THE PRAYER PRINCIPLE
Begin every pageant planning team meeting or rehearsal with prayer for unsaved people who will attend.
-- Ask every participant and church member to give pageant tickets to five unchurched friends.
-- Send a top-quality e-invitation to the entire church database so they can forward it to their address book, post on Facebook or Twitter about it.
-- Stage a Christmas backdrop and take digital family photos before and after Sunday worship. Members can download it into printed or e-invitations for their friends.
-- Everyone invites! Kids' choir gives invitations while caroling at the mall. Youth fill an entire section with friends. Bible classes invite recent church guests. Singles gather friends for an after-pageant coffee. Staff members hand-deliver invitations to city leaders. Senior saints bring friends and nursing home residents to an afternoon dress rehearsal.
PERFORM WITHOUT PRETENTION
-- Present the pageant with a positive attitude and a servant heart. That means no complaining, bickering, fretting or bowing. Point all the glory to God.
-- Share God's plan of salvation. The pastor might conclude the presentation, asking guests to check a box on their registration card indicating their interest in accepting Christ as Savior, or request information about the church. Promise they'll be contacted within a week.
-- Printed program includes invitation to worship and church Christmas events.
-- An after-pageant Blitz event takes place a week after the event.
-- From day one, print Blitz date on rehearsal schedules. Every pageant participant or helper is involved. Invite Sunday School leaders, church staff, and willing church members.
-- Blitz the town. Assign teams of two or three to visit each guest who made a decision. Return for a big party, with testimonies, report-back whiteboard, pageant videos and fellowship.
Oh, yes. There could be one possible dilemma to this pageant plan. You may have to add one or two additional -- but purposeful -- performances.
This Christmas, will you limit your pageant's reach to God's family, or will you purposefully share it with those in your community who don't yet know Him?
Diana Davis is the author of "Fresh Ideas," "Fresh Ideas for Women's Ministry" and "Deacon Wives" (B&H Publishing) and the wife of the Indiana Baptist State Convention executive director. Learn more at www.keeponshining.com.
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