christmas games can be found here.

To wrap up the event, bring out a huge, eye-catching gift-wrapped box for an object lesson on why Jesus is the greatest Christmas gift.

2. Twas the Night Before Christmas

Written almost 200 years ago, “Twas The Night Before Christmas” remains the most popular Christmas poem ever. Many of our ideas about Santa Claus, for example, how he enters homes on Christmas eve through the chimney with a sack of gifts, originate from that poem.

Sadly, Santa Claus and Christmas trees have overtaken the nativity scene as symbols of Christmas, and “happy holidays” is becoming more commonly heard than “merry Christmas.” Recent surveys show that, although most people in the United States still celebrate Christmas, it has become more of a cultural holiday rather than a religious one.

Rather than sweeping Santa and the Christmas tree under the carpet, why not throw a party involving these popular festive icons before bringing up the true story of Christmas?

You can play a variety of games involving these Christmas symbols. For example:

  • Christmas Bingo – Featuring colorful festive illustrations of the nativity scene, baby Jesus, the wise men, Christmas trees, gingerbread houses and more!
  • Who Has The Ornament? – Don’t get caught with the ornament in your hands! Players sit in a circle and pass a Christmas ornament around behind their backs while someone standing in the center of the circle tries to guess where the ornament is.
  • Christmas Tree Dress Up – Use paper and other materials to transform a teammate into a Christmas tree.

You can find detailed instructions and download beautifully designed free printables here to play these and other Christmas games.

3. Christmas Scavenger Hunt

There are many ways to conduct a Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Here are some ideas:Christmas Scavenger Hunt

  • Christmas Party Scavenger Hunt – If you are playing indoors or with a large group of young children, you may like this version of a Scavenger Hunt. Instead of hunting for physical objects, players look for 40 Hidden Cards.
  • Christmas Scavenger Hunt Bingo – Combine the fun of Scavenger Hunt with Bingo! Each player gets a unique Christmas Scavenger Hunt Bingo Card and hunts for items found on their own card. The first player to Bingo wins!
  • Christmas Treasure Hunt – Just like the Magi followed clues that eventually led them to baby Jesus, players will look for various clues that ultimately lead them to the Christmas treasure.

Detailed instructions along with beautifully designed free printables for these scavenger hunts can be found here.

Keep Christ at the Center of Christmas

It is important that every child goes home with a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. You can do this by giving each child  The True Story of Christmas Animated Tract at the closing of your event. It’s an affordable stocking stuffer and unique Gospel childrens-gospel-tract-5201-main-atract. It has captivating, moving animations, and kids will be intrigued by how the images can move without any batteries. Or buy any small gift and pack them in this YOU Are The Reason For Christmas! Box-Tract that opens up to reveal the gospel message.

Christmas is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar for outreach. Remember to keep Christ at the center of your event, and also at the center of your preparations. Pray, pray, pray! Christ loves all the little children of the world, and he wants to see your event draw the little ones to Him!

Click here to learn more about the plan of salvation for kids.


About our guest blogger, Alvin Gan:

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of two websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

Child Evangelism
LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com
specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

BibleGamesCentral.com
develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.