Is your house decorated for Christmas yet?
If you answered that with a resounding YES!, you just might be the type who considers it a season to be celebrated, leaving your Christmas tree up through January. Because of our move, my family is still trying to figure out which stack of bins our decorations are hiding in, let alone how they are going to be used in this house we’re making a home.
Regardless of where your opinion falls on the when-to-decorate-for-Christmas spectrum, the truth is these seasonal transitions can be distracting. While the cooler weather triggers a lifestyle change, it also brings an onslaught of expectations and activities, and overall hurried feel to the end of our calendar year. This is felt particularly by you, church leader, as you navigate the “unavailable” planning center assignments, kids’ Christmas pageants and additional services you’re responsible to cover.
Spiritual Formation > Entertainment
In the hustle and bustle of holiday planning, ask yourself, “Is this idea going to help my kids know and experience God more?” Culture will prioritize entertainment over everything. While we want to engage kids and families, let’s prioritize discipleship, then fun. Start with the end (discipleship) in mind, knowing you’ll have no issue incorporating fun throughout!
What are the adults doing, and how can you work alongside youth, men and women’s ministries to develop a discipleship plan for everyone? There are significant benefits of intergenerational worship, as pointed out by Edwin Wilmington in Children’s Ministry and the Spiritual Child:
The practice of corporate worship offers an unsurpassed sense of belonging with and to the larger community of faith. … when we present them with opportunities to enter into holy spaces and show them that we value their participation, they almost always bless us with their ability to respond in worship. (179)
The book continues by challenging the reader to define the word “worship” as a verb instead of a noun. Imagine the welcoming, purposeful spaces we can create this holiday season when we are all being formed together into the body of Christ!
When you prioritize discipleship, equipping the home for family discipleship quickly finds its way to the top of the list — which is something you wish you could do more, according to our recent research project. Equip your parents practically for family discipleship by sending them our Advent guide, and help them weave the miraculous story of Christ’s coming into their favorite holiday traditions!