I have an article up at the Christian Post called, "Why Share Christ at Christmas," encouraging us al to use this time of year to share Christ, rather than argue about how a culture of unbelievers should greet customers in stores. It turns out that during the holidays a large percentage of people are pretty open to hearing about "the reason for the season."
Research has borne out the fact that Christmas is a great time to share Christ. In 2008 LifeWay Research did a study for the North American Mission Board. The results showed that among the top five times of life when American adults are open for considering matters of faith, Christmas tops the list. In fact, 47 percent of respondents indicated openness during the time of yuletide cheer.
Additionally, those in this same demographic indicated they were somewhat or very willing to receive information about a local church from a family member (63 percent) or a friend or neighbor from the church (56 percent). When we combine these ideas, it becomes clear that people are very open to hearing about Christ at Christmas, especially from people they know.
Christmas marketing campaigns and advertising are good support, but the most effective approach remains the personal relationship. Let's not miss it by being distracted by Christmas trappings ourselves.
In 2006, the team I led at the Center for Missional Research (my old job) sponsored a poll and found that 41 percent of Americans indicated they are likely to be open to an invitation during the Christmas season.
And it is not simply detached believers who are open. Our study found:
- Nearly 34 percent of respondents who registered "Other/None" for their religion indicated that they'd attend when invited to a Christian worship service during the Christmas season.
- Of the respondents who were not churchgoers, 12 percent of those who never go to church and 34 percent of those who rarely attend indicated they were more likely to attend a Christmas service if invited.
- And an astounding 42 percent of those who said they were not born again would come to a Christian worship service during the Christmas season if asked.
You can read the whole article at The Christian Post. But come back here to discuss. Are you finding that people in your community are open to such invitations? What value do you place on this sort of "attractional" approach to reaching the lost? Does your church celebrate Advent, have a Christmas Eve service, etc.?