What do you think when you see an invitation to a church event but it has representations from culture?
“…for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.” Acts 17:23
Paul was a master at connecting what was familiar in the culture and bridging it to a conversation about Jesus. When he saw a shrine, he saw an opportunity to introduce Jesus. Paul talks about their gods and that they have a god – the “unknown god”. Paul realizes since they do not know Jesus, Paul can use their “unknown god” to create conversation about the one true God. The culture becomes a bridge to a life-changing conversation.
Today we face similar challenges to Paul. We are part of a society that has less and less understanding about Christian ideas, symbols and words. Just last year at our Family Christmas event we had an elementary aged child who after looking at our live Nativity asked their parent “what’s with the baby in the box?” Although this is a shocking question to those of us who have grown up in Church it is one more and more people are asking today.
Woods Kids children’s ministry seeks to find connections guests can relate to who may otherwise never enter our doors. Wooddale is committed to interacting with and reaching people in our community who need to hear the Gospel! Today, we have the same opportunity as Paul to leverage societal events and understandable symbols to share God’s Love. Our outreach events use culturally-familiar examples to share the Truth of Jesus. While cultural examples shift, the Gospel message never changes! These events show kids and families that church can be a fun, exciting, and safe place – and they ask their parents to come back! This starts families on the next step of their faith journey.
You may ask, “Paul presented the Gospel, how is that presented at our outreach events?”. At Family Christmas, the story of Jesus’ birth will be given to kids, families will experience singing with our worship team and a Gospel message from Pastor Dale, guests will witness a live nativity in two separate ways, and everyone will be invited to Christmas Eve. They will leave hearing the Gospel, parents will experience a taste of our worship services, and kids will have fun in a safe, welcoming environment. Make no mistake, the message is Jesus.
When you see an invitation, do you see it as an invitation to bridge to your friends and neighbors? Would you be willing to come to an event, serve, see for yourself? Do you have further questions? If so, Justin Gaspar, our children’s pastor, would love to connect with you! We are excited to continue reaching into our community and sharing with families how much God loves them!