But, if you're in youth ministry it's real easy for giving to take a back seat during the final week of Christmas.
If you're like me, you probably have a "to do" list that is SO long, you could probably enter it as a Guinness World Record. This time of year is full of year-end reports, 2013 goals, January lesson planning, and 3 months worth of receipts to turn in! While these things need to get done, it's easy to overlook the more important things, the really valuable things to give our time and resources to.
As a youth worker, here's what I am challenging myself to give to this Christmas:
Give Time to Jesus
It's His day, after all! No, seriously. In the busyness of the run up to Christmas, it's easy to miss the Savior in our own lives. Take time out this week to recapture the wonder of Immanuel, "God with us."
Give Time To Your Family
Even though there are so many loose ends to tie up, take time before Christmas to do something fun and meaningful with your loved ones. If it's too late to plan something significant, surprise your family by coming home early one day, or staying at home one morning to have breakfast. Remember, your family expects you to stop once Christmas is here. How about surprising them with your time before Christmas as well?
Give Your Volunteers a Boost
Volunteers deserve a boost! Have your students thank your volunteers in a big way. Text, email, Facebook, or Tweet all your students and ask them give their leaders a boost. Have them send cards, post videos, or send text messages to your volunteers in appreciation of all they do. If you haven't already, write a Christmas card to each of your volunteers with a personal thanks inside.
Give Your Pastor a Boost
If you're a youth pastor and report to a senior pastor, maybe send them a Christmas card or "thank you" card with specific ways in which they bless you. Senior pastors don't have the easiest job. It's important that they know we're in the trenches with them. Let them know you support them this Christmas.
Give Away Free Stuff to Students
It doesn't have to be nice or valuable, just FREE! Students love free stuff! (Who doesn't?) If you're meeting before Christmas, buy whatever your budget will allow and give it away in a quick and easy competition. Candy, iTunes cards, or Starbucks gift cards are my favorites!
Give a Special Gift to a Family in Need
This is my favorite way to give! With your family, pray for God to show you a family who is in need this Christmas. Buy some gift cards and cool groceries, put them in a box and do a "Santa Drive-By Drop Off." Here's the premise: Sometime after dark, drive up to their house, scope it out, park around the corner, drop off the box on the doorstep, ring the doorbell, run as fast as you can, and even screech your tires as you leave (but don't do anything illegal)! This is a brilliant thing to do if you have kids of your own to come along. They will love it!
And finally . . .
Give Up The Weight Loss Program
Just admit it, you're going to lose this battle over Christmas. Start again on January 1st. :) Well there you go! These are just some of the ways I'm going to be giving this Christmas. Even though my "to do" list is long, I can't forget the most important things to give to this Christmas.
Who or what are you giving to this Christmas?