Five Reasons a Christmas Eve Service Reaches the Unchurched

 For the past few years, Discovery has enjoyed the Christmas Ever service.  From my perspective, that service is the highlight of the fall and winter church calendar.  This service in attendance and interest is only surpassed by our Easter Service.  And unlike Easter – the Christmas Ever service is likely the single day of the year more unchurched decide to visit a church.

 It is an incredible opportunity for Discovery.  It goes without saying Christmas Eve is indeed prime time for the unchurched. Why is that? Here are five key reasons:

The Christmas seasons brings family members together from disparate locations. In many homes, there is likely to be a mix of churched and unchurched family members on Christmas Eve. The unchurched are often encouraged to go to a Christmas Eve service with their Christian family members.

Most unchurched have some sentimental attachment to Christmas. They may not be overtly religious, but they have some warm memories of Christmas Eve and the entire Christmas season.

Most unchurched know and like the songs of Christmas. They are confident they can go to a church service on Christmas Eve and hear those songs.

The unchurched are looking for hope in the Christmas season. Many of them come on Christmas Eve expecting to hear a message of hope or to sing the songs of the hope-filled message of Christ’s birth.

Christmas is one of the few times tradition is embraced by most people, especially the unchurched. Thus the unchurched fully expect to walk into a Christmas Eve service and to sense, hear, and embrace those traditions.

 Thus, our Christmas Eve service provides opportunity to invite our unchurched family…..friends…..work associates…. With the hope that something will be said in the foyer – sung in the auditorium – or shared in the pulpit which will reach a soul that would never be reached otherwise. 

   I am encouraged by our youth who are playing a musical instrument in their respective bands….Several of the winter concert performances are over for this year – and whether the children are playing Sleigh Ride – or Silent Night – their hearts are in tune with the Biblical Christmas Season – and they are playing their instrument for the glory of God and His Christ…PTL……………Shirley’s D-Group decorated the Church building with such a festive atmosphere – and I do enjoy the tree being in front – placed in front of the large window for all to see…and wasn’t the snow a beautiful sight during our worship experience Sunday?……………It was so nice to have Kristen Yoder in service the past two weekends….today  (Thursday) she flew back to San Diego to join up with her sailors in the Navy….our prayers go with her for safety – witness – and thanks as she serves in the U.S. Navy….oh, by the way – she became engaged to Kyle Brown who worshipped with us those two Sunday’s…………..Kaylee Faddis had a good basketball game as her Oakland team played Monday in Booneville….happy for her…………..For the past 4 years, “yours truly” has played Santa Clause for the Dream Factory….this year (Dec 11) – will be year #5.  Our own Morgan Duff is part of the Dream Factory – along with dozens of other special needs children in Mid-Missouri…..this is one of the special privileges of my life to have these children sit on my lap and I have opportunity to speak love into their precious hearts – stating in the words of Linus to Charlie Brown – “This is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown….”……………So thankful for those of you who have either lit the Advent Candle – or have done our Advent Reading…we still have 4 services remaining till Christmas Day…..hope everyone will be able to attend all 4 – as we celebrate the Advent of the Son of God – 2016…

Bustedhalo   #ADVENTJOLT

December 8, 2016   

Behold, I am the handmaid Of the Lord.  May it be done To me according to your Word Mary, Luke 1:38 

TODAY’S #MICROCHALLENGE 

Today, reflect of Mary’s perseverance Leading up to the birth of Jesus

  This Sunday evening between the hours of 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM we will gather at Discovery Center and lay ourselves before the Lord – seeking His face – doing His will – and praying for his children to “come home.”

             As stated before – this is a “drop-inn” prayer time.  If you can only stay 5 minutes – great — if you can stay 2 hours – great…..this is a time between you and your Creator.  Some topics you might consider….

·      God will be magnified by our Advent series

·      All will grow in their faith this month

·      The attitude of gratitude will prevail as we reflect on the Holy Family and birth of Jesus

·      Our community will develop a hunger and thirst for righteousness

·      We will thank God for Ross and Doug who lead the Prayer Gathering

From the beginning – our D-Groups have not met the week of a major Holiday – therefore the week of December 11-17, will be the FINAL week the D-Groups will meet in 2016.  We will pick up meeting again the week of January 8-14, 2017.

General Fund           $4140.27

             Jesus said in Matt 22:21 – give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God….  As the year 2016 draws to a close – I’d hope everyone who calls Discovery home, would reflect on their giving…..several will give a special gift – we call it “year-end giving.”  Multiple reasons apply – catching up on my tithe – some would say — I’m grateful for the church and her ministry and I want to bless her with this gift others will say – and a few will be so grateful for the gift God gave when Jesus was born – they want to bless God with a special year end gift…

·      Joy Weir cracked another rib – now she has 2 broken ribs and a broken femur…. Pray for a quick healing a mobility that she can get back to doing what she loves

·      Rocky Philippe – his niece passed away last Sunday and the service is Friday evening

·      Pray that the true Spirit of Christmas will immerse every one of us – and we will live out the truth that we heard last week by “the Grinch” – Christmas doesn’t come from the store

·      Think of someone you haven’t seen at Discovery recently and pray for them

·      Our student ministry will be safe at school – strong at witness – and growing in faith

This is the 1st week of our newest ministry….taking the Lord’s Supper to the homebound – and/or hospital..

             For those who might want to consider having Communion brought to you – you need to call Vern Johnson (573) 881-6293 and someone will come to your home & together you can share in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Please join us December 17/18 for “A Crazy Little Christmas” put on by Discovery’s children classes.  The play will be at the beginning of both Celebration Services.  This is your invitation to come help us celebrate the birth of Christ with a few twists.

Luke 6;27-36  27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.