CHRISTMAS!!!!!

 

Okay, tell me what you love and hate about being a worship leader st Christmas.

 

Your absolute worst experience and your favourite time of all time.

 

The thing I hate is when the pastor says, 'We need to talk about the Christmas carol service'. Something inside me just dies. I think it's because my husband and I were converted at and through a Christmas carol concert done WELL (ie with the Gospel message central) and since then, so many we've been involved in have been wasted opportunities for mission. People like their traditions and they like to do things the way they've always been done. And generally, the fluff outweighs the truth.

 

Odd moments still happen that I love, though. Like 4 people singing parts for 'Let all mortal flesh keep silence' in a darkened room lit by candle-light...hair on the back of my neck stood up for that one.

 

Over to you.

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Hi Dorothy, perhaps you really meant 'angelic'?! :-))

Christmas

well my dear sister i am so happy celebrating Christmas and so happy that our SAVIOR was born. all i am praying for is that people will understand what Christmas is all about.


Unless Jesus will be born in your heart you will never experience the true christmas.


Yes, there is a lot of Christmas that I despair over. I dislike the commercialism, the way the Christmas story has been distorted almost into panto, and the way that we only seem to sing some carols at one, maybe two services. However, I don't want to throw out the baby with the manger as there is so much we can offer to people who want to come to church at Christmas. We should be prepared to accept them and help them see the real Jesus through the trappings of it all.

However, I was a bit disappointed last year with my church. We are quite a progressive anglican church, normally with band led worship, but I have to say last Christmas was deeply frustrating. On Christmas day the church was packed (500 people at a guess). Many were visitors and possibly of limited faith. We had a band lead the worship so NO ORGAN! ON CHRISTMAS DAY! DISASTER!.... and to cap it all we had a 'time of worship' in the middle with very un-Christmassy songs and a new song as well! What the guests would have made of it I don't know, but it did not seem right or appropriate at all. I am sure those leading had the best of intentions but 'Hark the Herald Angels' is not right without a good organ pumping away, nor is it right to be singing 'Give thanks to the Lord our God and King' either!

Time to join the grumpy old men club...
That's an interesting one - I remember the outspoken atheist Polly Toynbee saying something to the effect that although she didn't herself believe in God, she still wanted her kids to grow up singing and knowing hymns and being aware of Britain's Christian heritage, and she found the great hymns to be rich in language and beautiful...

I guess if a visitor can't engage and ends up disappointed or feels uncomfortable (for all the wrong reasons), it'll be harder still for them to engage with the gospel.

(Ok I admit it, I do love the organ for those great Christmas hymns :-) )

I was once involved with a Bikers carol service.

The organisers were Christians and it was in a chapel but we had garden candles down the isles and  a Harly inside the building. The band weren't Christians as I remember but they did play a set of the own stuff after the service. That was so any bikers who didn't like the service just might not think the whole thing was a flop. It was fun as well.

We had persuaded guys from all sorts of bike clubs to do readings, some were Christians but most weren't. I'm not sure whether it was the first or second reader who stumbled a bit but got through his reading. His mates started to applaud him for making the effort and everybody joined in. This continued for the rest of the service carol, reading applause.

It touched me. Here were a group largely made up of non Christians going into a place of worship that I had certainly never been before.

 

David B. 

Wow, that has touched me too. Thank you for sharing David.

While I'm thinking Bikers and Christmas, it has been my custom to go on the "Reading Toy Run". The concept of "Toy Runs" probably started with the idea of giving bikers a good press for once but turned out to be good fun. The concept is basically meet up somewhere with toys/gifts ride in convoy to a worthy cause and give the goodies to misfortuneate children. That has become a biker subculture thing. In some places Christian Bikers have managed to sneak in a very short gospel presentation.

One of the biggest in the south of England is the Reading Toy run With a regular turnout of between 1000 and 2000 Bikes, Combinations, Trikes and Things. The toys are taken to Dr Barnardo's at Wokingham. Having sampled the atmosphere when nominally 1500 people give things away, and I would guess most of the bikers aren't Christians but if the "Lord loves a cheerful giver" he must be there.

David B. 

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