It’s officially the Christmas season. In past years, I’ve written about why the Christmas season can be a stressful one for pastors:
This year, though, I am reminded in my role as an interim pastor of the joys of leading a church in the Christmas season. Here are some of the reasons I’m looking forward to this season:
- The story of Christmas is still a precious one, even if we have preached it many times. It’s an amazing story, actually. That God would come to dwell among us—especially, coming as a baby in Bethlehem—is worth telling and re-telling.
- It’s another celebration we’re privileged to share with churches who love us. Nobody gets to share life with others like a pastor does (both during the times of pain and of celebration). It’s quite a privilege to shepherd God’s people and rejoice with them.
- Often, this season makes us more aware of needs in the community—needs that have likely existed all year long. That “discovery” should, I trust, challenge our church to be meeting those needs throughout the year rather than only now. Christmas opens our eyes to see reality around us.
- The giving nature of God’s people is usually even more evident during the Christmas season. I’ve always found most church folks to be willing to step up to meet the needs of others; during Christmas, that giving spirit is even more evident. It’s a way to show the love of Christ to others.
- I will get to see some church members I haven’t seen since last Christmas. Of course, COVID has affected church attendance in general, but it’s likely some folks will still be back for Christmas this year. I look forward to seeing them again.
- The doors are at times more open for evangelism during this season. I’m thinking of friends and acquaintances I’ve been sharing the gospel with, and to whom I might direct another conversation about Christmas. At a minimum, I can give others a gift that includes a simple, clear gospel tract.
- The Jesus who came the first time is coming again. That truth is surely more than just a teaching of our churches. It’s a promise from the One who has always kept His Word. He came just as He said He would the first time, and He will do the same again.
- The Christmas story reverberates with hope—and some of us need our hope renewed. These past two years have been difficult ones for many churches. Now’s the time, though, for us to preach the gospel to ourselves. We need to be the first ones to live in the hope wrapped in swaddling clothes.
I pray this season is a special one for each of my readers!