4 Ways to Use the Holiday Season to Glorify God

Tradition is not sinful; in fact, it is often helpful. We must consider tradition a servant rather than master. David Crabb explains our traditions should “exist to serve the ministry of the Gospel, not the other way around.” We all have or have had traditions for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. So now, let us “work-shop” traditions to “serve the ministry of the Gospel,” instead of allowing tradition to dictate our holiday bustle. Think about these 4 challenges alongside any tradition you may have.

  1. Invite those with little or no family to join yours. Everyone has a different home life and family culture. Some people cannot imagine enjoying a Thanksgiving spread without their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, while others cannot remember such a gathering. Is there a person in your Growth Group or office that you ought to move towards? Think about the new neighbors who just moved in across the street or the new person in the break room. Keep in mind holidays magnify loneliness and hurt, so invite them to join holidays with your family.  A sincere invitation can be the “ministry of the Gospel” most needed.
  2. Strategically disciple at gatherings. Can you think of one family member you don’t want any of your friends (especially from church) to meet? Mark Dever states in Discipling, “Discipling requires you to be willing to be watched, and then folding people into your life so that they actually do watch.” Don’t let your family hinder your obedience to make disciples. Invite them to join holidays with your family. Let them see how you deal with all the scenarios that arise when your family, large or small, gathers. Bringing your spiritual family around your earthly family will benefit both. [Read more…]

Why Parkwood Does Fall Festival

Typically, only those familiar with European or Church History see October 31st to be Reformation Day, a day Protestants reflect as paramount to their history. Take out this small minority, and the rest of our community has spent weeks gearing up for Halloween, a child’s candy-dream come true and a night of promiscuity for many.

Halloween is the one night Christians have collectively learned to neglect our neighbors by hunkering down in our homes, turning off our lights, and having a quiet evening to ourselves. George Robinson, in an article you ought to read, says of Halloween that it “is the only night of the year in our culture where lost people actually go door-to-door to saved people’s homes.” I suggest that lost people do not go to saved people’s homes, but they would! Trick-or-treaters know which doors are prepared for them, and as Ed Stetzer puts it, “You can meet more neighbors tonight—in one night—than any other day of the year” if we are prepared.

Although there has been a stronghold of Christianity in Gastonia and our region, we must view Halloween and other holidays evangelistically and missionally. Consider applying the framework of Matthew 5:14-16 to your Halloween witness. Don’t confine the Gospel message to a dimmed living room. Halloween makes evangelism as convenient as walking to your doorstep prepared to speak with boldness and love.
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