Four Advices on How Church Stay as Lively as on Christmas

2015 Christmas Gathering
2015 Christmas Gathering (photo: Civilian Visual’s Blog)
By CCD contributor: Si XiangDecember 14th, 2016

There is a phenomenon in the church that the church is mostly lively on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On those two days the number of church goers skyrockets and the church is very crowded, and it is a good sign. However, good times don't last long. As soon as Christmas is over, the number of congregants suddenly decreases, and it is a bad sign. Even some seekers who converted on Christmas rarely go to church. This should get us thinking what we can do to keep the church as lively as on Christmas.

Follow-up with Seekers

Seekers in Chinese literally means "people who desire truth." It is also the reason Christians see them as friends or call them Gospel friends. During Christmas, believers would invite their friends to attend the Christmas service, and there are also people who come uninvited. Many churches use Christmas Eve as an Evangelizing night. No doubt it is a very good opportunity for spreading the Gospel, so each church would make full preparations. However, we should know that Christmas evangelism doesn't end with the seekers' conversion; the later follow-up is also an important part. Otherwise, the people converted during Christmas evangelism meetings are mere "Christmas babies", and they later became "lost sheep in the home of God." Therefore, it is necessary for the church to have a follow-up ministry.

Hold Meetings Specifically for Seekers

Many people first came to church out of curiosity, and most of the first visitors have mysterious feelings about Christianity. They even have some misunderstandings of Christianity for various reasons. For that reason, it is necessary to hold meetings for seekers too. To proclaim the fundamentals of the Gospel in detail, so they truly believe in God and understand who they believe in. In fact, a true Christian has not only said the converting prayer but also lives out the style of Christ in later actions. 

Apostle James warns that "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (James 2:17) It is like some people who joined in some party organization but didn't join in ideologically. A lot of Christians are such "Christians in name only." If there are meetings for seekers where people can truly share their thoughts, then they will obtain a fresh understanding and the real knowledge plus deep insight. Therefore, they can share each other's training, learn from each other, and encourage each other. In this way, it is worth further discussing how churches can help the seekers learn and expand in faith after preaching them the Gospel.

Connect Seekers with Fellowships

The key to avoiding the outflow of seekers is to establish connections between these people with fellowships. After activities, we should give them something like a registered card or paper slip to let them write down names, contact info, etc. When we have special gatherings, we should call and encourage them to participate. 

Also, We need to ask about their faith and living conditions in the future. Receptionists are especially important in establishing fellowships. We shouldn't forget about the new friends once the fellowship meeting is over. People naturally leave when they can't feel the warm atmosphere with the brothers and sisters in the fellowship or questions are not answered. I heard a seeker say before: "I came to church with no one greeting me. I don't know anyone, so I just sat there like a silly person. I left quietly after the service was over. How boring!" 

Therefore, the church has to do well in reception work so when believers, and especially seekers come to the church, they would have a warm feeling. Like going back to their own homes where their families welcome them with love. It shows the spirit of a family in the Lord, and the feeling of the kindness between believers.

Visit the "Christmas Believers"

One reason for the sudden decrease in the number of congregants after Christmas is the outflow of the seekers. On the other hand, there are also many "Christmas believers" who only come to Christmas services in the church. They are the so-called Christians who only come to church once out of 52 Sundays a year. For these people, we need to focus on visitation and guidance work, to help them establish a pure faith and stand strong on the truth. In this way, they will continue going to services even after Christmas, and be a Christian who truly has returned home.

 (The author of the article is a preacher in Jieyang, Guangdong.)

Translated by: Grace Hubl

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