Dear Church Family and Friends,
Two of the principles of the Advent Conspiracy are: 1) Spend less, and 2) Give more. These two practices may seem to contradict each other, but they actually complement each other.
Although the statistics vary, it seems that the average amount of money that each person spent on Christmas gifts last year was $800. Many of these gifts end up being stowed away in a closet, returned to the store for something else, or re-gifted. Not many of us have so much money that we can spend it carelessly. Even if we did have that much money, our careless spending would not please Jesus, and after all, it is His birthday that we are celebrating this season. So “spending less” refers to diminishing the materialistic practice of spending money as a token of our love for people. Instead we can “give more” by offering presents that are more significant than the latest item on sale at the store. Here are some practical tips on spending less but giving more.
- Give something that promotes a person’s ability to worship God. If they are a non-believer, give them something that might help them come to know Jesus. If they are a believer, give them something that might help them grow as a Christian. For example, God willing, we are going to offer some discipleship opportunities in 2014 and you could purchase the study books for somebody. On Sunday nights, we will be doing the study, Experiencing God. On Wednesday nights, we will be doing a study called Simple Life. This course will focus on 4 components of our lives: managing our time, creating and maintaining healthy relationships, managing our finances, and drawing nearer to God. If you put one of these resources under the Christmas tree, then you will be giving a gift that will keep on giving.
- 2) Give them something that promotes their service to God. Give them something that enhances the use of their spiritual gifts, talents and abilities. For example, if they have a heart for world missions, make an offering in their name to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. If they love to read, get them a Bible or a good Christian book. If they love music, give them a good Christian CD.
My hope is that we will all spend less and give more this Christmas.
May God bless you.