The Good News of Christmas at Grace

About six weeks ago, I received in the mail a bag that said “The Good News of Christmas.”  In the bag was an ESV New Testament, a personalized invitation, an ESV Study Bible trial for 30 days, and a tract by Max Lucado.  After discussing this with our pastoral team, we felt that this was an excellent opportunity to share the Christmas story with others by putting the Bible in the hands of unbelievers in our community, getting into the story of their lives, and hopefully sharing the story of how Jesus Christ has changed our lives.

This time of the year is a rather unique period in the calendar season where spirits are lifted and hearts are more open and receptive to receive from others, even strangers, a kind and sincere offer.  It is our desire to see Jesus become more than a Christmas carol, and that through the story of the gospel, He would be treasured by those who looking to lesser things to provide them greater joy.

When Peter referred to the new birth in his first letter, he told his readers that they had been born again

“not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever’” (1 Peter 1:23-25).

The Scripture which is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15) is an imperishable seed, unlike the seeds of grass and flowers which wither and fade.  The new birth comes through the living and abiding word of God which endures forever.  What greater gift could we give to those in our community?  Gold and silver will fade and loose their value.  God’s Word is precious and enduring.  The things of this world may bring make other happy for a moment, but those who have “been brought forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18) will experience happiness both now and for eternity.

We want people to see the kingdom of God, not just sing about Christ the newborn King in a sentimental way.  But Jesus said this is impossible unless they are born again.  The good news for us is that the Spirit is blowing wherever He wishes; we do not know where, when, or who He will draw, convict, and bring to life.  But we do know that by the Spirit and through the Word, we have everything we need to reach a world of people enjoying the Christmas season while failing to enjoy Christ.   It is our prayer that the Spirit, the Great Evangelist, will own our efforts to bring the Scriptures to thousands of people in our city, and through the imperishable seed of the Word, everlasting fruit will spring up as the kingdom is established in the hearts of men.

Last night, we handed out 1,200 of these bags to our members and suggested to them the following ways of getting into the community:

Individually

1.   Students: give Christmas presents to everyone in your classes (yes, all of them)
2.  Employees: give Christmas presents to all of your coworkers
3.  On Black Friday, spend the morning passing out these gifts to those in line waiting to get into stores
4.  In businesses where you normally frequent, give these bags to everyone who works there (in my case, it would be Panera Bread, Uno’s Chicago Grill, Chick-fil-a, Publix, and the local 7-11 Gas Station)
5.  Take a box with you in the car so that wherever you go, you will have some with you to give to those you encounter, such as in parks, shopping centers, bank tellers, etc.
6.  Provide an opportunity for those in your neighborhood whom you have not met to come over for dinner and read the Christmas story together while giving them these gifts while inviting them to our Christmas Eve service

Community Groups

1.  Customize the bags with invitation to your next community group meeting
2.  Host a neighborhood Christmas Party and give these gifts away
3.  Go door-to-door (look out!) canvassing the neighborhoods around where your community group meets, or perhaps give them away you go Christmas caroling
4.  Distribute these bags in your community, inviting those interested to an evangelistic Bible study where everyone will be reading through the gospel of John together

These are just some ideas I came up with and shared with our members yesterday evening.  There are numerous other ways that you creative folk can come up with for sure.  Here at Grace, we have been ramping up for next year’s mission trips, and one of the ways we are preparing our church to engage in overseas missions is to think and live like missionaries here.  I have challenged our members to think of this next month as a one-month mission trip to their own backyard.  When you are on mission, you think less of yourself and are tuned into how the Lord may be leading you to make a direct impact in the lives of others.  It is my hope that such a structured opportunity will train more of our members to live evangelistically as their normal standard of living as we seek to create a missional culture and celebrate the work of the Spirit in sending us out to make Christ known.

If you would like to read and learn more about this outreach opportunity click here.  The only caveat I would make is the evangelistic tract by Max Lucado may be something you want to leave out.  Since you are the ones stuffing your bags, you can make that choice (I would prefer it not be in there).  Other than that, the fact that you can get a New Testament and invitation in a nice bag for $1 is wonderful.  I hope others seize this opportunity in an affordable way to give the gift of the New Testament to a world that news to know that God has spoken and has sent His Son Jesus into the world to rescue sinners and cause us to sing, “Glory to God in the highest!”

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3 Comments on “The Good News of Christmas at Grace”


  1. We did something similar this year. Once a month or so my church has been spending Sunday afternoon going out as organized teams to minister in the local communities in various ways. The biggest group has sub-teams that take sectors of the surrounding area and goes out to distribute Bibles, Jesus videos and tracts. This last time, we took the paperback ESV NTs as well as a Christmas oriented tract and invitation to our Christmas concert series here in a couple of weeks. We distribute in parking lots, gas stations, etc. It’s like “drive-by” evangelism and we remarkably seem to have higher attendance at this than at the average Sunday evening service.

  2. Chris Bonts Says:

    Were any of the items in that pack dated in anyway? I want to use some of this year’s budget to go ahead and order some for next year.


    • None of the materials were dated. The invites had blanks that you filled in yourself, so if you do not get around to using them all, save those invites, Bibles, and bags for next year. Right now, we have about 200 left, but we’ll probably have those distributed by the end of next week.


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