During the Christmas season, we encouraged our people to spend the next year building relationships for the purpose of sharing Jesus. The central message of the Scriptures is this, God coming to us by becoming one of us. Jesus came to open the way for us to be friends with God. For those who follow Jesus, one of the most important ways we can be like Him is to intentionally build relationships with those in our neighborhoods. Now, only Jesus is truly God with us. He is our only Savior, and the only one who can bring redemption and restoration. Still, when Christ saves us He puts the Holy Spirit within us, and sends us into the world. This means that in an entirely different way, we have the presence of God and are sent by Christ (John 20:21). This means we can live incarnationally, as people who take the presence of God into our neighborhoods and offer the opportunity for the people we know to meet the One True God.
What I have learned over the years, though, is that we need practical and applicable ideas to make this happen. So we plan to publish 12 ideas in 2018, simple ways to help us build relationships in our neighborhoods so we can be friends with people and share Jesus.
The idea for December is to be a thoughtful neighbor by delivering Christmas goodies, cookies, or a gift to those who live around you. Bake cookies or make a craft that can be a gift for your neighbors. There are all kinds of amazing ideas for low-cost but impactful gifts that you can make on Pinterest. Then deliver them with an invite to Christmas services or with an evangelistic booklet. If you want to go all out for Christmas spirit, you might even throw in some Christmas Caroling as you go, cause you know, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear.”