Every year we ask churches: How are you reaching out to your community with the good news about Jesus this Christmas? Each year it’s a great opportunity to get some great ideas and be encouraged about how people are seeking creative ways to share the gospel with their community.
Steve Shirley, Equipping Pastor at Heretaunga Christian Centre in Upper Hutt, shares how their church is reaching out to the wider community this year:
“We’ve got a three-fold approach this year, beginning with the local Christmas (Santa) Parade. The theme was ‘Story Book Christmas’ so we featured a giant Bible, opened up to a page with ‘Jesus: Saviour of the world’, and we had a simple nativity scene set up in between the pages. We handed out 400 Bibles, along with invitations to our next event, a walk-through Christmas story.”
From 13-15 December Heretaunga Christian Centre will be transformed into the town of Bethlehem and everyone is invited to come and walk through the ‘Christmas Story’, says Steve:
“We start with shepherds, braziers, Roman soldiers and live animals welcoming people out front. They then walk through a maze of marquees which have pottery making, bread making, feet washing, and Hebrew writing… until the final scene which will be the stable with a manger along with a live Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.”
There will also be a reflection tent where anyone can seek prayer and counselling, or just chat about what they’ve seen and what it means.
The final event hosted by Heretaunga Christian Centre is a Christmas Eve service. “This is a bit more of a concert than a service,” says Steve, “but we sing carols, read God’s Word, have plays and items and give a gospel message. The lead up to Christmas will be full on but thousands of people will have the opportunity to see what the real meaning of Christmas is about.”
More info on the walk through Christmas Story can be found via the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/813141455812493/
Thanks to Steve Shirley and the Heretaunga Christian Centre team for sharing this with us—maybe you’d like to share what your church is doing? Email Sophia Sinclair: firstname.lastname@example.org