Evangelism Opportunities Abound at Christmas
Christmas offers multiplied opportunities for evangelism. The Christmas season lasts longer than other holidays and involves more activities. What a thrill that the attention of much of the world focuses on Christ’s birth. Great Commission Christians must not miss these opportunities to evangelize during Christmas. I’d like to offer some principles of Christmas evangelism and organize them around three personalities of Christmas.
The Baby Jesus principle. Christ’s birth gives Christmas its meaning, and He alone merits the attention of Christmas. Too often, however, well meaning Christians view Christ’s birth in isolation. They view His birth isolated from His death. Theologically, this is a mistake. Witnesses must “Gospelize” Christ’s birth by connecting it to His death. For Christ to serve as the Savior, He had to die a bloody death. As a spirit, He could neither bleed nor die. Therefore, He incarnated Himself into a human body that could both bleed and die.
God gave us Christ’s birth because we needed His death. There was a Bethlehem because we needed a Calvary. Witnesses find in Christ’s birth, then, a new opportunity to evangelize, and they are wise to connect Christ’s birth with His death.
The Caesar Principle. Unwittingly, Caesar Augustus ordered an event that God used to fulfill Messianic prophecy. The event that God used to fulfill Micah’s prophecy (Micah 5:2) consisted of census registration for tax purposes (Luke 2:1-10). Law required Mary and Joseph, and others, to travel to Joseph’s ancestral home place to register, and while there, the days were completed for Mary to deliver her Son. This government event becomes a Gospel event due to God’s providence.
Great Commission Christians can use ordinary events to share the Gospel. When their churches host seasonal events (dramas, music presentations) or regular events (worship, Sunday school, Bible study) they can include the Gospel of salvation. Every sermon, every Sunday school lesson, and every Bible study must include the Gospel of salvation and an invitation to respond. Doing evangelism is difficult for most ministers and Christians. Why not do it when it is convenient?
The Shepherd Principle. The shepherds watched over their flocks by night when an angel of the Lord appeared to them. The angel informed them that the Savior had been born in Bethlehem and that they were to visit Him (Luke 2:10-11). They hurried to the new born King. Once they saw Him, “they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the Christ. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:17-18). The shepherds were the first to tell the good news following Christ’s birth. Virgin births, angelic visits, and witnessing did not factor into their culture, but the shepherds shared the good news anyway. Hardly anything in the shepherd’s witness fit their culture, but their witness fit the culture of heaven, and that is what mattered most.
Christmas provides an optimum time to engage in personal evangelism when witnesses value Christ’s kingdom more than the world’s cultures. Witnesses must begin evangelism by observing how heaven handles Christ’s name around the throne. How saints and angels handle His name in the culture near the throne exemplifies how witnesses must handle His name in this present culture. The kingdom culture near the throne, and not the earth’s cultures, models cultural engagement for the Christian. Christians must not conform to the Gospel-barren cultures of earth. Instead, they must lead them. They must lead earth’s cultures to treasure the Gospel as it is treasured in heaven. At the bidding of angels, the shepherds did precisely that and left future witnesses with an evangelistic model.
When implemented, heaven’s model of handling Jesus’ name will compel the witness to live evangelistically. Witnesses will start Gospel conversations with strangers. They will check the progress of family and friends toward salvation. They will schedule times each week to do intentional evangelism, preferably giving one day a week to soul winning. They will model evangelism for apprentices. They will include enough Gospel in each sermon and Bible study for the lost to be saved.