(NOTE: links for all materials are at the bottom of this page)
C18—Synodwide program to reach one million souls
This Christmas season, walking together, we are going to share the Good News about God in flesh, coming to bring light into our dark world, to one million souls.
C18 is multi-faceted program to assist WELS congregations in their seasonal effort to boldly proclaim Christ.
Here are two facts about Christmas time.
Fact number one. Multiple mental health studies have demonstrated Christmas time is the mostly likely time of year for one to experience depression and anxiety. The suicide rate spikes in the last week of the year. There are multiple factors for this, some of which are obvious. For many, Christmas time is extremely joyful, an opportunity to spent time with family and other loved ones. That joy can make those who feel alone more acutely aware of their pain. The end of the year also provides a natural time for self-reflection. As some consider the perceived failures of the past year, the weight becomes too much to bear. Christmas time is extremely difficult for millions of Americans. It is not a time of hope and good cheer, but darkness and gloom.
Fact number two. Christmas Eve has surpassed Easter as the church service that unchurched or dechurched individuals are most likely to visit. A few years ago, LifeWay Research conducted a survey of 15,000 unchurched adults. 63% of those adults say that a personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would “be very or somewhat effective” in getting them to visit a church. That number jumps to close to 80% when the invitation is for Christmas Eve. Invite ten unchurched friends to join you at your congregation for Christmas Eve, and eight of them will be at least somewhat encouraged to accept your invitation.
Put those two facts together. Christmas Eve is a fantastic, natural opportunity for believers to reach out to their community.
So, WELS Congregational Services has set a goal to reach one million souls. It is aggressive, but given the size of our church body, realistic. Some of those one-million will hear the gospel as they accept an invitation to join one of our congregations on Christmas Eve.
Some will hear the gospel as our members take up Christ’s call to be witnesses. They will look for friends or neighbors or co-workers who are experiencing that seasonal depression, and they will share the reason we are never alone… the reason why our failures do not crush us.
Hear the Christmas gospel through online devotionals like the one here.
USE THIS LINK to get a pdf copy you can view or print of the Advent devotional booklet.
Go to THIS PART OF THE WELS WEBSITE to listen or read the daily devotional from their webpage.