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How to Host an Evangelistic Christmas Party
by Becky Beane
i Christmas, give your friends X the most perfect gift of all. Christmas ... joyous acclamation of that special birth 2,000 years ago. Yet, many people never realize the true meaning of that birth ... that they can know Christ as their Savior, Lord, and friend.
"For a long time I was concerned that rhy neighbors know Christ," says Mrs. Barbara Stansill of Atlanta's First Baptist Church. "Then I thought, when is the most natural time to tell them about Jesus Christ? Christmas, of course. So last year I held an evangelistic Christmas party."
"I was shocked by my daughter's boldness," comments Barbara's mother, Grace Kinser. "But the ones who came to the party were so thrilled, and three people committed their lives to Christ."
"The key to it all was prayer," Barbara said. "Three of us served as hostesses, allowing us to accommodate a large number of guests while cutting down considerably on ex-
penses. We pored over every detail in prayer—even over what kind of food to serve. We pooled our invitation lists and prayed over each name, asking the Lord to bring the ones He wanted to hear the message. When we sent out the invitations, we made it clear that a soloist would provide entertainment, followed by a message from our pastor on the true meaning of Christmas. I wasn't sure how many people would show up."
Nearly 100 people packed into Barbara StansiU's home, overflowing into every room of the house. Dinner was served buffet-style, with plenty of punch and eggnog. During the meal, the guests listened as a soprano vocalist sang several holiday medleys.
Afterward, a pastor spoke on the significance of the birth and life of Jesus Christ. "He explained exactly how they could know Christ personally, and even offered an invitational prayer," Barbara said. Our pastor never beats around the bush. I kept thinking, if they don't run me out on a rail tonight, they never will!"
Instead, Barbara's guests praised her party as one of the best they had ever attended. Commented a pilot and his wife, "Cocktail parties are such a bore. This is a great way to spend Christmas."
One of .the guests dashed over to Barbara after the pastor's talk. "I think my husband just became a Christian! she exclaimed. "He doesn't even like sopranos, but he said he could really see the love in the singer's life."
"I've seen the lives of entire families revived as a result of that party," said Barbara. "One young man always had a drink in his hand. He couldn't talk without a drink. He couldn't drive without a drink. After committing his life to Christ during the pastor's invitation, he gave up alcohol completely. Now he is praying and attending church regularly with his family, and all of their lives have changed miraculously."
In your own neighborhood there are people whose lives need changing. People who are confused by the incongruity of solemn nativity scenes and burly Santas. "What's it
| This Christmas, give your friends the most perfect gift of all. |
all about?" they ask. And although they celebrate Christ's birthday, many have never personally met Him. You can make the introductions. Through something as natural as a Christmas party, you can lead your friends into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—the One who can fill their emptiness. The structure of your party will
depend on your personal taste and budget. You could follow Barbara Stansill's example and "do it up big" with a dinner party for 100, or you may prefer to invite only 10 or 12 couples for light refreshments.
When extending your invitations, whether by telephone, written notes, or in person, be clear about the purpose of the party. Your candor will give you a positive assurance that those who come are genuinely interested in hearing what the real meaning of Christmas is.
To insure that you will have the number of guests you planned on, invite three times as many people as you wish to attend. Not everyone will be able to come.
After your guests arrive, you may want to eat immediately, encouraging everyone to relax and get to know one another. Or you may choose to have a few ice-breaking
games, such as charades. However, remember that your major emphasis is evangelism. Do not play games if other entertainment is provided.
After games or entertainment, the host will introduce the speaker— your pastor or a respected friend-to present a twenty to twenty five-minute Christmas message. This should include an explanation of how your guests can know Christ and a challenge to commit their lives to Him.
In lieu of a special speaker, you
may want to ask several friends to express what Christ means to them, followed by a simple presentation of the gospel by you, as the host.
In small groups, when the host presents the gospel, he may find it beneficial to pass out copies of the Four Spiritual Laws, enabling the guests to follow along as he reads the booklet aloud. He shouldn't hesitate to extend a prayer of invitation. Then, as guests are served extra coffee, there will be the opportunity to speak further with those who invited Christ into their lives or those who want additional information.
You are involved in an intimate relationship with the greatest person who ever lived. You have the greatest message that was ever proclaimed. Now is the season to give. Grace Kinser, following her daughter's example, is now planning her own evangelistic Christmas party. "This is the way Christ's birthday should be celebrated," she observed. "By giving the most perfect gift of all—Jesus Himself."
Reprinted by permission. Copyright ® Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc. 1974. All rights reserved.