It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A holly-jolly Christmas. Do you hear what I hear? Silver bells. The First Noel.
We get it. The Christmas nostalgia in our soul’s cup “spilleth over.” But threaded through the music, food, and decorations of the Christmas season is a reminder of something greater and deeper—that God came near and continues to come near.
But is this deeper message of hope what our ministries communicate at this time of year? Consider not just what you say, but also what you do. What if we were more intentional about “giving good gifts” to the people connected to our ministry? It’s tempting to copy-and-paste our Christmas ministry traditions, but it’s more powerful to serve others in the spirit of Jesus’ presence among us.
Here are five gifts your ministry can offer your teenagers and adult leaders during the holidays…
- The gift of still meeting: Some teenagers don’t travel during the holidays because their household dynamics don’t allow for it. We never really know how many families are affected by divorce, financial strain, parents working multiple jobs, and so on. They won’t get the picture-perfect Christmas celebrations their friends are posting on social media, but they can experience the gift of their church family. This is where your ministry can be a personalized “gift” to them. Instead of canceling what you normally cancel, what if you met in another way or time?
- The gift of not meeting: Your volunteer leaders work hard, and give in so many unseen ways. So give them space to breathe, even if it’s for a couple of weeks. You can still meet with teenagers if you want to, but give your leaders a break to reset.
What if we were more intentional about “giving good gifts” to the people connected to our ministry?Click to tweet
- The gift of appreciation: Let your adult and student leaders know how much they mean to you. Last year we created personalized capes that our kids wrote on, then gave to their leaders as gifts. This kind of intentional celebrating is rare in today’s “send out a mass email to everyone” culture. That’s why gifts like these stand out.
- The gift of collaboration: This time of year is a great halfway point for the school year. While it’s not the best time to schedule big meetings, you can leverage quick polls or short emails to make sure everyone knows what’s coming in January and beyond. We do this through a private Facebook group we created for our parents and leaders of students (PALS).
- The gift of surrender: Christmas reminds us that we can do nothing apart from Jesus. Before you rev up into overdrive again, pause and remember that God came near. Recommit yourself to the Person of Jesus and not merely the idea of Jesus. And know that this isn’t about the work you do for Him, but the work that He does in you. Impart this to everyone on your team so that Christmas becomes a time of surrender, not just a time of seasonal habits.
We all get it. Christmas is fun and festive—an adrenaline rush. Who doesn’t like candy-cane ice cream and ugly Christmas sweaters?
But Christmas is also a gift. What if we modeled it by becoming one?