Tuesday, December 6, 2011
If your ward/Stake has upcoming Christmas-related events, make sure to advertise these activities especially to your new members and less-active members. In every ward I've been in, it has been very easy to get less-active (or inactive) members to come to an activity if its Christmas-related. I believe that this is because many people (even if they aren't actively attending Church) equate the holidays with Church attendance. Going to Church at Christmas-time may be something they grew up with, even if they didn't attend Church or Church-related activities any other time of the year.
At our Ward's most recent Christmas party, we saw many people who hadn't been to Church or a Church function in 6 months or more. And a several of them brought along their non-member relatives and friends. This is a great opportunity for us to reach out and fellowship these brothers and sisters, and their friends and relatives.
Be on the lookout, also, on Christmas Day (since it falls on Sunday this year), for those less-active or inactive members who may feel inspired to attend Church BECAUSE it is Christmas. What a special opportunity for them to feel the Spirit and remember why they joined the Church in the first place!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Merry Christmas everyone! We came up with an idea to encourage our ward members to keep sharing the gospel this Christmas season. I am in contact with many of our ward members on facebook and through an email group, so I sent this email (below) out last week. It outlines our plan for using Joy to the World "Pass-Along Cards" in Christmas cards being sent to non-member friends or relatives:
"Ward members- This Christmas season, we have come up with an idea for inviting friends and relatives to learn more about our beliefs in a very easy way. Most of you are probably familiar with the Church’s “pass along cards” (small index-size cards with a picture on one side and Church info on the other side)...
Our idea is to offer the “Joy to the World” theme pass-along cards to any ward members who would like to include them in Christmas cards they will be sending to non-members (either local or in other areas). The card would easily fit inside any Christmas card. It has a picture of Mary and baby Jesus on the front, with the words, “Joy to the World”. On the back of the card, it says, “Bring the spirit of Christmas into your home with the story of the Saviour’s birth and His life, featuring music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” (there is a picture of the FREE “Joy to the World” DVD that is being offered, and the 800 number to call).
Please note, when people call for the DVD they are asked if they would like to learn more about the gospel, but meeting with the full-time missionaries is not required and they are trained to be very polite.
Including a “pass-along” card in with a Christmas card is a simple, easy way to offer a church-related gift and a non-aggressive opportunity for them to learn about our beliefs if they wish. You never know - there may be people on your Christmas card list who may jump at the chance for a free DVD and may be very interested in learning more about our beliefs!
I have ordered 200 “Joy to the World” pass-along cards and they will be available soon for anyone who would like to include them in some of their Christmas cards. We are providing the pass-along cards to our ward members at no charge. If you have any questions or are interested in having some of these pass-along cards to send out, please let me know (and how many you would like).
PS- The free “Joy to the World” DVDs are meant as a missionary tool for non-members, so church members are asked not to call for free DVDs. The “Joy to the World” DVD is available to purchase for $1.50 from Church Distribution if you would like to buy a copy of the movie for yourself"
Many Christmas cards that would be sent by our ward members would probably be to members in other areas/missions, but thats okay. Sharing the gospel is always a good thing, even if we don't directly see the results in our own ward. Also, even being presented with this idea gets ward members thinking - who are their non-member friends and relatives and would they be receptive to something like this?
To order pass-along cards, go to the online store at www.lds.org. They are $2.00 for a pack of 100 cards (there is no charge for shipping). Please note, it may be too late for you to order 'pass-along cards', as many people are sending out their cards in early December. Another option would be to check with your Bishopric to see if your ward has a stockpile of pass-along cards somewhere that you could have. Or, your ward's full-time missionaries might have some of these cards as well. If you do order pass-along cards and they arrive late in the month, you can always encourage members to give them to people personally (or include them in gift-baskets, etc).
I personally prefer the Joy to the World cards to the other pass-along cards that are available (because they are Christmas-themed), but you could probably use any variety of pass-along card if the Joy to the World cards aren't available to you.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!