Tiz the Season!

It's a busy time out there for most people. Some are shopping already in anticipation of Christmas. Tiz the season for outreach. Amazingly many people even in the rush up to Christmas are open to the Good News expressed in practical ways. (Actually they are surprised that people would give up their time to show God's love in in practical ways.) Our serving opens hearts to the good news.

Tips: 
  • In the midst of the rush determine to slow down on the inside and chose to make a difference personally.
  • Notice people.
  • Seek to serve and to care. 
  • Hold a door open for someone. 
  • Offer to carry a persons packages to their car.
  • Pay for someones meal at a restaurant or fast food drive through. 
  • Tip a waitress big and say her name (after ordering, one of my friends says the waitresses name and asks, 'During this season how can I pray for you?')
  • Take a small gift to the grocery check out person just to say thanks. 
  • Visit a hospital emergency waiting room with fresh bagels and coffee offer support and prayer.
  • Visit a nursing home with boxes of Tissues(the good ones). 
  • Take granola bars(buy bulk Sam's Club or Costco's) to the school in your neighborhood and give them to the secretary for the staff and teachers.
  • Invite people to your Christmas Services. You'd be surprised how many people would show up if you personally invited them. Many churches make special Christmas Service invitations to help. Let them know you'll meet them at the main entrance.

Lastly, plan to participate in your church Christmas Season Outreach events.

Here's ours.
Thanksgiving Day Brunch.
Serving Brunch to our friends who come to our downtown Dayton Campus. We'll arrive at 9am, help prep, receive instructions, serve coffee to those who come early, sit and talk with our friends who arrive, then serve a home cooked brunch. This year an unknown lady donated baggetts and bagels from Panera Bread to top off the meal. During our serving we offer hope-full prayer.

Donuts and Coffee the day after Thanksgiving.
We are now the official greeters for one of the largest malls in our area. We show up early 5:30am. We prep our tables. Instruct our team. Then serve Boston Stoker coffee and Krispy Kreeme donuts to the thousands of people who come to shop. (If interested here is the process http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html.)






Wrap It Up!
During the run up to Christmas we wrap presents for people free of charge in one of the largest malls in our area for 12 days. I call it the 12 days of Christmas event. We wrap Monday - Thusday 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm. These are peak hours during the week. On weekends we wrap 12pm to 9pm. We have great conversations, receive many, many thank yous especially from the wrapping impaired men. We also, share who we are, why we do what we do and discretely offer prayer when we sense a need or an opportunity. (last years post http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2008/12/wrap-it-up_17.html)

Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2010.
Over 300 people serve 1400 attendees who come to our ticketed event. This is the largest event of the year. We target low income children. Over 800 last year attended. We create a wonderland environment, offer a great sit down lunch, paint faces, kids make crafts for their parents, every child receives a personal present, and every family receives a bag of groceries to take home. Last year someone donated Christmas trees.
(the web site is http://mcdct.blogspot.com)

(Last years end of season reflection post(http://stevebowen.blogspot.com/2009/12/whirl-wind-season.html)

In the midst of the the rush there are always opportunities to show God's love in a practical way. Tiz the season.
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