For some of us, December is the month where you feel like you have reached the point in the year where you can catch your breath and relax. For others, you just laughed out loud at the previous thought as you figure out how to survive the next few weeks and just keep everyone around you happy. For those that are Ministers of the Gospel, Christmas is a season to not just survive, but also by God’s grace thrive in for the Gospel. The simply truth is, sometimes we can forget who is around us, and what opportunities are present that may not be any other time of the year. Most of the time in ministry for the kingdom knowledge is not the problem, remembering is. Here are 3 things we as ministers need to remember for this wonderful season of opportunity.
1. Keep Preaching the Gospel
Yes, this is another point on preaching the Gospel, which we cannot lack passion for especially this time of year. The difference however maybe in the environments we find ourselves in where the Gospel needs to be preached again. The multiple services we have honoring Christ incarnation will likely be filled with the same people plus the possibility of relatives that like to skip the church scene any chance they get. However, the Holidays are the time where guests and family members both are more likely to come to church, even if this is the once time of the year they do it. This we know, but this we must remember.
Preaching the Gospel from the pulpit is maybe too obvious (hopefully), but how about your home? Not only does the church sanctuary see new people, but also more than likely you see members in your family this time of year, that you hardly see during the rest of the year. You will see adults, and children that have experienced a variety of moments, both good and bad this year, make sure they hear in some way the good news of Christ.
What about your own children, and your spouse? They too need us to be pointing us to the glory of Christ incarnate come to be Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, and Christ ascended for our joy and His glory. As you decorate the tree tell them about Luther, and how he was coming home on Christmas Eve and saw a fir tree with snow glistening in the moonlight, and brought it home to show it to the family of how it reminded him of God’s majesty. Ask them what they are thankful for this year, and how God has proven faithful in their lives. Sing together as a family, and rejoice that we dwell on this side of the cross. This we know, but this we must remember.
2. Remember the Hurting
Last Christmas was the hardest for our family as we experienced the most favorite time of the year without my dad. It was difficult, awkward, and bittersweet. Pastor, please do not forget the people that have no logical explanation for why God has allowed such painful moments in the year to be present in their lives. They hang by a thread, and need to continue to hear the joy of the all powerful and all faithful King who has not lost control of the universe. Their ears and eyes are wide open, hungry for truth, give it to them. Feed God’s sheep.
3. For your own soul; read, reflect, and rest.
You will never have to save Christmas, so find time to rest and relax. Plan ahead for down time so that you can relax and recharge. Sleep in for once! Spend time with your family and make sure you are worshiping Christ in this beautiful season too. Be a kid with your kids during Christmas, have fun and give them your full attention. Do not just tell them they are the most important people you are discipling, show them.
Pick up a book to read over the Holidays that you have been wanting to read for some time that you know will fill your soul, and do not feel guilty about it. Open up the Scriptures without any time restraints, and without a sermon outline to fill in. Dwell in the Word of God and take your time. Lastly, reflect on the past year. What are you personally thankful for? Are your actions lining up with your vision and the Gospel? How is your marriage and your relationship with your kids? Remember these things and determine to make this Christmas the best for you and those around you.