5 Ways to Keep Your Focus During the Christmas Holidays
As leaders in the youth ministry, we spend much of our time during the holidays encouraging our students and the adults involved in our ministries to not lose focus on Christ during all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. With hectic church calendars, the sad truth is we might be more susceptible to failing to focus on Christ throughout the Christmas season. We run the risk of spending so much time seeking to lead others to celebrate Christmas that we fail to celebrate the birth of Christ ourselves. What are some ways that we can hit the pause button and intentionally focus on Christ this Christmas?
Take some time each day to read a part of the Christmas story from Scripture.
Carve time out of your schedule, perhaps during your daily devotional reading, to read about the birth of Christ. You might use an Advent or Christmas devotional to guide this reading, or you might pick passages containing Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ and New Testament accounts of His birth. Read each passage with fresh eyes, seeking to see the story from the perspective of the prophets or of one of the characters in the Christmas story. Such reading will help you maintain your focus and perhaps allow you to see aspects of the Advent you might have missed in the past.
Make a hot cup of coffee or tea and spend some time talking with God about the birth of His Son and what that means to your life.
One of the most powerful memories I have of Christmas’ past was talking with the Lord as I drank coffee late at night and looked out on a snow-kissed landscape that sparkled in the moonlight. Not that you need snow to have such a moment, but taking time to be still and have a conversation with the Father about my thankfulness for the birth of His Son made a powerful impression upon my walk with Christ. I talked with Him during that moment about how thankful I was that He sent Christ to be born to die for me. It was a time with the Father that reminded me of His sacrifice and of the fact that the manger lies in the shadow of the cross.
Make a special Christmas memory with a family member and/or a friend.
Spend some quality time with the people closest to you. Share in an event that will help you both focus on Christ. I will never forget when, as a teenager, my family attended the Allied Christmas Concert at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in West Berlin, Germany. We listened to German, American, French, and British choirs sing their country’s carols in their native languages. That concert impressed upon me how Christ’s birth unites believers from every tribe, tongue, and nation to come and adore Jesus.
Serve someone in need with the love of Christ.
I had one stint as Santa Claus. It did not happen as an adult. As a teenager, my parents asked if I would play the role of Santa at a party for orphans in an orphanage in Germany. During the party, we talked about the birth of Christ and how he is the greatest gift ever given to humanity. We then gave gifts to the children at the orphanage. The experience reminded me how God adopts us and makes us His children through the gift of His Son.
Share the gospel with someone.
A recent study shows that around 79% of unchurched people state that no one has ever shared the story of Christ Jesus with them. Take time this Christmas season to give people an answer to the question of why Christians would celebrate the birth of a child born in a small town in Israel. Give that person the greatest gift you can share with them this Christmas season, the good news of the gospel. You will find that sharing the story of Christ will help you to focus on the impact Christ’s birth has on your life as well.
This list of ways to focus on Christmas is not an exhaustive one. Perhaps it will encourage you to think of better steps you can take to keep your focus on Christmas. Whether you follow my suggestions or create your own practices, let us not be distracted by non-essential things and focus on adoring Christ this Christmas!
Tim McKnight is the Director of the Great Commission Center and Assistant Professor of Missions and Youth Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. You can reach him on Instagram or Twitter at @drtimmcknight or Facebook at HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/DR.TIMOTHYRMCKNIGHT/
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.