by Anne Hansen

‘In partnership with God, I try to get the word out, sow the seed, then leave it to my partner the Holy Spirit to work according to his will.’ This simple explanation of mission and evangelism was written by a faithful person being bold in sharing the gospel.

There is no better time than Christmas to be bold and deliberate in telling others about the gospel. Christmas is the time of the year that most people in Australia and New Zealand celebrate. Whether Christian or not, they seem to resonate with the baby born in the manger in Bethlehem.

We love singing beautiful carols and enjoying the peacefulness the season can offer – when we’re not overwhelmed by the frantic nature of a secular Christmas! As Christians, this is a time of year we need to use to our advantage to share God’s word and Jesus’ love among a world desperately needing his love and peace.

IDEAS FOR ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS

At Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM), we have produced new resources for Advent and Christmas. There are things for children including our popular magnetic nativity and sticker Advent calendars, along with a new ‘Christmas Chatterbox’. Children can make the ‘chatterbox’ and adults can then play it with them – it’s an easy way to share God’s story.

There is also a new Advent downloadable devotional entitled ‘In God’s Family’ for your congregation to copy and share – not just among members but also to pass out to neighbours and friends. One of our new Christmas bookmarks – ‘Joy to the World’ or ‘For you … Jesus was born’ – go well with the Advent devotional. You may also wish to add the leaflet ‘Born in a Manger’ to explain the significance of Jesus being born this way.

SHARING THE JOY WITH NEIGHBOURS

As Christmas approaches, an idea for congregations is to put the new Lutheran Tract Mission (LTM) colouring-in nativity postcard in letterboxes to inform locals of your Advent and Christmas worship times. You could also add a text card – ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season’ or ‘A silent night’ – with some homemade biscuits to give to your neighbours.

As one of our faithful users of tracts tell me, ‘Tracts are a silent way of evangelism’.

LTM has more than 950 resources to be used to share God’s love, joy, comfort and peace – at Christmas and year-round. Check out the website: www.ltm.org.au

Anne Hansen is LTM Development Officer. LTM is an outreach ministry of the LLL.

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