According to current research, Christmas is the most appealing time for the unchurched and dechurched to attend a worship service. That makes C19, this year’s synodwide outreach campaign for Christmas, a critical opportunity.
Available from WELS Congregational Services, C19 equips congregations and individuals to share the good news of Jesus’ birth with others in their community and to invite them to Christmas worship services. This year’s theme is “God so loved the world.”
“Many people look at the pain and suffering in our world and conclude that either there is no God or that, if there is a God, he doesn’t love the world,” explains Rev. Eric Roecker, director of WELS Commission on Evangelism. “Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem proves that God does indeed love the world, a world that includes every single soul.”
Here are some of the resources that are available:
- Worship materials for Christmas. C19 provides ready-to-use worship folder templates with liturgy and music that edify heart, soul, and mind.
- Evangelism materials for Christmas Eve. Low-cost outreach postcards as well as free Facebook video advertisement and digital files to post on church websites are available to share the message of the theme.
- School resources. C19 provides guidance for using schools as outreach arms during the Christmas season. The program resources help encourage even the youngest WELS members to invite others to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
- Special needs ministry. C19 includes materials to help congregations reach out to families who have children with special needs.
About 70 percent of WELS congregations utilized some or all of the resources provided through 2018’s synodwide outreach campaign, C18. Its goal was to reach one million souls, and Roecker has high hopes again this year with C19: “With the Lord’s blessing, we would like to see more than one million people invited,” he says.
Many C19 materials will be offered as free downloads at welscongregationalservices.net/c19. Some materials are available now; others will be provided in the coming weeks. Pastors and interested laypeople should sign up now to receive updates, which will include notices when new materials are posted online as well as planning tips and timelines to carry out the program successfully.