I received a lovely message from a church leader in the village of Hartley Wintney in Hampshire.
Their outreach group had a prayer meeting and decided that painting pebbles for the village to find was their favourite idea from my blog about my top 10 Christmas outreach ideas. When they contacted me they had already painted 640 and were going to buy some more pebbles to paint! The village has an annual Christmas market of which St John’s (the church) always has a stall, but this year they decided to up their game and hide all the nativity characters around the stalls and shops… with one character missing… Jesus!
Andie the church leader writes:
We invited the village to search for Baby Jesus as a treasure hunt between the fair and our nativity service advertising on Facebook and twitter with clues to his whereabouts, the whole village has embraced it, (we also sent info out to all the local schools) posting pictures of their finds to our Facebook page. The children have enjoyed it immensely and we are receiving lots of positive feedback about ‘finding the true meaning of Christmas’ and ‘a baby Jesus really does ROCK’ it is pretty awesome how many double meanings we have been able to use in our clues and advertising material, we still have a week to go!
We have used the hashtag #babyjesusrockshw They are all invited to our nativity service and claim a small prize, and obviously to keep their little baby Jesus rocks! Alongside this they wrote their web address on the bottom of the stones.
It’s amazing what happens when Christians pray and ask God what it is that they can do to show and tell the good news of Jesus. This baby Jesus Rocks idea using social media and invitations to Christmas services and events is a brilliant way to engage with your community.
How about planning something like this for your community next year?