Dec 21, 2011

Need some help for spending time with non-Christian family this Christmas?

Many of us will spend more time with non-Christian family and friends this Christmas time than perhaps at any other time of the year. Some of us are looking forward to finding an opportunity to share our faith but most of us find it an intimidating thought.

My top tips for this Christmas

1. Plan in advance and plan in particular to pray. Decide that God can and might use you in a surprising way this Christmas time. You may doubt that anyone in your family could be interested in the gospel but don’t doubt what God can do.

2. Be wise in how you seek an opportunity to speak. For example it’s often easier to chat 1 to 1 rather than around a meal table as a group. Look to spend a little quality time with different members of family over the time you’re together.

3. Be a consistent witness. Don’t drink or eat too much. Be eager to serve and be helpful.

4. Make church on Christmas day a priority. Unless you’re in a log cabin in the wilderness plan to get to church.

5. Find someone from your church who might be in a similar situation so that you can agree to pray for one another over the festive season and maybe call or text each other a couple of times to encourage and support each other.

6. Give an appropriate evangelistic Christmas book.

7. When speaking think what Christmas means to you as a Christian and try and say something about your own attitudes to Christmas time and what it is that you are choosing to celebrate. Sharing your own experience often opens up conversation as does asking open-ended questions. The question might be different for different members of the family.

Here are a few questions or comments I think could work:

To parents, in-laws, Grand-parents…

  • How has Christmas changed since you were growing up?
  • What was Christmas day like when you were a child? Did you have any family traditions? Did you go as a family to church?

To friends

  • A recent news item might be a good topic eg. Did you hear that David Cameron called Britain a Christian country. I’m not sure I understood what he meant by that do you?
  • What was Christmas like for you growing up? Would you want to do it differently if you had kids? (have in mind how as a Christian you would want to do things differently eg. how you might try and engage with commercialism etc.)

To younger children

  • Did you do a school ‘nativity’ this year for Christmas? What did you do in it? Do you know what the story was all about?

If you want to think more about witnessing to family and friends then help is at hand in the form of Randy Newman and his book Bringing the Gospel Home.

I’ve blogged about it a couple of times before here on some ideas to motivate us in our witness to family and here on 8 reasons why it’s so difficult.

Randy has given a great interview on some of the themes in the book

And the book is available as a free download for a time (HT: Jonathan Parnell)

For 10 tips on making the most of this Christmas time check out Ten Ways to Bring the Gospel Home This Christmas .

Leave a comment

Facebook Twitter RSS Feed