We can help people experience Jesus’ Church this Christmas
By Jim Boesch
If, as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child, we begin with the end in mind we can provide a reflection of Jesus’ Church to all who come to worship with us this holy season.
“Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.”
Our choice is simple: As we gather in worship with others this Christmas, we all have a role in influencing whose church they will experience; will it be ours or Jesus’?
When strangers enter our doors, will they see a church selfishly serving our purposes, through our agenda, in our time schedule and for our benefit?
Or will they see the selfless church Jesus built which serves all according to His plans, in His time and for the ultimate glory of our Creating Father?
“God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Will people see a church we have morphed into a comfortable community that separates Sundays from the struggles that plague us the rest of the week?
Or will they see the church Jesus birthed? ––a church that challenges us to bring our daily lives to the foot of His cross and to acknowledge the spirituality of all of life.
As others enter our homes and churches, will they see only those who think, look, and act as we do?
Or will they be blessed in being in Jesus’ Church where all of God’s people are welcome, a community that shows diversity can create unity and not division.
“In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.”
As seeking people enter our churches will they find a seemingly private gathering?
Or will they sense this must be Jesus’ church as they are welcomed, loved on and given grace and opportunity to be a valued part of a greater whole.
“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as all believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.”
To those who enter our church this Christmas season, will they experience a community with a stubborn unwillingness to change?
Or will they sense they are in Jesus’ church where transformational change is not merely sought but is in fact the discipling DNA which courses through its very veins?
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
Finally, for those seekers or “Chr-Easters” who will again cross our thresholds this Christmas, will they feel the smallness of our church’s often fearful mission of preparing ourselves to just survive each week in today’s world?
Or will they joyfully enter Jesus’ church where His mission will always be to know Him, to trust His way and abide in His love in preparation for us to live for eternity with Him in His Kingdom.
I pray your influencing choice will be one of kingdom-building for His glory and my hope is this will be a very, merry Christmas season for you and all those God puts in your path.
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on United Methodist Men
Jim is a master trainer in facilitating workshops for “Lead Like Jesus,” servant leadership training; “Understanding Men's Ministry,” discipling leadership training; and “Equipping Equippers” learning-facilitation training. You may host any of these workshops in your area by calling him (407-721-0416) or by e-mail.