Every year we ask churches how they’re reaching out to their community with the good news about Jesus. It’s always encouraging to see and hear what different churches in all parts of Aotearoa, New Zealand, are up to.
“Christmas provides great opportunities to connect with people,” says Pete Rhodes-Robinson from Onslow Community Church, “…and it is a one of the key cogs in our strategy to engage with our local community.”
Every year they put Christmas lights up on the church, “This is something our neighbours in the street asked to be reinstated after a few years of not doing it. People seem to really enjoy the lights!”
Onslow Community Church also runs a kids production sharing the real meaning of Christmas. “This year’s show was called ‘The Greatest Saviour’ and was based on the music and songs of movie The Greatest Showman,” says Pete, “we have some very talented people working with our children and youth to deliver an amazing show!” The two shows this year were attended by over 350 people and were followed by morning tea and a sausage sizzle after the shows to provide opportunities to connect with those who came along.
A Christmas movie follows the kids production: “The Saturday following the show we transform our church auditorium into a movie theatre and run a family movie event. This year we screened The Star. The afternoon—including a craft and a sausage sizzle—was attended by many children and their families. And just like the real movies, the auditorium floor was covered in popcorn at the end!”
Onslow Community Church also hosts a community carols event organised in conjunction with other local churches in the area, and their very own Christmas Eve service. “At all of these events we are intentional about sharing the hope of Christmas. This year we’ve handed out gift packs including the ALPHA ‘Why Christmas?’ booklet.”
Thanks to Pete Rhodes-Robinson and the Onslow Community Church team for sharing this with us—maybe you’d like to share what your church is doing? Email Sophia Sinclair: firstname.lastname@example.org