While you are reading this, I am in Florida enjoying a family gathering to celebrate Lauren’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. Though right now I am with more family than usual, this time of year is generally full of a variety of gatherings with family and friends. As an introvert I find this to be an exhausting couple of weeks, running from one event to the next and barely finding time to breathe. I want this year to be different though!

How can I make the most of this Christmas? Gatherings with family and friends often leave me running on fumes and I often find I am just trying to survive, but how can I make them count this time? How can I be intentional about using this time to make disciples?

As I have been thinking through this, there are a few key ideas coming to mind:

Spend time talking to my kids about Jesus!

Most of Christmas gets filled up worrying about gifts, food, and various other things that have to get done. Unfortunately, Jesus often gets left behind for more urgent and pressing matters facing us from day to day. In order to be intentional about keeping Jesus at the forefront in our family, we have been working through an advent calendar that allows us to read Bible passages pointing to Christ starting all the way back in Genesis. It is said “Jesus is the reason for the season,” so we are trying to be intentional to keep it that way.

Think of good questions to ask around the dinner table.

An unusual amount of time is likely to be spent sitting around the dinner table sharing meals with various family members and friends that aren’t a part of my life week to week. What are some good questions that I can arm myself with so that I can bring them out during those moments? Perhaps something along the lines of, “What is your favorite part of Christmas?” or “What does Christmas mean to you?” These simple conversation starters can lead to opportunities to share about what I really love celebrating about Christmas, which is the hope that I have in knowing that Jesus has come. Ask good questions, listen well, and take advantage of opportunities to share.

Take advantage of unusual spiritual openness during this time of year.

Consider some of the people that God has placed in your life with whom you have never been able to start a conversation about the Gospel. How might God be giving you opportunity right now to open that door? Are there good questions to ask, special events to invite them to, or simple blessings that you can share? People are surprisingly open to talk about Jesus around Christmas, so be sure to take advantage and get the conversation rolling.

In a season of hustle and bustle, taking a few minutes to intentionally plan ways to share about the good news of Jesus is key. Gifts and gatherings will often wipe away our good intentions, unless we are persistent in planning and focused on carrying it out. During my time with family this week, there are three family members I want to open conversations with about Jesus. I wonder, who do you think God might want you to share with?

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