· Leadership Development

My wish for anti-freeze

By Gil Hanke

I receive feedback from men and women working to bring men and youth into an on-growing relationship with Jesus.

Many say their church is “just waiting” or “frozen.”

They appear to need some sort of anti-freeze to thaw their frozen connections.

Like you, I am surrounded by Christmas stories that, at their core, tell us of an unlikely couple, with a difficult and complicated storyline, that resulted in God’s greatest gift to the world.

So, in this wonder-filled season, I invite you to join me in prayer for every local church. May the Advent Anti-Freeze reheat their faith and remind them of God’s warming gift.

Call those families who have been missing. Tell them you miss them and love them.

Encourage your church to do something different (maybe even a bit crazy) that will impact your community for the Kingdom.

Our small church took on a project that required the help of every member.

Our task was to insert material into several thousand envelopes for a mass mailing. That sounds like a dull and grinding labor, but the work increased collegiality and fellowship.

As we were cleaning up, a friend commented, “We need to do this every year. We did this together, just like the old days.”

You never know what activities might warm your frozen community. It might be providing warm meals and a place to stay for homeless guests, or it might be a cooking a spaghetti dinner. You might invite your church neighbors to a Christmas Eve service

Make sure every home in the neighborhood knows your church is praying for peace on earth, including peace within their home.

The stories of Christmas can provide the anti-freeze of welcome and invitation to action amid challenges.

I pray that you find something that unites and ignites your church and blesses your community with the warming light of Christ.

Gil Hanke, chief executive officer

General Commission on UM Men



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