The same realization hits every fall: Christmas will be here before you know it, and the time to start planning was last week. Most of us realize that Christmas is the time of year when churches will see the most visitors walk through the door. My own in-laws never go to church, but they don't miss the Christmas Eve service at their local church. There's something very special about the time of year; we need to be very sensitive to that and intentional about tapping into that ministry potential.
I'm not even talking about numbers; I'm talking about real opportunities for ministry. We always have many hurting and lonely people in our communities, but their presence seems especially evident at Christmas. The season many of us consider warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic, others consider depressing, sad, and almost unbearable. For some it's a painful reminder of how lonely they really are. Others might fondly remember Christmases of long ago and realize those days have passed. Other ...1