December 12, 2011

Christmas at Edgewood, 2011

Edgewood has an ongoing tradition of putting on a big Christmas production every year.  It is a great time of the year when guests are open to visiting churches to hear the Christmas story.  And it is an amazing opportunity for the church to reach out to the community.

However, over the last few years, we have noticed a pretty strong decline in attendance.  And, even worse, we haven't seen hardly anyone coming to know Christ through these productions.  The Christmas program has been referred to as one of our biggest outreaches of the year...but recently it hasn't been reaching many.  So this brought us to great prayers and discussions for how to move forward this year.

We had a great planning team that was open to God's leading.  This team came up with the following purpose statement for this year's program:
"We want our community to experience the love of God, the wonder of Jesus’ birth, and the significance of a relationship with Him."

After much prayerful discussion, we felt led to bring in World Class Illusionist, Brock Gill.  Brock also did two school assemblies to share a positive message in the school and to invite them to the full show at Edgewood the next day.  This proved to be an amazing way to connect with and reach out to our community.

I believe due mostly to the connection with these schools, our attendance (combined from two shows) was close to 700 as compared to 500 from the year before.  And we estimate that half of our attendance was made up of guests.  Brock was extremely impressive with his illusions and even better with his Gospel presentation.  He had a great connection with our audience and at least TEN people responded to receive Christ.  TEN!

That is where our joy comes....not in "an impressive show" or "high attendance" but in changed lives.  Ten lives are changed forever by what God did through this show.  We are very grateful!