Christmas. The season of joy, happiness, miracles… oh, wait, that’s Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas.
Let me try again.
Christmas. The season of gifts, giving, buying, trampling people in stores, greed… oh, man. That’s the secular version.
Okay, okay. One more try.
Christmas. The season of love, peace, and the birth of the Messiah, Jesus.
Ah, there we go! Finally got it!
The reason we celebrate Christmas is just that: Jesus’ birth. If you’re not sure who Jesus is, check out this sermon by Dr. Glynn Stone.
As Christians, we are told to share the good news with others. In the Christmas story, the angels shared the good news with shepherds. The shepherds shared the good news with the community. Even the wise men shared good news with Herod.
Jesus later told his disciples — including us — to share the gospel with the our communities, nations, and the world.
This can seem easier at Easter than at Christmas. Less hustle and bustle with decorations, shopping, church events, family gatherings, and did I mention shopping? Also, the death and resurrection at Easter is the good news in a nutshell. At Christmas there’s the birth.
Evangelizing at Christmas can be hard. To help make it easier and, hopefully, more effective, here are seven tips to sharing the gospel this holiday season.
Tip 1: Talk about the birth of the savior, not just the birth of baby Jesus
Every Christmas we spend a lot of time talking about the baby in the manger, the shepherds who visited him, and the wise men who came to see him. We share images on social media of the Nativity and put up Nativity scenes in our yards showcasing the newborn child.
It’s so cute! Or is it?
When we talk to others about Jesus’ birth, we need to make sure to focus on Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior. Yes, he was born. Yes, I’m certain he was adorable. However, he was more than a mere newborn baby.
Jesus was and is the Savior, born to die and to rise again to pay for sin and save his people!
Tip 2: Don’t get into a war over greetings or terminology
We’re told in James 1:19 to be “slow to anger.” Yet, it seems that many Christians are quick to become offended and angry over small, relatively insignificant things.
I mean, think about the various things Christians have become angered over regarding Christmas: Starbucks’ red cup, retailers saying “Happy holidays,” and who knows what else.
When we get angry over these trivial matters, the world views us as religious snowflakes heaven-bent on judging them. We cannot preach Jesus’ love while hating our neighbor because he used the wrong words.
Whatever people say or do, don’t get offended or angry. Instead, extend them the courtesy you wish for yourself, wish them Merry Christmas, and show them love.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
Tip 3: Share why Jesus’ birth matters to you
Before you can share it, you must first know why Jesus’ birth matters. Not just Christmas, but the birth of Jesus Christ.
Why does that one, miraculous event matter? Does it make a difference to you personally, or is it just another holiday event?
This is a perfect time to start thinking about it. Once you discover (or re-discover) the meaning of the Incarnation and that first Christmas, share it with those around you.
Tip 4: Show others love and respect
I think I covered this pretty much in tip 2: love others. Thus, I won’t spend a lot of time on it here. In fact, I’ll just leave you with these passages:
“And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'” – Luke 10:17
“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” – 1 John 4:12
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Romans 13:10
“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Galatians 5:14
Tip 5: Look for opportunities to share Jesus
This one can be tough because it requires being alert and actively seeking opportunities. In the midst of our daily grind, families, jobs, and errands, it can be tough. However, we should find ways and chances to share Jesus with others.
If you’re not sure how to start an evangelistic conversation, try out these ideas.
Tip 6: Read (or re-read) Luke 2 asking God to draw you closer to Him
How often do you read the Bible? I don’t mean read through it, but actually read it in order to hear God speak to you?
May Christians like to read the entire Bible in a year. That’s all well and good, but what was learned from it? Did God speak to you in a personal, intimate manner? Or did you merely accomplish a goal?
This Christmas would be a good time to read — or re-read — Luke, chapter 2. Oh, you can watch Linus recite it (see the vid above), or read it to your kids. However, let me challenge you to try something different this year:
- Before reading anything, ask God to speak directly to you through the passage, to teach you, and to draw you closer to Him.
- Carefully and slowly read Luke 2 (don’t analyze it or focus on minor details).
- Pause when something stands out and ask God what He’s trying to tell you.
- When done, listen to God for a few moments, then thank Him for speaking to you.
- Let the Holy Spirit help you live out what you just learned.
I believe that by doing this you’ll start to see real, authentic transformation. Why? Because you’ll start to draw closer to God that you were before.
Tip 7: Bring friends to your church’s Christmas celebration, then talk to them about what they heard afterwards
You’ve invited your friend to your church’s Christmas special (I’m a fan of our home church’s event, “Christmas at Mobberly“). That’s great!
They came and listened. That’s even better!
Don’t stop reaching out to your friends just because they came to a church service. Don’t think that the worship team and pastor evangelized for you. Go one step further!
After the service, go with your friends out to eat or to get a drink. While there, talk about what they heard at the service. Tell them what you got out of the service. Share the gospel with them!
If you’ve implemented tips 1-6, I believe that this one will be even easier.
I hope these seven tips help you share the gospel more frequently and more effectively this holiday season. If you have any other tips to help people evangelize, comment below. And don’t forget to like and share these with others!