Jonathan's Resource Ezine from The Source

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Monday, December 20, 2004

Special Christmas Issue: Scared to Say "Jesus"

By Jonathan McKee

Is Jesus featured on television at Christmas time?

According to a National Religious Broadcasters analysis of 48,000 hours of programming during December 2002:
  • 90% of programming did not have a significant spiritual theme.
  • Some 7% had a religious or spiritual theme but did not refer to Jesus.
  • Jesus was the focus of only 3% of Christmas programming.
  • -Enrichment (Winter 2004)

Are you scared to talk about Jesus?

You're not alone.

But what about "the unchurched." We don't want to offend them ... do we?

I remember when the seeker movement started and some churches misinterpreted "being sensitive to the seeker" as meaning "Don't talk about Jesus!"

Let me assure you of something: There is nothing that our world needs more than JESUS and there is no better time to talk about Him than RIGHT NOW.

It's the Holiday season. Manger decorations are everywhere, angels top many of the trees, and people are actually considering going to church services-the only time they'll go this year. Not to mention the fact that holidays bring up issues for many. Many are depressed, lonely or looking for answers.

The answer is Jesus, and the time is now.

Anyone who has heard me speak, or read my new book, knows my heart for reaching out to "the unchurched." And you know how important it is to me that we don't make others "Run When They See Us Coming." (hence, the title of my
new book). But talking about Jesus doesn't require an aggressive approach. It's just telling a story-the story of Christmas.

I encourage you-don't be afraid to tell the story of Christmas this season.

How can we tell His story? Glad you asked. Here's a few ideas:
  • Don't omit the opportunity to share the Gospel message in a way that "the unchurched" understand it. Remember that your audience might be made up of "once a year" attendees. They don't know your rituals, they don't know where the book of Matthew is, and they can't sing all the songs without the words. Make them feel welcome anyway, and share with them the greatest gift ever, God coming down as a baby to pay for our sins.

  • Christmas is a great time of year to talk about who Jesus is. Many of the kids that come to youth group might not understand the significance that this baby has in their lives today. Remember-postmoderns are interested in what's relevant to them. Nothing is more relevant than the answer that they've been looking for ... a baby that came to take away their sins.

  • Invite a neighbor or friend to a Christmas Eve service with you. Let's face it, sometimes it's hard to talk to someone about Jesus. We're afraid we'll choke on our words. But what if we could bring them somewhere where we knew that they'd hear the Christmas story. That doesn't sound so bad. Just invite someone to go to a Christmas Eve service with you. If they say "no," then we should back off. Maybe another opportunity will arise later. If they say "yes" ...

Use this season to point to Jesus. Bring the "Christ" back to Christmas.

Jonathan McKee is the author of the new book, Do They Run When They See You Coming: Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers and President of "The Source for Youth Ministry", a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, cutting-edge resources for youth workers across the world. Jonathan is an author, speaker, and trainer who began his career speaking to unchurched junior high students on campus. He continues to speak at school assemblies, events, and camps, in addition to training adult and student leaders nationally.

Merry Christmas from Jonathan &

Jonathan's Resource Ezine from The Source

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