Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Our Hearts During the Holidays

STUDENT MINISTRY: Our Hearts During the Holidays

      If we aren’t careful, our hearts can be focused on the completely wrong things during the holidays. It doesn’t matter if we are 14 or 45. We tend to reflect our culture, which has consistently moved away from a Christ-focused Christmas. We can turn on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and hear Linus share Luke’s account of Christmas, but that doesn’t make up for all the other junk we focus on. We are asked what we want for Christmas and even instructed to make lists for others. We are encouraged to make the holiday about us from the earliest of ages. And trust me, I don’t share these ideas from a “judgey” place. I have made lists and have asked for lists. However, that is not what Christmas should be about.

      As student ministry workers, our goal is to help our students become more faithful followers of Jesus. That makes it essential to help our students focus on the important things of the holidays. What should we and our students think about?

         • Think about Jesus over the silly Christmas characters. I love “Frosty the Snow Man” and have sung “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” more than once, but they aren’t Jesus. Utilize your lesson times to make much of Him. If you are doing a Christmas series, spend time with the greatness of God’s gift. Make Him the center of your activities, ministry opportunities and gatherings. That doesn’t mean that we cut the fun. It simply means we celebrate what is most important. During the quieter times, use an Advent devotional. Spend time thinking about what Jesus’ coming means to you and your students.

         • Think about others over ourselves. Christmas can turn into a very selfish holiday if we aren’t careful. It can be about us, even when we think we are focusing on others with family gatherings and activities. We want to buy someone the best gift so we feel good. It is a very fine line to walk, but if we simply embrace the Great Commandment from Matt. 22:36-40, we understand we are to love God and love people. Christmas shouldn’t be about us but about others. How can we bless our friends, family and neighbors? That should be toward the top of our list.

         • Think about giving over receiving. If we think about it, the ‘Ole Christmas list is a bit of a problem. It promotes the idea of “What am I going to get?” And we perpetuate it by asking our students and family members what they hope they will receive for Christmas. As hard as I look in Scripture, I can’t seem to come across that idea. However, we see on many occasions where we are to share with others and provide help and love. Encourage your group to think about how they can impact their friends and neighbors. Provide opportunities for your students to support a worthy cause financially.

      Getting our hearts right during the holidays means getting our thinking right about Christmas. It is essential to take time to think about what we are doing and what that says to our students, children and congregations. I love Christmas traditions, but if they don’t make much of Jesus, it may be time to set them aside. It is okay for us to be different than the culture around us. Let’s make sure our hearts are focused on the great gift of Jesus during Christmas.