Three ideas for outreach this Christmas

As November begins and we begin to think about how we can celebrate Christmas as an outreach opportunity let me offer three simple ideas which you may well already use but need preparation now to be ready in time.

  1. Helping your congregation to send Christian Christmas Cards

Giving or sending Christian cards to family and friends, neighbours and colleagues can be a powerful witness and open up opportunities for spiritual conversations about the real meaning of Christmas. But it can be very difficult to find a good range of Christmas cards which show a nativity scene or refer to Jesus in any way. Our nearest Christian bookshop is a 50-mile round trip and few Christians will make the effort to order cards online.

So for the last 32 years early in November I have bought boxed sets of Christian Christmas cards. Even in my small church I will spend around £100 this year on these. Before the end of this month I will have set up a table in the church. I split up the boxed sets and charge the same price of 20p for each separate card and envelope, which means that I pretty much break even overall.

The card table will be out for our all-age family Christmas Crafts Afternoon. There we have crafts to MAKE including Cards, Calendars, Pictures, and Gifts such as keyrings and fridge magnets. We also have stalls to BUY Cards, Books, Pictures, Gifts and Jewellery. All with seasonal refreshments of course. Then the Christian Christmas cards will also be available at our Christingle Service, our Carols by Candlelight Service and our ever popular Carols and Cake (where we all sit around choosing our favourite carols and eating cake). The cards are also out for people to buy at Toddler Group and Drop in as well as at our weekly Haven Café. I use any cards which are unsold at Christmas to give myself to my congregation and fringe contacts.

  1. The Greatest Christmas Present – a booklet you can give away.

This simple booklet weaves together the Bible text of the nativity stories from the royalty-free NET Bible with my own reflections on Christmas. It was produced for us to give away to our fringe contacts at Toddlers, Drop In and Haven Café, for visitors to our Christmas services and events, and for members to give to their friends and neighbours and colleagues.  We bought 1000 and in bulk they cost just 20p each. You are very welcome to print your own copies, or use the idea (and any of the content you like) to produce your own version. Just remember to include the copyright notices. More details and a PDF of the booklet are online at

http://collegeofbaptistministers.com/the-greatest-christmas-present-a-booklet-you-can-give-away/

  1. Church Christmas cards to deliver

I have just finished designing the card which we deliver to our community during December as well as circulating among our contacts. With an attractive nativity image it advertises all our special services and lists our regular activities as well as giving our contact details and the all-important church website address. It contains a Christmas message and also offers everybody two free gifts. The first is a copy of the NIV New Testament (99p each if you buy in bulk) for anybody who wants one, and we have had folk contact us requesting us to deliver a copy to their house. The second gift is our little booklet The Greatest Christmas Present described above.

We will order either 2500 or 5000 of these cards from www.print24.co.uk which will cost between 3p and 4p each. I have given more details and examples of the artwork we have used in past years at

http://collegeofbaptistministers.com/church-christmas-cards-to-deliver

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