With the year-end approaching, we are reminded of the beautiful gift that is the birth of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. The past two years of the pandemic had left us isolated and yearning for connection. But the relaxing of COVID-19 measures means all of us now have the opportunity to celebrate with a community, with loved ones and friends.
Through meaningful and Spirit-led conversations, may our gatherings redeem the time (Psalms 90:12) by sharing God’s love, or to refresh someone (Philemon 1:7).
If you have plans for a Christmas gathering and are wondering how to talk about Jesus with your non-believing guests, or go a step further to have meaningful, spiritual conversations, we have some ideas to get you going.
- Date: Target a December date to take advantage of the Christmas vibes
- Time: Avoid ending the session too late at night to make it easy for those using public transport
- Venue: Somewhere comfortable and conducive for conversations
- Food: It’s not about the lavish spread, but about God’s lavish love. Simple fare can also be very yummy
- Prayer: Pray for guests to have a chance to encounter the living God through your words and presence
PROGRAMME / ACTIVITIES
- Welcome with finger food and drinks
- Food fellowship (steamboat or BBQ for active participation, potluck or order delivery if you don’t want to prepare anything)
- Play games or sing carols
- Gift exchange
MUSIC TO SET THE MOOD
- Spotify has lots of Christmas playlists, or try one which we like
HOW TO LEAD TO A SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION
It is important not to force a spiritual conversation. Nothing is more off-putting than unloading spiritual laws from the get-go.
● Show interest in a person’s life: “What are one or two things you discovered about yourself in recent years?” As your guest reflects and shares, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal appropriate follow-on questions and their readiness to hear the gospel. Listen carefully to their sharing and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
● Share how God has been real in your life. How did God lead you through a difficult time? What deep spiritual revelation did you recently have? This makes Him real and personal.
If you have non-believing guests, stay open and positive if they say something outlandish like “Jesus is an alien lifeform.” The last thing to do is to squash their statement immediately. Instead, respond in a friendly tone: “Well, that’s an interesting perspective! How did it come about?”
Or better yet – invite them to the February 2023 run of the Alpha Course, where they can openly share about their views and learn more about the faith.
Sometimes the topic of the origins of Christmas may not be discussed at parties. Instead, suggest singing Christmas carols to break the ice. Or you can share interesting facts about the Christmas story to steer the conversation like Mary’s seemingly scandalous pregnancy or what exactly is frankincense and myrrh?
My guest(s) is spiritually hungry and wants to know more about God or my guest(s) has decided to receive Jesus for the first time.
What should I do?
- Share about your own faith story and how Christ has been real in your life
- Invite them to:
o Christmas Eve / Christmas service
o Alpha course in February 2023 or attend it together with them. There they can clarify doubts, ask questions and learn about basics of Christianity
- Offer to pray the sinner’s prayer with them (see Appendix)
- If you feel prepared, offer to walk through the foundations of the faith
WHAT IF I’M NOT SOMEONE WHO ORGANISES PARTIES?
That’s OK. Here’s some ideas to engage your non-believing friends / relatives.
- Meet for an activity such as an exercise session
- Catch up over a meal
- Volunteer together at our Community Service outreach
- Invite them to the Christmas Eve / Christmas service
“Lord Jesus Christ, I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life (take a few moments to ask His forgiveness for anything particular that is on your conscience). Please forgive me. I now turn from everything that I know is wrong.
Thank You that You died on the cross for me, so that I could be forgiven and set free. Thank You that You offer me forgiveness and the gift of your Spirit.
I now receive that gift. Please come into my life by Your Holy Spirit to be with me forever. Thank You Lord Jesus, Amen.”
by Aaron Chong and Elder Loh Pin Chuan